Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Update on My Uncle Walt - Mom got to talk to him

This email came in from my Mom overnight. For more on the context, check out the earlier post.

I called Ken to get an update since he didn't call me over the weekend.

Ken said they have to give Walt a pint of blood today. The doctors say they don't think he has another bleed, but that this machine(artificial heart) is using up the blood somehow. Ken and I figure it something like evaporation somehow.

But, Walt's white blood count is going higher again. Not by much, but it is going up, so Ken and Julie don't know if he is starting another infection.

Last year this time Walt weighed 265 lbs, much of it fluid. This past August he was down to 240. Presently he is down to 165. 100 pounds lost since a year ago.

He hardly eats. He wants to but has no appetite. Ken said he is trying really hard to do what he needs to do in order to survive.

Julie drove to Cleveland today to check on her Dad. She took a bunch of pictures of the family. When he saw them he broke down and cried. Then he picked up each picture and kissed it.

He is really homesick too. So he is starting to get depressed. I am going to find out if he can get mail, and if he can, I'll find out the address. Maybe we could start a card campaign to lift his spirits.

Ken said there are several cardiac ICU units at the Cleveland Clinic. The one Walt is in is like a MASH unit, using Ken's words. There are 7 beds, and from Walt's bed you can see the other 6.

Julie and Ken are going to ask the doctors to put Walt back on the transplant list. They feel if he has to be opened up again, it might as well be for a new heart. They think all this is taking a toll on their Dad physically and mentally.

So while I was talking to Ken, he did a 3 way call and got hooked up to a phone by his Dad, and we were able to talk for a minute.

Walt sounds very weak. If you didn't know better, you would think he was an elderly woman.

I told him to hang in there, that we all were rooting for him and that he needs to get better to come see me here in CA and go fishing in Lake Oroville (California). He said it sounds like a plan.

I didn't talk long because he was so weak, and I could hear the strain in his voice.

So that's the latest news. Keep praying.

Love all of you,

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