Today I had to make the toughest decision I have ever been faced with. I held the doctors off on amutating Katy’s extremities yesterday. This morning I called the case managers for 3 hospitals, and had started the process of transferring her to Baylor Medical for hyperbaric oxygen treatment. We had been told that her condition was due to necrotizing fascitis, and had Baylor at least ready to see if they would take her. I met with Dr. Perdue (head surgeon), and was told that her diagnosis was not necrotizing fascitis, but purpura faminias (spelling?). The blood clots and damage to the tissue was permanent. I got opinions from Baylor, a doctor in Ohio, a doctor in Virginia, and another doctor from Dallas, and they all said the same thing. The only way to treat this was to remove all necrotized (dead) flesh.
I searched for every possible way to avoid this. The determination by all 4 sources (6 doctors) was that if we didn’t remove the dead tissue, that it would start to feed toxins to the rest of the body and make her worse. Her elevated levels of sulphur and phosphates indicated that the infection was starting to rise again. Time was very important. I stressed to the doctors that we wanted to take a VERY conservative approach to tissue removal. They agreed, and ran over how they would do the procedure.
At 11:00am, I signed the most difficult piece of paper I have ever had to sign. Katy went in for surgery in the afternon, and was there for 2 1/2 hours. We met with the doctors post-op and learned the results of the exploration. The amputated Katy’s left hand 4 inches above the wrist, right hand 2 inches above the wrist, her right leg 4 inches below the knee, and her left leg 6 inches below the knee. There will be a follow up procedure on Monday to determine if they need to remove more, or if they can reprofuse the tissue that is there.
Katy is still considere very critical, and is by no means out of the woods. I made this decision (in part) based on the fact that her kidneys are starting to produce, she was breathing on her own for 12 hours, and that she is showing signs of mental alertness when not sedated. She still needs all of our prayers. The road to recovery will be a long and hard one.
I hope that everyone will understand why I did this. I hope that Katy will forgive me. I hope that I can forgive myself. I am going back to see her tonight, and then I will be back first thing in the morning. I know that I speak for Katy when I say that WE love you all.