Sunday, March 23, 2008

Molly's Unbelievable Journey

February 2008

Throughout the month of February Molly and I had been passing back and forth a mild winter cold. I would feel down for a day or two, and then feel ok, while she would feel down for a day or two and pass it back to me. The week of February 25th, Molly felt down, but not real bad but did have the addition of a sore throat.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Molly went to the Convenient Care Center at Wayne Hospital in Greenville immediately after school with the compliant of overall feeling bad and a very sore throat. Her voice was still OK, but getting somewhat hoarse. She was diagnosed with a viral infection, given a nasal decongestant in a capsule form and a gargle gel for her sore throat. She was told it needed to "run its course" and would feel better in a few days and to just rest as much as possible.

Friday, February 29, 2008 - Leap Year Day

Molly went to school and had a very rough and long day. When she got home she looked terrible, felt even worse. she changed her clothes and laid down on the couch for the rest of the evening. At a little Chinese food and drank water and took her RX

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Molly was not feeling any better, but was following the Doctors orders of resting. She did not feel like eating too much, but did keep drink a lot of water, a little soup, and her RX. Toward evening she felt as though she had a little fever, it was about a full degree at 99.4. she took an Aleeve and laid on the couch all day.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Not feeling better, but not feeling worse, Molly laid on the couch all day, continued to drink a lot of water, take her RX, and Aleeve. Figured she would feel better the next day, so decide to just rest and watch TV and read. Did not feel like eating too much, but did have a little soup. Sunday night, she was not feeling better, so I told her that we were going to see her family doctor on Monday and she was getting a sub for Monday, she agreed, I knew she must really be feeling bad for her to agree to these things.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Called first thing Monday morning to get a doctors appointment. The appointment was made for 3:20. She got a bath, drank her water but decided not to take the RX, as she was starting to get a little rash and thought maybe she was allergic to the RX. (Hind site is 20/20, but now know that this was the first signs of the sepsis). She continued to lay around on Monday feeling miserable. At 2:45, started to get ready to go to the doctors and she got white as a ghost, about fainted, very very weak, and it was becoming difficult for her to breath. I told her we were going directly to the ER. On the drive to the ER, less than 10 minutes, she started having even more problems breathing.

At the ER at Wayne Hospital - 3/3/2008

The ER staff got her stabilized, on oxygen and took blood cultures. As they shared this with Dr. Hawley (Molly's family doc) she wanted Molly sent to Good Sam. Looking back at this decision, it was probably the first step in saving Molly's life. Lynne knew from the lab reports, etc what was going on and what was probable to come for Molly in the near future.

Good Samaritan Hospital in Dayton, Ohio - 3/3/2008

Molly was transported to Good Sam by Spirit Medical Transport. Barb, the RN at Wayne's ER road with Molly. I ran home, took care of a few things and followed closely behind. At Good Sam, they admitted her directly to the ICU and started her on medications and antibiotics immediately as it was determined that she did not have a viral infection but Strep Throat that had gone septic in her body. (see the links below for more information of these conditions).

Over the course of the next 24-36 hours Molly's condition continued to deteriorate.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - Molly's Birthday!

Molly's condition continued to deteriorate all day. When I left at 11pm she was laboring to breath, had no voice, and felt horrible with a rising temperature. At 1:30 am Good Sam called me and told me that the nurse had spoke to Molly and told her they could sedate her and put her on a ventilator to help her breath better. Molly agreed. Molly's condition continued to decline throughout the early hours of Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Molly was getting worse, and doctor after doctor came by to see her and I. Explaining the sepsis, her moving into ADRS (Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome). Wednesday evening Troy called and said he was coming down to see us. I kept telling him 'no' because he had already worked a 12 hour shift, drove an hour home to Toledo, did not get to see his family and was 2 hours away. He came anyway, thank God! When Troy arrived he was very very concerned with what he saw. He started to ask questions of the Respiratory Therapists, RN's and doctors caring for Molly. It started to become abundantly evident that while Good Sam was doing everything right and caring for Molly with all their capabilities, there was a good chance that it was not going to be enough to save Molly's life.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Troy and I spoke at length about what else could be done for Molly if she was transferred to another hospital. We spoke about more aggressive ventilator settings and usage, using Nitrous Oxide, oscillators, ecmo's, etc, etc, etc. After hearing these possible solutions and hearing Troy interact with the staff at Good Sam's ICU, it was clear we needed to do something more.

Thursday late morning I pulled three of Molly's doctors, her nurse, charge nurse, Troy and mom & dad into a consultation room and asked for each of them to provide me with options. After hearing each of them speak and then praying with family and friends and then then praying by myself with Molly, it was CRYSTAL CLEAR what the right decision was. Send Molly to the Wolverines! University of Michigan her we come.

The coordination, team effort, support, behind the scenes actions, to get Molly to Michigan was amazing. When all said and done, she could not go by helicopter as weather was moving in that the pilot was concerned about. A "life transport" crew from Omni Flight out of Columbus Ohio was flown to Dayton and Molly was prepared and transported to Dayton International Airport by squad and flown by a fixed wing airplane to Ann Arbor Michigan and then by squad to the U of M Hospital.

Even though no one knew for sure Troy was a Respiratory therapist other than I told everyone and he "knew the lingo" everyone at Good Sam ICU listened to him, took guidance and suggestions from him and allowed him to fly with Molly to Michigan. He also coordinated the transfer efforts with Dr. Napolitano, a top Pulmonologist and Medical Director for the ICU units at U of M. (Just so you know, U of M has at least 4 ICU units, each specializing in a specific medical area)

When she arrived at U of M, they immediately put on a specialized ventilator called an Oscillator and also started to receive nitrous oxide. She was monitored minute by minute by three RN's and several attending ,resident, and intern doctors throughout the night. I arrived around midnight after going home from Good Sam to talk to Raymond and pack a few things.


The regular Blog pics up from here on her day to day progress staring on Friday, March 7, 2008. The daily blog site is


In very layman's terms and my apologies to the medical field, this is basically what has happened to Molly.

Her Strep Throat was not diagnosed so it went untreated for several days and became so bad it got into her blood stream and released its toxins in her blood causing the bacteria itself and the toxins to attack nearly every cell in her body, at one point 68% of her cells were infected. This is known as sepsis.

The sepsis lead to her Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, making it difficult for her lungs to exchange oxygen at the appropriate levels to sustain life.

This led to the compartment syndrome, which is the bodies natural reaction to lack of oxygen, low blood pressure, etc. to preserve itself, the body knows it can live with out hands, feet, legs, arms, etc, but not head and vital organs.

The toxins being released in her blood stream caused her blood to clot, especially at the surface in the capillaries causing the Purpura Fulminans condition. The toxins also attacked her lungs, liver, kidneys causing them to start shut down.

Within a few short days the infection was basically under control and all the life-saving procedures, and this long road to recovery and amputations, skin grafts, etc. are the result of all the havoc the toxins and infection played in and on Molly's body.

Below are links to websites with more information about the many conditions, infections, syndromes, etc that Molly has had to battle and have been mentioned in the above description of her journey and/or in the daily blog.


Strep Test

Strep A


Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome


Compartment Syndrome


Purpura Fulminans

Below Knee Amputation

Adult Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation (ECMO) - Molly did not need to be placed on Adult ECMO, but had she needed it, only a very very few exist and it one is at U of M and it was invented and perfected by Dr. Robert Bartlett who is a recently retried surgeon at the U of M Hospital)


zachyb24 said...

All of this is so amazing. Who would have thought it would have gotten the worse. It is so neat that you have all these ways of keeping us up to date.
Molly, keep getting stronger..
Jamey keep up the great BLOGS. I feel as though it is great healing for you also.

dgarber said...


Wow, what an amazing blog! So many questions were answered ... many that I had plus other questions that those who have been praying have asked. Thank you for taking the time to do this! We are so thankful that Molly's surgery was successful and are constantly lifting her up in prayer. She is an Easter miracle! Blessings to all of you on this special day.

Debra, Doran, Eli & Erin

Anonymous said...

Super man is flying again! You never cease to amaze me. If I am ever sick, you are in charge.

When I read this, I am very angry and upset that on February 28 a simple bottle of antibiotics could have averted all of this. I never knew that strep could get so fatal so quickly. I will be a doctor's worst nightmere in the future assuring that my family gets a strep culture for every sore throat.

Perhaps you and Molly have a new calling to warn people about this -and to show other amputees how to become a runner. I have no doubt Wonder Woman will do it.

Many Blessings,


KT said...

Hi Jamey!
I saw Bonnie at an NSA meeting this weekend and she told me of Molly's (and your) ordeal. Please know that I will be praying for both of you and for Molly's recovery. I believe that God is the Master Physician and he is on the case. God bless and keep you both, as well as all members of your family.

Karen Townsend

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