Friday, October 15, 2010

Oct. 15, 2010 8:20 Pacific Time

Dear Family and Friends,

Unfortunately Joe has MRSA. I give the Mayo Clinic Definition below:

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection is caused by a strain of staph bacteria that's become resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to treat ordinary staph infections.

Most MRSA infections occur in people who have been in hospitals or other health care settings, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers. When it occurs in these settings, it's known as health care-associated MRSA (HA-MRSA). HA-MRSA infections typically are associated with invasive procedures or devices, such as surgeries, intravenous tubing or artificial joints.

However, as Ginny's sister Theresa described so aptly:

"This is scary because of the location of the infection, but he's on antibiodics and he has Infectious Disease specialists looking after him. He is not immunocompromised so there is no need to think that he won't get through this. He needs prayers, but he's in good hands."

Drain line is to be removed today and Joe may be released today or tomorrow. He left a message on my cell and he sounded good. Relieved me a great deal. He is bummed about the MRSA but is taking it in stride, reporting his condition in a very rational, microbiologist way.

Enough said for now. Thanks for your continuing prayers.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Oct. 14, 2010

Dear Family and Friends,

I've copied below and email sent to me from Dad Leahy as communicated to him via Ginny. This gives a bit of the back story leading up to Joe's surgery. Update today is that Joe's drain line to the brain site where they removed the plate will be removed today. The Picc line was inserted. He didn't sleep well last night and had considerable stomach distress yesterday but doing better today. I know they are working on the dosage of antibiotic to give him to knock out this infection without making him sick to his stomach. Poor Joe, not a way to celebrate his upcoming birthday! Again, thanks for your prayers.


10/10 Noticed some minor swelling on right eye lid. By Monday, increased concern due to significant swelling and redness which had spread to right forehead and left eyelid and brow. Go to ER at Huntsville on Monday night and on to UAB by Hemsi (ambulance) shortly after midnight.
10/12 When seen by Dr Fisher, he determined plate had to be removed due to infection and by 5:30 PM it was done.
Joe has continued to be stable though he is experiencing some stomach distress, likely as a result of the high dosages of antibiotics. So after 8 months of miraculous recovery, we experience our first set back. Joe knows the microbiology of infections so he is a great source of information and comfort.
10/13 Friends from Madison church stayed with Ginny over night. Joe's mom and Dad arrive. At this time basic path forward, aside from current recovery in hospital is to put in a pic line so Joe can continue to get antibiotics when home thru this line. This may go on several weeks. Dr Fisher is planning on putting in a new plate but not for at least 6 months.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Oct. 13, 2010 Lisa

Dear Family and Friends,

Some of you may not know that Joe had to have surgery yesterday to remove the titanium plate that had just been inserted a couple of weeks ago. He developed an infection in the brain so it had to come out. He's doing well and Mom and Dad Leahy arrived there today. Thanks to Cindy Taglowski (sp?) and Illiana (?), friends from Madison-Huntsville for being there with Ginny and even staying overnight. He's on mega doses of an antibiotic being administered through a picc line and MaryAnne the caseworker is making arrangements for someone to come into home and administer the antibiotic but think Ginny might be trained on it too. Joe was in ICU this morning but now in regular room. Not sure how long he will be staying in the hospital but I will post more as information becomes available to me. Mark and I just arrived at Lake Tahoe today for the Western History Association conference so I'm getting bits and pieces from texts and phone calls but asked Dad to email more info tonight.

Please, as always, keep Joe and family in your prayers. We are frustrated by this setback but grateful Joe is doing so well. We don't know the origin of the infection but could be his bad eye--just not sure. He won't be able to have another surgery to put the plate back in for several months as brain needs to heal. What makes me smile is that Joe was most concerned about baing able to still make the Ohio State-Michigan game with Stephen in November. Hopefully that can still happen.

Take care and thanks for all your prayers.