Here is the text of an email Walter asked me to write this morning, in order to update all Christy's friends at once.
On Thursday, Christy became ill at work and her coworkers called an ambulance. The ambulance took her to Centennial Medical center, where they found the problem: Christy's mitral valve (one of the 2 very large valves on the left side of the heart) had ruptured, and her heart could no longer pump very efficiently. She was placed on a balloon pump (device that assists the heart) and a ventilator. [Note just for DW: It was really bad. She had cardiogenic shock and her blood pressure bottomed out like nobody's business: 50/22.]
After 2 nights in the ICU at Centennial, she was taken by ambulance to The Heart Hospital, a Baylor hospital specifically for complex cardiac patients. There they performed open-heart surgery on Sunday morning to determine the extent of the damage and to repair or replace the valve as needed. They were able to fix her existing valve with a device that was stitched into it so that it would close properly again. She was removed from the balloon pump immediately after surgery. Later that afternoon she responded to nurses by opening her eyes, and responded several times to Walter.
This morning, Monday, she is even more responsive & keeping her eyes open. They have been turning the ventilator down to see how she does with breathing on her own, and it's been so good that the doctor is going to try & remove the vent today when he sees her.
Christy is a fighter, and now she's definitely going to have to fight. The surgery she had was extremely invasive. An open-heart surgery is one of the largest procedures you can have, and it leaves the patient in quite a bit of pain with a very long rehabilitation in front of them. At first she will probably not even be able to sit up without help. She will have to start out walking just a few feet at a time and then taking a rest. It's going to be a very long recovery; it will probably be months before she's back to feeling normal, and longer than that before she can do everything that she did before. She will definitely get there, however--she's got a very cute grandson she's going to want to pick up ASAP. :)
So that's all of it! The surgery went really well and she's responsive & wanting to wake up. YAY MOMMA-IN-LAW!
More just for DW: It's been crazy the last few days, and I mean NUTS. When we got here on Friday night, there was some doubt as to whether she could even make it through this at all. Centennial is an incredible hospital, but when they moved her to The Heart Hospital it all really started to come together. You've never seen anything like that place.
Her room was HUGE: the size of her master bedroom at home. There was a place for family members to sleep. The whole place was finished out with wood crown molding & beautiful wallpaper & flooring and silk pillows. It looked more like an upscale hotel than a hospital room. There was a nurse's station in the room, and after watching for a while (he stayed in the room while I went to go get Matthew to stay there over Saturday night), Bryan figured out the nursing arrangement: each critical patient had one nurse who's station was inside the room. That nurse never left, always watched, always fiddled with monitors and medications. Constantly tweaking everything to be exactly what it needed to be right then. Her IV pump was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen. I hope to someday be a good enough nurse to deal with all of that equipment. Anyway, there was a team of nurses outside. The outside nurses would go room to room, helping the inside nurses with outside duties like paperwork, getting needed items, exchanging information, etc. It ensured that no patient was left alone. Ever. Coolest thing I've ever seen.
Right now I'm starving. We went to sleep at 7:30 last night, and I woke up at 5am with massive heartburn like I've never had (it seems to be my new stress response, thanks to nursing school). Took an acid reducer and now I'm hungry enough to eat a bear (out of my way, Emmett Cullen).