“Caity? It’s Mum… I’m afraid I’ve got some bad news about your brother…”
Those are the words I woke up to at eight o’clock this morning. Swimming up to the surface, fearing the worst, but so relieved to hear “He’s in the ICU…”
a heart attack heart failure last night. [updated after I spoke with Mum and Dad this evening. The difference is – his heart just stopped. Not a blockage – just STOPPED.]
Fortunately, he was somewhere where there were a couple of doctors (if I heard Mum right on the slightly fuzzy connection [yes, I did, two doctors!]) who started CPR straight away; the ambulance only took five minutes to reach him, and he was admitted to intensive care in one of the best hospitals in South Australia [Royal Adelaide]. He’s in an induced coma [on a ventilator] and they’re keeping him cool; they don’t know yet if there will be any brain damage. [The ICU doctors are going to start warming him up again overnight, about 24 hours after they started cooling him.
A quick Google search shows why the ICU cooled Gordy: “The American Heart Association (AHA) issued recommendations for cooling cardiac arrest patients for up to 24 hours as far back as 2005. However, critical care physician Peter Marshall, MD, says only about 10 percent of hospitals offer it even though it is proven effective, more patients recover function than in the past and spend less time in the hospital.” That was from a 2010 article from the Yale School of Medicine, “Putting the patient ‘on ice’ can make a lifesaving difference”.]
He is reacting to the sound of his partner, Eunju’s, voice, so that has to be a good sign. I refer to her with great admiration as “Super Nurse” because she trained as an Intensive Care specialist nurse before she took on an echocardiography traineeship when Gordy was diagnosed with heart issues a few years back. And apparently she was planning on studying mental health and diabetes specialisations this year – see what I mean – super nurse! So there’s really no one better to have by your side. And I know she’s a HUGE comfort to Mum and Dad.
I’ll fly to Adelaide if I’m needed but at this stage there’s really not much anyone outside the ICU can do.
Just hope for a good outcome. He’s 39. He’s my brother and he’s a very cool bloke.