ICU Transformation

0 Posted by - March 9, 2015 - Souhtlake Campus

I work as an occupational therapist in the ICUs at Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth. Two weeks ago, I had a patient come to us from a long-term acute care facility with a tragic story. He was a warehouse manager that relocated ahead of his family from Colorado to the Fort Worth area for work in August. His wife and 17-year-old son were to remain in Colorado until after high school graduation in May. Shortly after starting his job, this man (I’ll call him Al) got sick with vague cold-like symptoms that continued for two months. Finally, his coworkers took him to JPS with altered mental status—ultimately, he deteriorated very quickly during a scan and had cardiac followed by respiratory arrest—leading to him being dependent upon a ventilator for breathing and unable to move any muscles, even his tongue. This happened 6 weeks before I met Al. He came to my hospital because his heart rhythm was beating erratically in a very bad way, but during his brief stay, we therapists (physical, occupational, and speech) prayed over him for healing and his wife for strength—he began to move his tongue… then his head… then his right arm… then his left and even his legs!! As Al’s physical awakening began, he also began to realize cognitively how hard this recovery was going to be. God planned it so that on his darkest day of discouragement, we therapists were able to coordinate all of the services involved (against unnatural strong resistance) to wheel him outside with a portable vent. As I saw the tears in both his and wife’s eyes as their hair whipped in the breeze, my heart was remade and strengthened all over again as God reminded me why He has me doing what I do and where He has placed me.

Since then, Al got off of the ventilator 4 days after leaving the hospital, and I’m told he is now able to stand and even take small steps! All of this after the darkest months in the lives of this family. I am sharing Al’s story also in hopes that God will speak to one of His givers as this family has stepped out in complete faith — Al’s wife gave up her employment to come be with him 24 hrs/day here in Texas, Al’s position was terminated (though he does not yet know it), and their son remains in Colorado with friends to complete his senior year. They are currently living off of the dividends of the sale of their Colorado home. If God speaks to you in this area, please feel free to contact me at katie.walker@baylorhealth.edu

No comments

Leave a reply