Rachana showed such unbelievable progress that in about 10 days the doctors went from ‘she might never get off the ventilator’ to ‘she’s ready to get off the ventilator’. After a few days of breathing trails, turning the ventilator off during the day and just using some O2 support, the ventilator was switched off on Wednesday and removed from the room by Thursday evening. Her trach is currently hooked to a O2 tube that is supplying air with 30% O2, which is slightly more that the air we breath which has 21% O2. The doctors are trying to get a handle on 2-3 things before getting her out of the ICU to a regular floor. She has fevers touching 101 once a day, her heart rate is in the 130-140s and they want it under 120, and still has a chest tube on each side.
With the lungs in stable condition and improving, the focus is now shifting to the legs. Gangrene has already set-in in half of her feet due to clots and lack of blood flow. This dead tissue, i.e. half of her both feet will have to be amputated, but since her ankles can be saved she just has to wear special shoes to walk rather than using extensive prosthetics. This is an initial assessment; there are still many test to be done to determine if there is any nerve damage in the ankle and that will determine what kind of amputations, shoes and braces or prosthetics she’ll need to stand up and walk. We had teams of vascular surgeons, nerve doctors and foot doctors visiting her in the last few days. These doctors have openly talked about all options in front of her and now she is fully aware of her condition and the road ahead. Rachana has shown incredible strength is dealing with this issue, just like all the other things she overcame.
The doctors and nurses here are in awe of her strength. Almost everyone is stopping by, expressing how happy they are to see her progress and commenting that they did not expect such a quick recovery, after this long stay in ICU. One of the doctors was saying that nobody on this floor expected her to survive. They still can’t believe she made it.