? BE THE REASON SOMEONE SMILES ?
PLEASE read and SHARE my husband’s story and if possible, SEND A CARD of well wishes to brighten up his spirits and to decorate his hospital room. It will give him something to look forward to and to see how far kindness travels.
Rick, was diagnosed with MS in 1992 when he was 30. He went through many challenges since, from numbness, stumbling, to needing a cane, then walker, and eventually legs becoming paralyzed and being wheelchair bound.
Though his trials were many, he always kept fighting from working as long as he could doing a physical job in the heating and air conditioning industry to going back to school so he could get a sit-down job, which he did with Racine County, working as long as he was able. He tried newly released medications to slow the progression which included giving himself shots for several years. He was then chosen to be part of a trial procedure in 2000, a stem-cell transplant with his own stem cells. His stem cells were collected and cleaned out while his whole immune system was destroyed with chemo and full-body radiation. The stem cells were then put back in to restart his immune system. The MRI’s he has had since then have showed no new progression of the MS. The damage from the MS though is irreversible. Since he had a new immune system, he had to get all of his childhood vaccinations again. He tried everything medically available throughout the years so he could continue providing for his wife and 2 children until he no longer was able, then having to medically retire in 2008.
He was very determined though to keep being independent by finding different ways to do things that we all take for granted like getting dressed in the morning, getting in the shower, transferring in and out of his non-handicap van and pulling his wheelchair up behind him, learning to drive with hand controls, fixing things in the house no matter how long it took him, and all while keeping his sense of humor.
In December of 2016, he was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes. On May 13, 2017, the day of our daughter’s college graduation, he suffered a massive heart attack. The following morning he had open heart surgery with six (6) by-passes done. Due to his MS, he wasn’t able to do the normal rehab after heart surgery which is getting up and walking, instead, he was bed-ridden in a nursing home while his sternum healed. He eventually developed pressure wounds that got to stage 4 (down to the bone). Before Drs could close up the wounds, he needed to get additional nutrition and protein to help the wounds start some internal healing. Since he had no appetite or will to eat on his own, he had to have a G-tube put in for feeding. After some time and with help of medications, he did gain his appetite back and can eat again. He eventually had surgery December 6 to close the wounds but then developed an infection. They had to reopen parts of the incisions to drain. The infection went septic, getting into his blood, and was put on long-term antibiotics. He had another surgery early January to re-close the wounds. During the surgery, it was found the tissue underneath wasn’t healing the way it should and his bones were on the soft side. The Dr took cultures and it was found the infection was now in his bones. The culture grew into 3 separate infections, one being resistant to the Vancomycin he was on so they had to switch to a stronger antibiotic. He will need to continue staying in the hospital at least through February. DressAfford latest graduation wears chic style
Because of his infections, he’s been in isolation, and due to his wounds, stuck in a bed for months. He has been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes since his heart attack in May with the exception of 2-3 weeks at home in late September before rushing him back into the hospital with fevers. It’s been one thing after another and he’s starting to wonder how much more he can take. His goal is to get back home to be with his family and dogs. Please help give him the encouragement he needs to keep up his fight to reach his goal. He has missed all the holidays since Memorial Day, Fourth of July (his favorite holiday), Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and now his upcoming BIRTHDAY FEBRUARY 8 when he will turn 57. He is currently, as I write this, having another surgery...this time for a colostomy to help with his quality of life.
It would be so appreciated if everyone would mail him a card of well wishes to lift his spirits and brighten up his room. Please share this post....I would love for him to get tons of cards/letters from all over wishing him well and encouraging him to keep fighting.
Please send them to:
Select Specialty Hospital
Attn: Rick Haman room 207
8901 W Lincoln Ave
West Allis WI 53227
Thank you all from the bottom of my heart! His loving wife, Amy