To carry on about Tom’s first full near-death experience, here I go. Well, Dr. Wilson got Tom stable again and found an extra set of lung doctors and other surgeons that could do a surgical biopsy right away on Tom to confirm it was viral and not bacterial. They took him back in for the surgical biopsy and were able to prove it was viral.
Now the next challenge was in front of us. Since it was viral, antibiotics were not going to help. Dr. Wilson said he knew of a anti-viral drug that was being developed for kids with RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus) but it had to be inhaled. Tom was on a ventilator and therefore could not inhale. Dr. Wilson could try to reach the producer of drug and see if he and the hospital pharmacy could turn it into an IV form of drug for Tom.
After some trying, Dr. Wilson was able to get the hospital pharmacy to work up an IV batch of the drug. I had to sign a waiver form Dr. Wilson drafted since this was not yet approved by the FDA. The drug was added to the IV with which Tom was already situated. We were told it would take at least overnight before his lungs would start showing any improvement if the drug was in fact working.
At that time, after Tom got hooked up and he was settled for the night, the general practitioner doctor took me by the side and said, “Peg, let’s go for a walk and talk.” We walked out of Tom’s ICU room and down the hospital corridor, and he turned me into the x-ray room and threw Tom’s x-rays up on the lit wall and said, “This is it. Friday, Saturday, Sunday, today - you can see the growth taking over his lungs fully. The only chance he has is this drug. You need to be very strong tomorrow. You need to go home now after you tell Tom good night and you love him. Then you need to go home and hold Annie and tell her that you love her.” That is what I did. I gave Tom a kiss and I told him good night and I told him I loved him. Then I went home. When I get home, I held Annie in my arms and I didn’t let her go. I told her I loved her. I told her that her dad loved her. I told her that her dad was going to get better for her.
That night, Annie and I slept together. We woke up bright and early and went to the hospital for the respiratory reading. When they brought the results back to the room we all waited anxiously. OMG!! He was able to start breathing oxygen and get it into his blood on his own - the results proved it - the drug worked!!
Tom, at that point, was writing on a notebook since he couldn’t speak because of the ventilator. He wrote to the doctors, on the notebook, “we love you - my family loves you.” To which one of the doctors replied, “Oh Tom, we love you too, and we love your family!”
Tom spent another week in the hospital to be weaned off the ventilator and the drugs. And he needed to build his strength. Then he was returned to home to recover from his life-threatening experience. But that was not the end...he suffered a terrifying life-threatening infection from the incision where the lung biopsy took place on his chest. Dr. Wilson wanted to return him to the hospital unless I was able to drain it 4 times a day at home. Tom volunteered me. I agreed not knowing what it entailed. The incision was about an inch deep and several inches long and full of a gnarly greenish pus. Dr. Wilson packed the incision with a safe and sterile gauze that needed to be replaced 4 times a day. The first time I changed it, I remember pressing down on his incision to push the packing out with my fingers and to my disgust the pus came “squirting” into my face! Mind you I was about 24 inches away from the incision when it squirted - it was a massive gush of pus! I was much more careful after that. We were then able to successfully change the dressing/packing as we needed and he healed well. To this day he is well but he has a visible scar from the incision below his left breast.
Tom survived that near-death experience. He lived to provide Annie with the opportunity to become a tremendous junior golfer - playing in the right tournaments, practicing the right drills and the right amount of times, getting a great full-ride golf scholarship to a Division I university, a tremendous school for not only golf but for accounting/business and its location (Silicon Valley). And both her parents, Tom and I, were able to provide her with the opportunity to become a tremendous adult. She graduated from Santa Clara University with a Degree in Accounting in June 2017, and began working for Deloitte. By the way, as a very proud mom, I would like to add this about Annie...she just passed her 4th (of 4) CPA exams - all over 90 (98, 93, 92, 90), just missing the E.W.Sells Award for highest scores in the nation. Annie also just received an Outstanding Performance Award from Deloitte’s main US Recognition department for her efforts on the “first year SOX work on her client...that it was no easy task.” They thanked her for “her tremendous efforts to rally the team and management to project completion.” She is now well on her way to a successful career and life because of the great upbringing she was provided with.
By the way, Tom has fortunately never relapsed with the RS virus and only became “deathly” ill one other subsequent time since with a chronic abscess on his tonsil several years ago. Man, when that guy gets ill, he doesn’t mess around! He sure ought to realize what he has put me through those times - but I do what I need to when he is “deathly” ill and he does what he needs to, as well, when I am deathly ill too!
"The quickest way to change the world is to be of service to others. Show that your love can make a difference in the lives of people and thereby someone else's love can make a difference in your life. By each of us doing that and working together we change the world one inner person at a time." - Dannion Brinkley, near-death experiencer
PLEASE VISIT ME AT INSTAGRAM AT POSTSTROKEPEG - THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS, PEG
And here's one of my favorite pictures of Tom and me...