Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The background for those of you who don't know...

For those of you who are somewhat confused about Mike's health and what has been going on since his lung transplant in February, I am posting an e-mail that was written by my brother approximately a week ago. I had planned on this being the first post on the blog, so I'm sorry if this seems a little out of order. In case you are way behind, Mike had a double lung transplant on February 26th at the University of Iowa Hospital after waiting for six years. After his initial healing process he was admitted into the SICU due to adverse reactions to medication. He was then released for a short period of time during which he stayed at Karen's sister, Laurie's house in Solon, Iowa. He continued to struggle with back pain and was re-admitted to the University of Iowa Hospital. Eventually he ended up in the MICU, where he still is to this day. The following e-mail will continue to fill you in on his condition, starting on May 5th:

Heidi Miller

(Jason's Email)

To all those who care about Mike,

Mike is currently in the MICU at the University of Iowa Hospital in critical condition. Off and on for the past month, Mike has had a fever originally thought to have been caused by the T-11 compression fracture in his back. The fracture continued to worsen to the point that emergency surgery was required. On April 28th, Mike had two steel rods placed alongside his spine in order to correct the fracture. Following the surgery, Mike was still in a severe amount of back pain, which was fairly typical after such a procedure. However, the fever returned and it suddenly became a chore for Mike to breathe on his own again. This continued getting worse with every passing day. After just over a week of struggling, Mike was admitted back into the Medical Intensive Care Unit on May 6th. Doctors assume it is some sort of infection, but have been unable to pinpoint exactly where it is located. All cultures thus far have ruled out the possibility of a bacterial/fungal infection. The medical staff is now leaning toward this being either a major inflammatory case or a viral infection. In either case, it is up to Mike’s antibodies to fight off this sickness. After being heavily sedated and placed on a ventilator, Mike’s kidneys began to fail due to low protein levels, low blood pressure, and various medications. In an effort to reverse this, he was placed on 24-hour dialysis, which would be gentler on his already fragile body. As you can tell, Mike is fighting for his life and we would appreciate your thoughts and prayers at this time. The current circumstances have greatly extended the amount of recovery time originally expected for Mike, leaving Karen to be by his side andunable to return to her job as quickly as intended. If you would like to send a card to Mike and his family, please send it to Karen’s sister’s house at:

2350 Sugarbottom Road
Solon, IA 52333

Also, if you would like to make a donation to Mike’s transplant fund, please
make checks payable to “The Mike Miller Transplant Fund.” and address it to:

Thomas Law Office
Attn: Mike Miller Transplant Fund
PO Box 101
Coon Rapids, IA 50058

Thank you for your continued prayers, encouragement, and support.

Jason Miller

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