Friday, June 22, 2012


Life takes unbelievable twists and turns sometimes. Things happen that are not anticipated nor ever expected....and suddenly, there you are... and you have to take the cards that you have been dealt, and deal with them.

On May 12th, I posted about my sister-in-law, Rebecca Savikko , married to my brother Dr. Douglas Savikko, of Eagle River, Alaska, and her need for the donation of an O+ positive kidney with high antibodies titers.

Ironically, it is now my brother Doug, and not my sister-in-law, Becky, who is in seriously critical condition in Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

My brother has spent most of his life having horrible things happen to him and being sick on and off most of the time because as a doctor he is continual contact with every germ, and viral agent that comes in to a doctor's office, or a hospital setting.

Our lives have been so filled with accidents, near death experiences, horrendous tragedies, that it becomes so surreal that as some point, we just say prayers and get through them all and get this survivor mentality that really seems to keep all of us going.

None the less, we have had one miracle after another, we have all survived near death experiences, we have all had terrible illnesses, diseases, and disorders, we have had bizarre accidents and we just keep on ...with faith, hope, sheer inner strength, and with gratitude when we have somehow survived them.

So, when my brother was rushed to the hospital two weeks ago because he couldn't breathe, I only added a sentence or two to my previous post asking for prayers for his wife, Becky, saying that my brother needed them, as well.

Well, now he really, really, really needs them.

Doug was diagnosed two weeks ago with bilateral pneumonia. As a doctor, himself, he had been treating himself with a variety of antibiotics but wasn't getting any better. The night after his 60th birthday on June 7th, he woke Becky and told her to call for paramedics as he couldn't breathe.

The ER doctor rushed him into acute critical care and he was placed on additional antibiotics, and IV drip etc. In spite of that, his fever spiked to 104 degrees, and they had a great deal of trouble even getting that down with medications, ice blankets etc.

They came to realize it was viral, not bacterial pneumonia, which of course can't be treated with antibiotics . You can only deal with life saving measures of treating the symptoms. He was placed on a ventilator, put into a deep coma with medications, given feeding and hydration tubes....and they have just waited for any signs of improvement.

There have not been any. He has been hanging in there and the plan was to attempt to wean him from the ventilator either yesterday or today, to see what happened....and to see if he could breath one his own, at all.

He can not. The prognosis is that he will die if he is taken off of the ventilator. So, they could not remove it. ( see updates on all of this at Alaska Providence Medical Center and my last one Providence, Diving and Otherwise)

The doctors took a second lung biopsy yesterday and the culture showed MRSA... pronounced
Mersa...a very serious bacteria infection, that is extremely challenging to treat. He has been on a ventilator for 14 days. That is the limit that you are supposed to be kept on what but he is too fragile to remove it so they are waiting until Monday or Tuesday and will attempt to remove it and do a tracheotomy. A ventilator goes into your mouth and down into your lungs, a tracheotomy goes into your throat and then down along with the feeding tube.

But no matter what, he is extremely critical and his life is in danger. According to his son, who is also a doctor, his dad is in far worse condition that his mom, Becky was in 2010 when she was not expected to live. But my nephew firmly believes that his father can still come out of this with time if they can just keep him going and he doesn't get any worse, AND if they can get him off of the vent and put in a trach tube.

Reality has hit our family and we are in different stages of both coping, and crisis. Two of Doug and Becky's three children are in Anchorage now, another is flying up, and my next younger brother (and therefore Doug's brother )is flying up to help the family in any way that he can.

I am here,
(Update: I flew up to Anchorage the next day: post titled Alaska Providence Medical Center)
and all I can do is to do what I always do. I send all of the positive thought, healing energies, and prayers as I know them to be, to my brother, to his showing any sign whatsoever of improvement, and to strengthen my sister-in-law, Becky and their grown children, spouses, and tiny grandchildren for whatever may lie ahead.

I still believe in miracles and I pray of course, for healing, for a pulling back of all symptoms and a complete regeneration, and return to health. If he survives having the ventilator being removed and the surgical insert of the tracheotomy, then he may face long term care.

Yesterday, to be honest, I was told by via a phone call from one of my sister-in-laws, that he would most likely die and I was devastated. (I found out later that this was a peak crisis day for several family members and everyone was so frightened that they truly had to face this huge, huge fear. But again, we have all rallied)

I have since rallied and my faith in possibilities and miraculous healings restored. For everyone's sake, I need to maintain that place and that space in order to hold it open form him to come back into this world and out of the one he is stuck in right now.

So, I am choosing to stay with the more hopeful diagnosis, after all 6 doctors said Becky would die in 2010 and she may be in continuing bad shape, but she is still alive and fighting for a kidney transplant!!!! It is what we do and I know several other extended family relations who have also been given dire predictions and not only survived comas but are doing quite well!

And no matter what happens, is happening, my sister-in-law, Becky, (see Praying for a Miracle) still needs dialysis three times a week, four hours a day or she, too, would not survive. Please hold her in your thoughts and prayers, that she can continue to do for herself under this intense pressure of what is happening to my brother, her husband.

Thank you for your kind thoughts, words, prayers, and best wishes in advance.


Linking posts; past and current

Latest Update on Praying for a Miracle
Praying for a Miracle
Two Steps Forward, one Step Back
Praying for a Miracle
Providence Alaska Medical Center
Providence, Divine and Otherwise
Song of the Hills and an Air Flight Medevac to Seattle
Salem to Sisters to Seattle

Michele Bilyeu blogs With Heart and Hands as she shares a quilting journey through her life in Salem, Oregon and Douglas, Alaska. Sharing thousands of links to Free Quilt and Quilt Block Patterns and encouraging others to join in the Liberated Quilting Challenge and make or donate small art quilts to the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative (AAQI) Help us change the world, one little quilt at a time!