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Hello Cary. I am sorry to hear about Morgan's episode. Did she seem aware when this was all going on, or did she seem out of it (like the lights were on but nobody's home)?
Hi Dr. G. ~ Her eyes were open and she was struggling to get her legs back, but her head was ... all I can think to say is "seized" so that she was bent up and back -- not bent over, but bent back -- for a few seconds. After that, she seemed frightened and struggling for breath, but not in a seizure. Through it all, I felt she knew who I was.
Dear Dr. G. ~ What a hard few days we've had. Morgan died on Friday morning. She was fine all day Thursday and throughout Thursday evening. She and Paul went to bed on Thursday night (I was working out of town) and she woke at 2:30AM, gagging and retching. This continued off and on until about 6AM -- Paul, of course, was up with her but there wasn't much specific that he could do beyond trying to comfort her.
At about 6AM he carried her downstairs and they went outside. After awhile, she seemed to suddenly feel better. She started walking and, when they went back inside, she drank water and was happy to eat breakfast and to take her pills. She was so stable that Paul felt it was OK to go to work, at 10AM. When he arrived back home at 2:30 that afternoon, Morgan was lying in the shower stall of our downstairs bathroom, and she was gone. There was blood on the tiles, which had come from her mouth.
We're pretty shattered. But I want to thank you, XXXXX XXXXX your kindness and support during the final days of Morgan's life. It meant so much to me to be able to consult with you.
Again, thank you.
Dr. G ~ May I ask you one last question? I'm trying so hard to understand what happened ... what ultimately killed her. It's not a matter of looking for "blame" -- it's just that I worked so hard trying to understand what the trach meant for her life and how to care for her, and it -- and now it matters to me to know, if possible, what went wrong.
In the list of possible circumstances leading to her death, does it make sense to you that she might have had an ulcer that perforated? Is there also a possibility that something about the creation of the trach itself -- the actual surgery -- could have caused a particular vulnerability? Also, Paul said a woman working at an animal shelter came in to his (Paul's) store the other day and said the shelter was dealing with some kind of gastrointestinal virus that was proving fatal to some of their dogs -- does that sound at all accurate?
I realize you may have no further information for me on this, but I just wanted to consult with you in case you can help me understand.
Thank you, again.