Richelle’s grandpop started coughing up blood late Thursday night. We got the call right before the Friends finale started.
We rushed to the emergency room. First, let me share that he is stable…. we think. And it’s the “we think” that amongst all the other emotions I am feeling is making me furious.
The ambulance had taken grandpop, not to the hospital of his choice, which I believe is far closer, and where his heart doctor practices, but to old Frankford Hospital. A place I believe is far more used to working with young victims of violence then elderly facing heart conditions. When we arrived, one half of Richelle’s family was in the public waiting area: her grandmom, her aunt, and her aunt’s son. Crying and upset. We asked them how long were they here and what his status was. Over a half hour and they think he?s dead. I asked them if they were knew for sure. They said no, but he must be, he looked terrible, there was blood everywhere, the ambulance drivers had to intubate him in the home before the ride, and no one had spoken to them since.
No one had spoken to them? What?!?! I went to the admissions window and asked for an update for them.
A nurse came out a few minutes later and asked us to go to a private waiting area, where the doctor will speak with us. Richelle and me were having flashbacks to when Hunter passed away. God no. Please no.
Richelle?s mom, her father, Richelle?s sister arrived about ten minutes after.
When a doctor did come in, she told us the timeline of events that we knew already occurred, he had started to cough up blood. His heart rhythm became incompatible with life and his pacemaker had shocked him to help, which it did. And now they are fighting to stabilize his vitals. He is very critical. And they do not know the cause.
Then another doctor came in to ask consent to give medication. He asked if Richelle’s aunt was a nurse, and she answered she was the nursing assistant. The doctor took her outside the room to give her additional info. When she came back, and was not directly forthcoming tensions rose.
An hour or so later we got the news he had stabilized enough to go to ICU. They got him a CAT scan. But we were to later learn that the results of the CAT scan would not be available till Monday. The results went direct to another office and that other office had to send the results back.
When we went to the ICU waiting area, no one would give us any information. It took two hours later for us to get any kind of status update, and at that time they allowed us to see him. The update sounded exactly like what we heard before, except now they had him stable and they could rattle off a list of medicines they were giving him for his blood pressure, anxiety, and drugs to keep him immobilized. All later updates would come only after prodding by one of us. We were patient. We?d only ask every hour or so. One update told us to expect the worst – that he may have brain damage. But we were told his oxygen levels were good throughout all of this.
My impression was that they did not want to mistakenly say the wrong thing and get in trouble. They treated us like the enemy. One nurse even rolled her eyes when asked for additional details.
Richelle’s brother and fiance arrived towards midnight. They drove home from the shore. His fiance is a nurse with plenty of experience and a position in a different hospital. When they arrived, she started to ask some probing questions and they rebuffed her.
Here is where things stand now? he?s stable. He is unconscious most of the time, and whenever he does come slightly out of it he he tries to get the intubate tube out with his tongue. They quickly drug him to keep him from harming himself when he’s like that. We have no additional information from the staff at Frankford Hospital. He?s stable. They do not know the cause. He is breathing with the assistance of a breathing machine.
I am never one to ask for prayers, but I am doing so today. Richelle?s family needs your prayers.