Just received this mass email from from my step-father, Larry, this evening.
Welcome to the Albers Family roller coaster ride! Mary was admitted at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics in Iowa City on May 27th as scheduled. However, several days later, she started having kidney issues, probably due to the dye from her cathiterzation the previous week and her liver was still not getting rid of the toxins as needed. They placed a cathiter in the right side of her neck on Thursday evening to monitor her heart output on both sides. She was moved to the CVICU Unit, which gave her constant care.Last Friday evening, I was told by the CVICU Cardiologist, who is also a Heart Failure Specialist, that surgery was probably not an alternative and that she had a limited time to live. I contacted all family members and a conference call was held on Saturday morning with a decision that we all meet with this Specialist on Sunday evening at the Hospital. At that meeting, she was asked specifically if surgery was at all possible and her answer was NO. She then informed Mary about not having surgery and the family was going to work on other solutions such as hospice, etc. This was started during the day yesterday with several conferences involving family members. We contacted Oldorf Hospice House in Cedar Rapids and arranged a meeting involving Mary in her room this morning.However, I encountered the Surgeon, Dr. Helman, in the corridor last evening and he asked why the Heart Failure Cardiologist aborted the surgery and I gave him multiple reasons including over 50% failure possibility along with other bad case scenarios, even if the actual surgery is a success! He stated that we should possibly re-visit surgery as he had a somewhat different view of her situation. She had gotten better than she was on Friday evening due to adjustment of medication. But he also stated that it would be very, very difficult due to her complicated overall condition.This morning, Oldorf Hospice House in Cedar Rapids visited with Mary about going that route, but later in the morning, a Social Worker asked her about having surgery… if it was possible. She opted for surgery immediately, so we arranged another meeting with the current Heart Failure Specialist on duty this evening to explain directly to Mary and the family members again as to what future problems she may face, even if she makes it thru surgery and recovery.She again is steadfast in wanting surgery against very great odds, so is being transferred tomorrow morning to the pre-surgery unit. I will let everyone know when the surgery is scheduled, unless something else gets in the way beforehand! I hope this clears up some of the confusion that has been stated around the community the past several days, but ultimately, possible surgery or no surgery is Mary’s decision.Please keep her in your prayers and thoughts as she is in need of as much spiritual help as possible.~Larry Albers