Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's gettin' hot in here

It's been a long, whirlwind of a day and we knew nothing for hours but I can finally say our mom is in stable condition at Harborview Medical Center. I'm comforted knowing she's in good care and our immediate family is there with her.

Early morning, mom was frying egg rolls over a propane burner in the garage against her better judgment. My grandmother (who flew in a couple days ago from Laos) was the only person with my mom at the time. Grandma said my mom ran out of the garage into the house on fire and thought for sure her child was going to die. Grandma is over 80 years old, fragile, and not a fast mover so she must have felt utterly helpless. She doesn't speak a lick of English and doesn't even know how to use a telephone let alone dial 9-1-1. Fortunately a neighbor responded to the fire and pulled grandma and mom out of the house; saving them from further harm.

Mom was taken to a local hospital but the facility didn't have the resources to treat her properly so she was flown to a hospital in Seattle that focuses on treating burn victims. What should have taken less than an hour for the flight took over three hours as the helicopter needed to land half-way through the flight because of storms in Seattle; they weren't able to land safely. Mom was put on a plane with wings that could then land. Meanwhile we were anxiously waiting to hear the assessment of her condition. By 3 p.m., she was checked in to Harborview Medical Center.

Mom has 2nd and 3rd degree burns (epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis) over 10% of her body (which is a whole lot better than so many cases out there). The majority of burns were on her legs and arms. Fortunately, surgery will not be needed but skin grafts are definite. She is in stable condition but the first 48 hours are critical so she'll stay in ICU for a few days and transferred to a regular room where she'll probably stay for a couple weeks so her skin healing process can be monitored.

When our family was able to visit her, she woke up but only for a couple seconds before freaking out. The nurses quickly administered pain killers to knock her out. No doubt she's in a lot of pain from her burns and the breathing tube in her throat.

I am just grateful and relieved that she is going to be okay because I was not ready to say goodbye. So THANK YOU to all of the thoughts and prayers that came in because I believe your timeliness has truly made a difference.

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend. I'll be flying to Seattle and when I see her, I'll ask why she tried to start fireworks without me? (Damn Asians and their fried egg rolls, right?) Sorry, I'm only trying to make light of the situation so I can fall asleep.

The doctors are going to try and take the breathing tube out and see if she can breathe on her own. They've tried for 30 minutes at a time but she's still weak. She has a 102 degree fever but the doctor says she's improving. They've been changing her dressing and she's still in ICU.


Anonymous said...

I'm chanting for you and your family Daly. Everything is going to be alright. -Kash

Daly said...

Thank you for your thoughts and for caring, Kashmir. Now we just have to help her on the road to recovery.