Vicky Young, from Georgetown, SC, is a grateful survivor of ARDS. On Thursday, February 17, 2005, fifty-two year old Vicky went to the doctor because she had not felt well for almost a year. Her doctor told her that she had Bronchitis and the beginning of Bronchial pneumonia. And that was the last thing that Vicky remembers.
Her husband, Craig, later Vicky that she had cooked supper that night; the next day she did not go to work or get out of bed. On Saturday, Craig said that Vicky seems a bit better but he could hear the wheezing and was somewhat concerned. Vicky brushed it off.
On Sunday, February 20, 2005, Vicky’s life changed completely!! Craig could no longer listen to her gasping for air and he called 911. Vicky was taken to the hospital and admitted into ICU. She was placed on a ventilator and put in a drug induced coma.
The doctor told Craig that Vicky was critically ill and it would be a good idea to call any family members, just in case. Vicky was diagnosed with sepsis and she required a blood transfusions.
Vicky remembers waking up and not knowing where she was. She remembers the look on Craig’s face the first day she recognized him.
Vicky spent two and a half weeks in a coma. Vicky could not understand why she could not go to the bathroom, walk down the hall, or move her arms. Vicky became frustrated. She had hallucinations about the flowers in her room and a clock on the wall, and thought that she saw family members who had died.
After Vicky was discharged, she went to a nursing home for about one month of rehabilitation. The nursing home was the most depressing place, Vicky felt helpless and useless, and she begged her husband not to leave her there. But staying there was the best place for her. Vicky realized that if she was going to get out of there, she had to do it herself.
Luckily, Vicky had a lot of support, along with her husband, her sister, mother and daughter cheered her on. And cards with prayers arrived from all over.
During the first week in rehab, Vicky had one setback, a blood clot in her right leg. She went back to the hospital for another week.
Vicky set a goal to be home by mother’s Day and on May 3, 2005, with the help of a walker; she waked out of the nursing home. On Friday the 13th, Vicky returned to work. She figured the odds had to be with her that day!
Vicky also has about six weeks of outpatient PT. She still has her ‘melt down’ days but they are getting farther apart. She realizes just how precious life is and tells Craig every day how grateful she is to have him in her life. Vicky is so incredibly thankful for her family and for all of those who saw her through this. Her message is that there is hope for ARDS patients, just have faith and believe in yourself.