Monday, February 16, 2009

Trying to Stay Strong: An update

My grandfather passed away at 6:30 this morning. We all knew that it was only a matter of time, but it's still a really difficult time for us.

My grandfather has not been conscious since before his surgery last Saturday (Feb 7) and he continued to show no signs of improvement. On Friday, we were notified by the doctor that we had three options:
  1. Opt for the double amputation in which he had a 1% chance of making it off the operating table
  2. Take him off the ventilator and just see what happens (he wold still be given medication so that he would not be in pain) or
  3. Or leave him on the ventilator and wait

None of the options offered the possibility of recovery and we already knew what my grandfather would want. The family decided to take him off the ventilator. This was to take place on Friday evening. While we were waiting to tell the doctor our decision, my grandmother started having severe chest pains. The nurses sent her to the ER and she was admitted to the hospital. My grandmother then had to have a heart cath and several ultrasounds. She wasn't released from the hospital until Sunday evening. During that time, my grandfather remained on the ventilator.

Last night, we went to the hospital and met with the doctor again. My grandfather was taken off the ventilator at 6:10 that evening and began to breathe on his own. However, since only 20% of his heart was functioning he didn't have a chance of living.

I have an absolutely amazing family and I am incredibly lucky to have them. We had 18 family members in the ICU waiting area and the chaplain commented that he had never seen a family with that much support. Someone was with my grandfather from the time the ventilator was removed until the time he passed away this morning. They were saying a prayer in his room with him when he took his last breath and they said that he looked really peaceful.

I've spent most of the day with my family and will spend this evening with them as well. I am really sad right now, but I know that my grandfather is no longer in pain and he was ready. He believed that he would be going to a better place. With all the love and support my family has been given, we will be strong and we will heal.

20 comments:

Lara said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I pray and hope that you and your family can stay strong during this difficult time.

Yaya said...

Melissa,
I'm so sorry for your loss.
(((Hugs))) from NY.
Alicia

MyWorld said...

Melissa, I'm so sorry for your family's loss.

Mel said...

I am so sorry for your family's great loss. You are very fortunate to have such a wonderful, large, and supportive family. You can all help each other to stay strong. I am praying especially for your grandmother. I hope she can stay well now. (((HUGS))) and again I am so sorry for your tremendous loss.

Kristen said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.
I'm really glad you can be with your family through this difficult time.

Megryansmom said...

I offer my prayers for your family at this difficult time.

jen@odbt said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. You are blessed to have such a wonderful family with you.

Karen said...

I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather's passing. Prayers to you and your family!

~Emily~ said...

I am so sorry! I am glad someone was always able to be with him and that you have the love & support of your family. HUGS!

~~Mel~~ said...

I am so sorry for the loss that you have endured. Know he's up there watching over all of you now. You are in my prayers.

Staci said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will be thinking of you and your family...

Mommy of M's said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, I've been thinking of you this weekend. Take comfort in knowing that he is no longer miserable or in pain. Although it is hard for you and your family, he is truly in a better place.

Zoey's Mommy said...

Oh hun I'm so so sorry!!

My grandma passed away last summer and even though the circumstances were different than with your grandfather, it doesn't make it hurt any less. My heart goes out to you and your family. If you need anything, let us know.

Heatherlyn said...

Oh Melissa, I'm so sorry. I hope that your grandpa becomes a guardian angel for your children.

I'm glad that you have so much family support.

Felicia said...

I will be keeping you and your family in my prayers.

Joelle said...

I am so sorry for your loss. I will be praying for your family during this time. I know this process his hard, but such a blessing to have family around.

pam said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Your poor grandma, the stress must of just been too much to bear. I hope she is coping. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Kati Sue* said...

Hey girl! I totally miss you around here! Take care of yourself and your family.. stay strong and I look forward to having you back!

The Blonde Duck said...

I'm so sorry for your loss.

Chris said...

I am so sorry for you loss. My prayers are with you during this difficult time.