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:
- Opt for the double amputation in which he had a 1% chance of making it off the operating table
- 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
- 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.