January 28, 2014 - Vic developed sudden shortness of breath and had to be taken to the ER. After a few hours of running various tests, it was determined that he had a massive saddle pulmonary embolism. Translation - he had a very large blood clot in his pulmonary artery leading out of his heart and down into both of his lungs. Within four hours, him and I were being whisked away in an ambulance which then transferred us to a waiting jet headed for the nearest hospital in Miami. There he underwent a procedure which placed catheters in his heart and both of his lungs which injected a clot-busting medicine directly to the clot. His heart was under extreme stress. Testing revealed that his right ventricle was dilated three times the normal size, his pressure was greater than 50, and it wasn't pumping the way it should be.
February 5 - After spending 3 days in the ICU, and then 5 more days in a regular room, he was discharged from the hospital. The placement of the catheters dissolved nearly all of his large clot and his heart was almost back to normal size, pressure was 35, and it was pumping correctly. We spent the next 4 weeks in FL while he recovered enough to make the trip back to Gtmo. Doctors have given him a great prognosis!
March 5 - We returned to Gtmo, met with the doctors here, and together determined that the best choice for Vic would to not continue to live on the island. We have wonderful doctors here, but they are very limited with their facilities. Any major emergencies require patients to be sent to the states. That process can take precious hours that some patients simply don't have. It is a risk too great that our family isn't willing to take.
All of this brings me to this week. Our family is leaving GTMO permanently, headed for another Navy Base back in the U.S. We leave in just a few short days. Our hearts are broken, and yet full of hope knowing that God is fully in charge. Wherever He leads, we will go! Above all, we are thankful for the experience of living here and that Vic is alive. I will cherish every bit of our time here and look back with the fondest of memories!