Friday, July 31, 2009

Email sent by Rhonda July 31

Hello to everyone and thank you for your thoughts, prayers, fasting, concerns, etc. For those of you who are hearing about this for the first time I will fill everyone in from the beginning.

About 3 weeks ago, following total health, Clark began vomiting for about 3 days. He hoped it was the flu so wasn't worried. Then his eyes began turning yellow and his skin to soon follow. He went to a clinic in Utah where over the next several days he went daily for various tests including blood, urine, ultra sound, cat scan, one other I can't remember, and biopsy. The biopsy was sent to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland where expected results were to be back in 5 days. Clark was sent home after each test knowing that he was still vomiting and not able to eat anything. Finally on Tuesday, July 28th, the day after Clark's 24th birthday, he was admitted into the hospital in Orem, Utah. He was put on IV for dehydration but no treatment since not even the biopsy was giving the Drs any indication of what was going on with his liver, other than it was failing, and fast. Yesterday, July 30, he was transferred to the University of Utah in Salt Lake City where we are today. Dave, Wyatt, Huxley and I traveled to Utah to be with Clark. Wyatt and Dave headed back to SD yesterday. Huxley stayed with me. We rented a car while here.

Today (July 31) has been a busy and hectic day. Clark's condition has worsened. Drs, surgeons, labs, EKG, etc, have been going on all day. Clark is listed in a life threatening status which is giving him priority. Clark has been listed as #1 priority in the five state region here for a liver transplant. Once the insurance company has made their approval for coverage, which should be around 3pm MST, everything will then be completed other than the phone call that a liver has been located. Once the donating liver has become available, the surgeon will fly to where it is, examine and remove the liver, then fly back and immediately give it to Clark. Of course you already know this, but the liver will come from man/woman that has just died. Blood type, body frame, and age are all very important for the match. Thank you to all those who stepped forward to offer Clark a portion of yours but we don't have enough time for that. It is too risky for a live donor in the short time we have. Surgery will take anywhere from 5 - 12 hours. He will lose a lot of blood and will be weak for a long period of time. He will be on meds for the rest of his life. But on the good side, because Clark is young, strong, and positive, things look good for him. His life will change for a period of time but people most often are able to lead a normal life. His biggest enemy will be the sun. Clark does have insurance which will help a great deal with the transplant, however medicines will cost at least $600 a month for some time and slowly he should be able to reduce that as time goes on. He will NEVER be without meds again. If down the road this liver starts to fail again, he would be able to receive another liver then.

Clark is in good spirits. He is visiting, watching TV, and putting up with a lot of questions and professional staff. However he did tell me a few minutes ago that he is beginning to feel overwhelmed. Please respect Clark at this time and don't call his phone.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help. When recently talking with one of the staff here, it was suggested that if anyone wants to help, one of the greatest gifts you can give to Clark is to donate blood in his name. Go to the local Red Cross and be sure to mention that it is being donated under Clark Kimble's name. He will not directly get that donation of blood but it will replace the many pints of blood that he will require during the transplant. It will also help in his cost as a pint of blood runs $3500. Thank you!

You probably share in the confusion we all have of "what is it", "what caused it", "why can't they treat it with medication" etc. but no one at this time has the answer. Some times these things remain unknown. It is just being referred to as Acute Liver Failure. It is rare but has been dealt with at this hospital before and the unknown remains. They will however examine and test Clark's liver once it is removed.

I have been trying to communicate by text as much as possible but as you can see, there is too much to send so I am going to try emailing. If I have a wrong email or if anyone knows of people I should be sure to include, then send me that email address. Please do not call Kristin unless on weekends or after 9 as she only has 60 cell phone minutes left for the next 2 weeks. You can call me if necessary, but I prefer answering text or emails as I'm trying to spend quality time with Clark right now. My cell phone number is 605-881-1940. If I fail to respond quickly it may be that I'm with a Dr. I hope this helps everyone to stay updated and again we DO appreciate your support.

I'm so thankful that Huxley is with me. Kristin has the two little kids so its hard for her to come and besides, they will not allow the children in ICU rooms. I'm so thankful that Dave saw to it that he got us out here quickly, and provided us with a safe and comfortable car to travel in. Then a rental while here, and now is back home taking care of our home and kids. I'm thankful that Wyatt took time off to be sure someone traveled with Dave on the way back to SD. I'm thankful for my job who has allowed me the time to be here. I'm thankful to the boys who stayed back to take care of our home and chores while we traveled out. I'm thankful for this facility and staff and pray that Clark will walk out of these front doors. I struggle to accept why this is happening and don't expect an answer. But in my heart I find peace in believing that a medical staff, a medical procedure, or just a strength in Clark will be brought forth.

With my love,

Transfer to University Hospital

Clark's condition was not improving while at Timpanogos Regional Hospital so they transferred him to University Hospital in Salt Lake. He is still in the ICU and is under the care of an excellent team. The nurses and doctors are very attentive, aggressive, and persistent. Clark was grilled several times about his history, lifestyle, and family illnesses, hoping that something might tip them off as to a cause. They also have the ability to do the transplant here if necessary.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Super Clark

We chose the name Super Clark for a couple reasons. In the beginning, Clark kept saying that maybe he is turning into a super hero like Spider Man. Slowly he is morphing as he turns yellow and soon he will have super powers like he won't have to climb the towers because he can fly to the top. Superclark has also been his email address since high school. And mostly because he is fighting like a hero. The doctors have all been impressed at how good he looks and how alert he is based on his levels. He's fighting the fight!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Happy Birthday

The day before Clark's birthday we had him over to celebrate. We ate pot roast with potatoes, carrots, rolls, and salad. Clark said this is one of his favorite meals. He had a little bit of everything and even topped it off with some brownies and ice cream . . . and kept it down.
Happy 24th Birthday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

First Signs

This is only four or five days after the initial symptoms started.
Progression was quick.