Update on my sister’s condition

My sister, Cynthia (68), was admitted to the hospital this morning after what seemed to be a mild heart attack and congestive heart failure. I’m still not sure if there was a heart attack.  Near as we can tell, her transplanted heart is doing some rejecting things.  They checked it, and today is, by coincidence, day 7000 of the new heart, which is pretty good.  The rejection is taking the form of a buildup of antibodies in her blood.

Treatment is as follows:

1. Strong diuretics to relieve the buildup of fluids in lungs, arms, legs, &c.

2. An interesting procedure where they will pull out her blood, separate the plasma (which contains the anti-bodies), and restore it with new plasma or albumen.

3.  Anti-rejection drugs.

She is only in mild discomfort, at this point, caused by having to stay in bed too long and moving too little.  I’ll be going back tomorrow.

That’s what we know so far.


Edited: Right.  68, not 78.


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27 thoughts on “Update on my sister’s condition”

  1. 78!?! Is that a typo, or is Cynthia actually 78? I have (or had) no idea. Wow.

    7000 days is a mighty fine number, too. I’m glad they have such a reasonable-sounding way of treating the current difficulty. Yay for plasma replacement!

    Please give her my love, and my very best wishes for a smooth recovery and another 7000 days and more ahead.

    I still remember oh, so clearly when she got her current heart. She’s the first heart transplant recipient I’ve known (rather than heard of), and I still marvel at how quickly the world went from Dr. Christiaan Barnard doing the first successful transplant when I was a teenager to knowing a heart recipient in my adulthood. My favorite part about Cynthia’s transplant at the time was hearing about how she woke after surgery and immediately felt better than she had before. My favorite part now is that it was 19 years ago.

    Remember to take care of yourself while you’re helping see after her.

  2. 7000 days is remarkable; she must be an amazing lady. I hope she continues to be amazing for many years to come…

  3. Thank you, all; kind thoughts very much appreciated.

    Gerri: Yeah, I know. Me too. And I think it’s 79. I’m 57, and she’s 12 years older than me.

  4. I hope she’s OK.

    On a tangent: reading this caused me to realize that every character I can think of in the Vlad books whose family we know about seems to be an only child: Vlad, Morrolan, Aliera, Cawti, Vlad Norathar, Norathar herself, Zerika ….

    I can’t off the top of my head remember any siblings in the entire series. How do the various races continue to exist if they have so few children?

  5. Sounds like the treatment team has a most definite PLAN, and that said plan is based on good knowledge. Yeah that!

    To butcher the Proclaimers: “Her heart beat on for 7,000 days/May it beat for 7,000 more.”

  6. All best wishes for her speedy recovery.

    (Er, just to note, those twelve years would make her 69, not 79, for which I think we can all be thankful.)

  7. We’re praying for her complete recovery. I’m thinking she is 68, not 78.

  8. I’m close to 30 years older than one of my sisters, so I figured it was just a typo in the difference, not in the age….

    But of course, here’s hoping for a quick and complete recovery.

  9. EEEEEP!
    While I am not sure that Cynthia would remember me I remember her. We had a wonderful talk a few years ago and I had no idea she was a transplant recipient. Send my love and best wishes.

  10. I hope she gets better. I never actualy met her but I know how I would feel if my brother was in the hospital because of something like that.

  11. I hope she gets better soon! To have such a problem must be rather frightening… but then again, it’s amazing we can transplant hearts at all, and the doctors seem to know how to approach this. I hope that’s a good sign.

    Gute Besserung, as they say here in Germany.

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