From Levi and Stephanie Howe, Friends of the Family

Update from Tuesday –

Dennis is currently still in the ICU and still in a bit of a rollercoaster. Monday seemed to be a pretty good day. Dennis’ physical therapists brought him outside and he was able to walk a few steps and sit on a bench and soak up some sun. Today was a little bit of a rougher of a day. He underwent a swallow test and they found that liquids were not passing through his esophagus. His doctors believe this may be from the infection in his heart causing swelling. They also tried to do a CT today to make sure there was no infection developing in his brain. They weren’t able to do the test because he couldn’t lie flat long enough without having a coughing episode. We are hoping tomorrow will be a better day. Dennis’ brother is relaying all of the messages that everyone has sent, so although he is not able to reach out he is getting all of your encouraging words.As many of you may know the day after Christmas this last year Dennis had to have an emergency open heart surgery. His aortic valve and descending aorta were repaired and the ascending aorta was replaced. This was a shocking and difficult time for both Dennis and his family. After that surgery Dennis pulled through and was recovering well. Everything started to look as though this may have been a hiccup in time, until recently. August 18th Dennis was hospitalized for a serious bacterial infection in his blood. Dennis’ doctors struggled to find where the infection was coming from. He was unable to do a CT with contrast because his Kidneys were negatively impacted by the infection and use of antibiotics to fight the infection. An MRI was not possible because of the equipment left in His heart from the open heart surgery. While in the hospital trying to fight the infection Dennis had a brain bleed. After several difficult days and an ultrasound the doctors found the infection within the mesh of his aorta and his heart valve. The only way to remove the infection would be to do another risky open heart surgery. The doctors are not willing to do the surgery at this moment in fear that he will have another brain bleed, and would also like him on an antibiotic for two weeks prior. Waiting for surgery includes its own set of risks, including stroke. His doctors would like some time before surgery without any major setbacks. It has been one event after another seeming like an endless downhill domino effect, but Dennis is still fighting. In our last update blood clots were found in both of Dennis’ arms. The only way to treat these clots is with blood thinners. With the use of blood thinners Dennis runs a higher risk of a brain bleed, but they were left with no other option. Dennis’ blood pressure has been up and down and difficult to control. He is currently on dialysis and has been using a feeding tube. Last night Denis was having difficulty breathing and was moved back to the ICU (intensive care unit). Everyday has been a challenge for Dennis and his family. Despite all of the adversity they have been faced with they are still pushing to get through this fight. At this time we are not sure what the financial burden will be for the time lost at work, and the cost of the procedures, surgeries, and medical care. With high medical costs we know that this will not be an inexpensive endeavor and wanted to do a gofundme for Dennis and his family. With Dennis nearing the end of his PTO (paid time off) at work and Cindy hardly working to take care of Dennis and the uncertainty of the length of treatment, there is a lack of income and an increase of financial stress. We would like Dennis to be able to focus on healing since he has been fighting for his life. The funds would go to 1) Medical Costs which would include their insurance deductible, coinsurance, and premiums. Any procedures, treatments care, and medical equipment that may not be covered by insurance. The funds will also be going to their 2) Living Costs this would include various things such as rent , water, electric, gas, food, etc… We would also like this to go to the cost of their stay at the Providence house next to the hospital for the family to be with and help in Dennis’ care. Any donation is welcomed, no matter how small. If you would not like to use a credit card and would like to send a check, you can mail it directly to : Cindy Dolin 932 Prospect St. Oregon City 97045

Thank you for your help! Levi and Stephanie Howe