In an attempt to keep everyone informed, and with permission from the Edens family to keep everyone informed, I have decided to use this forum to post the news and subsequent updates. I am not all that great at texting, autocorrect makes me say things that I didn't want to say... and this way, I can direct people (by a much simpler text) to this page instead of texting all the information as needed.
Many of you who received the link to this page via the facebook private message already know of this news about Paul. It is my hope that those in Richmond who have better access to news and updates concerning his condition will post those updates in the "Comments" section of this post. This, for now, is the best way I can think of to keep everyone posted.
I would like to respect the need for some privacy at this difficult time, so I'm not sure of the wisdom in posting all news on facebook for the world to see at this time.
Also, the family has given permission to ask everyone who knows and loves Paul to spread the word as it would certainly be appropriate to ask for prayers for our good friend and his family. I will attempt to be diligent in sending out updates via facebook private messages that will direct you to this page.
SUNDAY, 17 June 2012: On Sunday, June 17th, Paul Edens suffered a heart attack. After speaking with his son Jacob shortly before noon CDT, this is what I know as of now:
Jan woke up at around 5:30am by Paul's apparent snoring. When she tried to roll him over, and then to wake him, she turned a light on and saw that his face was blue. What she had thought was snoring was him gasping and struggling for air.
She called through the house for help and Kevin was able to get him to the floor where Jan started performing CPR on him. Someone called the paramedics and they took over the efforts when they arrived. Jacob told me that Paul flatlined at one point during their attempts to revive him, but they were able to get him back.
Once stabilized, Paul was transported to Chippenham Hospital where he is now in the Intensive Care Unit. They are keeping him cool by way of a cooling blanket. I did some research on the purpose of the cooling blanket… read about it here (Therapeutic Hypothermia)
• A cold blanket that induces hypothermia is preventing brain damage in heart attack patients. The blanket, filled with chilled liquid, cools body temperature a few degrees, potentially decreasing the brain cells need for oxygen. Patients are unconscious during the cooling and are allowed to warm up after about 24 hours.
• Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, Broward Health's (Florida) emergency-medical chief, called the technology "revolutionary," and said it also has been adopted over the past year or two by many paramedic units.
• "The cooling keeps the organs from deteriorating," said El Sanadi, who helped write the American Heart Association's resuscitation guidelines in 2005 and 2010. "It's one of the most important things that has come out in the last 20 years."
• Twenty years ago, only about 1 percent of heart attack patients survived without brain damage, El Sanadi said. The use of emergency coolants, including intravenous injections by doctors and paramedics, has increased healthy survival rates to 40 percent, he said.
• Brain cells begin to die after four minutes without oxygen.
When I spoke with Jacob, Paul’s heart was beating on its own, and he was being kept sedated and unconscious, and cooled by the cooling blanket. I do not know if it is known by the doctors how long the brain was without oxygen.
In the morning, the doctors will let his temperature rise to normal levels and wake him. They will evaluate his condition and try to determine if any damage to the brain has occurred. He is stable and in good hands.
Jan is strong and holding up well. Ian and Tom are flying out to VA on Monday. Jacob sounded very strong when I talked with him. Chelsea is struggling a little, but I know her to be strong as well.
Please remember them all in your prayers.
Tests on his heart show a little damage to the muscle, little enough to be able to classify this as a "minor attack".
The real issue now, it seems, is the lack of oxygen to the brain. They have performed some tests while he is unconscious and have been able to detect some brain activity. He also has involuntary leg and arm movement, which is a good sign… it is more evidence of brain activity.
In a couple of hours, they will let his temperature rise and evaluate his condition. Jacob has promised to keep me informed. As soon as I know something, I’ll post an update here.
The family is asking for your prayers. They can feel them and are being sustained by them.
Please continue prayers
UPDATE - Thursday, 21 June 2012, 9:00CDT:
I just got off the phone with Jan.
Paul is making progress but he still has a ways to go.
A blood clot caused a blockage that resulted in the heart attack, then there was the arrythmia that was cause for concern. He is on monitors and the staff at Chippenham Hospital are watching him closely.
The monitors are a little upsetting to Paul, he sees them and gets scared I think because he thinks it should look different.
There is still some confusion in Paul's mind. He seems to get agitated at little things. Some of the monitors and tubes in him are causing some discomfort. He also repeats himself often, it sounds as though his short term memory is struggling to keep up with things.
His appetite is growing though, if I understood Jan correctly.
He has not been able to sleep the last couple of nights, he told me that he hopes to finally get some sleep tonight. I asked Jan if he was scared and she said he was... he's especially scared to go to sleep, even as tired as he is. They are going to give him something a little stronger to help him tonight.
He is pretty sore where she was doing chest compressions, and also where they had to shock him with the paddles the two times he flatlined. When he coughs, those areas hurt quite a bit and it scares him a little.
As you can see, I have posted all of your comments from facebook onto this blog. I think it was Jacob who discovered it, he showed it to Jan, and Jan helped Paul to read it.
Jan told me that he was moved to tears twice while he was reading it, but wasn't sure what it was that made him cry. Either some of your comments, or the description of what happened on Sunday morning. Either way, she thought it was good for him to see it.
So keep 'em coming. Add to the facebook message that I sent out a few days ago or add a comment right here, and I'm sure Jan will show them to Paul.
I also spoke with Chelsea for a few minutes. She sounded good. She sounded strong. She also told me that she knew prayers were coming their way. She sounded very appreciative and thankful for those prayers.
Chelsea also told me that it would probably be better and easier to send any cards and letters directly to their house instead of sending them to the hospital.
A special thanks from the family to everyone for so many things... The visits by friends, and especially the prayers. They can all feel them coming their way. They know you are praying for them all, because they can feel them.
And a thanks from me to the wonderful staff at Chippenham Hospital for watching over my friend. I had dealings with many departments there while I was in Richmond and I honestly cannot recall ever having any serious level of trouble with anyone I ever met there. Way to go everyone, and keep up the good work.
And finally, I got to talk with Paul for a few minutes. He still sounds a little weak, but it was so good to hear his voice. I told him that I love him and that I wish I could be there to hold his hand right now. He told me he loves me right back.
He also told me that he knows of the prayers on his behalf, and he sounded very touched and moved when I told him that we're praying for him, for a quick and full recovery, and for his family.
Paul is one of the best people I know and I hate that this had to happen to him, but everything for a reason, right? I know that none of us know the reason that this has happened to this good man right now, but someday we will and we'll see that while this wouldn't be something that any of us would choose for ourselves, for our loved ones, or for Paul Edens, Heavenly Father knows what is best, and He is watching over our friend.
Get well soon, Paul.
We all love you.