Blood Donation Saves Lives

The Moment It All Went Bad

One of the guys I went to school with happened to be in your room the night this all happened. We were in our last year of school; about half or more of our class were allowed to apply for a license to work as a student respiratory therapist. Obviously, the scope of our practice was very limited to what we can and can't do. So we basically could do inhaled meds, and a variety of non-invasive procedures. The scope of practice pretty much excluded us from doing anything in the SCU. But we had certain homework assignments that we had to do with information we would gather from ventilators. So, this kid just walked into your room to check out some of your settings. Literally, he was standing next to the vent writing down numbers. There were a couple medical residents in the room also. They were just doing some routine checks on you. I guess you had a VAC dressing on your stomach where one of your surgeries took place. Without getting into too much detail, a VAC dressing stands for Vacuum Assisted Closure. In your case they were likely using it to heal your incision. Maybe using it because of certain infection risks. The long and short is the VAC dressing (which was the only thing leaving your insides inside of you) popped open. I guess the theory was probably some sort of buildup of pressure due to swelling. So when this dressing pops open, basically everything inside you pops out of your body and is spilling out of you. So I guess the residents just start shoving your intestines and guts back into your body and have my buddy hold them in while they sent the Bat Signal up to the OR team. Obviously you were not stable enough to transport, and you needed to be fixed ASAP. But my buddy was just an innocent bystander who was basically holding your guts in for a little while, while thinking "I'm just a respiratory student, why am I doing this?!?!?" Obviously, it was all hands on deck when that happened and everyone's roll was to step up and do what they were instructed to do. But that was the night they had to turn your room into an OR. So, not like your condition wasn't enough odds stacked against you, you had your guts fall out and had to have your room turned into an OR so they could basically, ”put Humpty Dumpty back together again." So yeah, crazy, crazy story to hear. You are probably pretty lucky that there were a handful of people in the room when this happened. From a respiratory therapist perspective, this is a pretty damn good war story. But my buddy admits he almost shit himself as it was happening. Certainly not what anyone would expect when walking into a room to look at a few numbers on a screen.