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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Status of Terry Bingham, S/V Secret o' Life

8/27/08 UPDATE: See http://terrybingham.blogspot.com/ for updates on Terry's status.

Tammy has given us permission to post about Terry's condition on our blog in case she hasn't already reached everyone who knows him.

Terry and Tammy departed Bahia in July to do some extensive inland travel, and arrived in La Paz, Bolivia on Sunday, August 17. On Monday morning he developed sudden and intense abdominal pain, and he was admitted to Clinica del Sur that day where he was diagnosed with Acute Pancreatitis. During exploratory surgery Tuesday night his pancreas was discovered to be hemorrhaging. On top of all this he has a serious blood infection which is being treated with antibiotics. After surgery Terry was on oxygen, fully sedated, and on a respirator in the ICU.

Three of Terry's children have flown in to be with him, and Tammy reports that the U. S. Embassy staff have been extremely supportive as well. They have coordinated blood drives (Terry is A positive which is uncommon in Bolivia) so that Terry can get blood plasma and platelet transfusions, and they are helping Tammy with translation issues.

The doctors hoped to remove the ventilator as early as Friday, but were unable to do so as Terry still was not strong enough. Finally Monday night Terry was awake and alert for the longest time since surgery. Today Tammy reports that Terry continues to be alert and is anxious to have the ventilator removed (he's communicating by nodding or shaking his head). But he tires quickly after only a short time of breathing on his own and can't be taken off of it just yet. The fact that they are at 11,000 feet of altitude doesn't help his situation.

The Embassy representative assisted Tammy in getting more access to Terry for her and family members than they had before. Tammy writes, "If Terry had his way we would be with him all the time. That's also what we would like but as long as he is in ICU that is not an option. This afternoon when I said I had to leave he adamantly shook his head no ... it just breaks my heart to have to leave him like that."

Terry is still fighting the pancreatitis and Sepsis/blood infections but improved labs indicate that these are abating. Tammy asks that you continue to send positive thoughts and prayers for Terry's recovery.

Linda and John