Better Than A Funeral

by Dorothy Anne Dauenhauer

Several weeks ago I texted my mom and didn’t hear back from her. I didn’t think much about it because it was during work hours and her company doesn’t allow cell phones near their work stations. So the next day I called and tried texting her again after work hours. Usually she responds right away anytime I send a picture of my kids. But this time she didn’t, so I thought maybe her phone died or she went to bed early.

Lola & Kids

Easter Weekend April 2015

On Saturday May 2nd I called the house phone and there was no answer. I also called and texted her cell, with no response. At that point I decided to ask my friend Lauren who lived close by to check on her house. She was not home but her dad Mr. Sivley was and he promptly¬†stopped by my mom’s house and noticed her van in the driveway, a package by the door and mail that looked like it had been piling up for days. He knocked on every door with no response, looked through windows and saw no movement. I called my sister who lives out of state in between all of this and found out she hadn’t heard from our mom either. Next we called the police.

The Longest Drive…

My husband Dustin and I dropped everything, left the kids with a friend and drove out to the house. All the way there I was a wreck. I couldn’t help but think the worst. Uncontrollable tears streamed down my face. Every worse case scenario ran through my mind. I couldn’t believe this was happening. I thought to myself, how could I go through this and a high risk pregnancy all at the same time?

When we got to the house one of mom’s neighbors named Rich was outside with Mr. Sivley. The key I had didn’t work. We tried another door to no avail.

Finally we went to her master bedroom window knocked and said, “Mom, we’re here outside.” Suddenly we heard a faint moaning. That was the best sound I could’ve ever hoped for. That meant she was alive and going to be OK in Jesus’ name. I remember hugging Mrs. Sivley who just arrived and feeling God’s presence and peace through her motherly embrace.

With the help of Rich’s screw driver, we ended up breaking the window to get in. Dustin said that was the fastest he’d ever seen a preggo woman climb through a window. We found my mom on the floor barely able to move but responsive. I asked Mr. Sivley to call 911, and we just began praying over her.

My Mom Fights For Life

My first thought was that she fell or had a stroke, however paramedics ruled out a stroke. She was extremely weak and very fuzzy with the details. We found her cell phone with practically no battery on the bed away from her body and several missed calls and messages.

Ambulance arrived and took her to the emergency room. One ER nurse told me had it been one more day she would have died. She was in ICU for several days in critical condition then became stable. However exactly one week later due to a blood thinner medication she was given she began to bleed.

She lost so much blood she was at a level 6. Normal is around 13. The nurses called us in on Mother’s Day to be with her. We drove through the thunder and rain. This time however we had an overwhelming peace she was going to live and not die. We prayed scriptures over her and texted her close friends and our church family at Church On The Hill to pray for her.

DA at Hospital

Mother’s Day May 2015

When we arrived her vitals were all over the place. They tried everything they could to keep her stable. They were pumping liters of blood and plasma to replenish what she was loosing. She had IV’s and PICC lines in both her arms and even her throat. The doctor also put a breathing tube through her mouth so her lungs wouldn’t collapse. It was difficult to see her that way but we just kept praying, singing softly and speaking life over her.

The Risk of Transporting to Another Hospital

They needed to do a procedure on her to find the source of the bleeding and stop it. However they didn’t have a GI doctor in house till the next day so her doctor put in a request to transfer her to another hospital. Despite the road conditions in the storm he knew that the risk of transport was worth taking in order for her to be able to make it through the night. We knew we needed a supernatural miracle! Thankfully my mom made it safely to the other hospital with no complications.

So What Really Happened To My Mom?

This is what what we could piece together:

My mom fell ill with flu like symptoms and because of chronic eczema she developed a cellulitis infection, high fever, and her body went into septic shock. She must have either fainted or passed out, landed on the floor and couldn’t get up. We believe she was immobile, on the ground possibly going in and out of consciousness for over 48 hours. With no food or water for days, she developed Rhabdomyolysis (breakdown of the muscles) & renal failure.

Today the good news is her kidneys are doing much better, her blood level is great, her blood pressure and heart rate are stable as well. She ended up having 2 endoscopy procedures where they found several ulcers in her small intestines and stomach and were able to cauterize them to stop the bleeding.

Doctors are hopeful she will make a full recovery.

Aliyah and Lola

It’s been a roller-coaster of a month, having so many good things happen and also setbacks. No matter how difficult it’s been we kept thinking, this is better than a funeral.

My mom almost died twice, was in ICU for 2 weeks but is now on the road to recovery. Currently she is in a rehab hospital and getting physical therapy to regain her strength. I thank The Lord for healing my mom, guiding us through every decision and giving us the strength to endure.

I’m grateful for all the kind medical professionals that took great care of my mom at each of the hospitals.

I thank all of our family, especially my sister Debby who flew down from New York to help for three weeks, our friends, my mom’s friends & co-workers, her church family at Grace Revolution Church and our church family at COTH for all their love, support, visits, flowers, cards and most of all their faithful prayers during this month.

May 2015 will definitely be remembered for God’s unfailing grace, mercy and miracles!

Family easter pic  Lola

Easter Weekend April 2015

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