Bruce Brewer's Heart

Today's blog post is dedicated to my Dad. I love you!

WHEW! What a crazy past 10 days. I can’t believe I’m even awake right now, running on pure adrenaline! I know I’ve been gone for a while now, but when things like what I’m about to tell you happens, your work gets pushed to the side and nothing else matters. Tuesday, September 27, I got a text message from my Dad stating that he was going to have a heart catheter put in on Friday, September 30 at Aultman hospital. He had been having weird leg pains and shortness of breath for quite some time. Other than this, I was uneducated about his existing medical conditions. Aside from that, the doctors went in to put his heart catheter in on Friday the 30th, and immediately declined the procedure due to lots of blockage in all of the arteries of the heart. He had literally 10% function of his heart. A normal person’s heart functions at 60%! He was immediately admitted to the hospital and a open heart surgery was scheduled for Monday afternoon. On Sunday, after a nice visit with my dad, he was cleaning himself up for surgery and went into VT (VT is a type of regular and fast heart rate that arises from improper electrical activity in the ventricles of the heart.) This caused him to go into cardiac arrest and they had to shock him to make his heart beat at a normal rate again. Once this happened, the doctor’s stated that they would like to bump him to the first surgery on the day on Monday. My mother and I headed up to the hospital once they called to inform us that he had coded. We stayed overnight to make sure things went smoothly. My little brother, his fiancé and their daughter, Bristol, came up to the hospital late Sunday (early Monday morning) and Dad’s face lit up like it was Christmas! It was almost like seeing her healed his heart!

Monday, Oct 3, Dad was taken in for open-heart surgery at 7am. His procedure was supposed to last 4-6 hours, but his heart was so weak that he was in surgery for almost 7 hours. After patiently waiting to hear about his results, his AMAZING doctor came in to tell his that his open heart went well. He mentioned that Dad’s heart was/still is VERY weak. He then informed us that he did SIX bypasses on my Dad’s heart. INSANE. I’ve literally never even heard of SIX being done! Ever! Needless to say, my mother and I left the hospital 100% exhausted, hungry and beyond happy that his surgery went well, so we went to celebrate at his favorite place, the office! He needed to rest anyways and was still out from the anesthesia. 

Tuesday, while Dad was healing and resting (and not eating…) I was out on his motorcycle with my cousins to celebrate my Dad’s progress. It’s the first time I’ve ever been on a Harley. It’s the first big bike I’ve ever been on, and she fit me like a glove!

Wednesday was a day of rest and relaxation for all of us. He seemed to be groggy, but good. I headed out to my brother’s house to watch my niece for a few hours while Britani went to the doctor! It was nice to spend time with her…A nice distraction, if you will.

Fast forward to Thursday. Dad decided to be tricky and throw us into a whirlwind (Wait. He HAS mentioned 100 times now that it’s not his fault…and I agree. I’m sure if he was in charge of what his heart was doing, he would tell it who was boss!) I went to visit him as usual in the morning. I left around 10am to go wedding dress shopping with my Mom. Her and I got to shop for about 2 hours, then we got a terrifying phone call. He coded again. We immediately left Linde’s in Massillon, OH and SPED to the hospital. Literally every single Doctor in Aultman Hospital was in his room when we arrived. I knew. I knew that very moment that this was the most serious thing I’ve ever dealt with. This is literally the hardest thing I’ve done.  This is reality and this is happening. Is this week even real?! On a good note, I found my dress before he coded! After this spell, the doctors decided that since he has new “plumbing” in his heart, he needed new “electric” to go with it! Our next goal was getting him to eat, walk around and use the restroom.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Dad stayed stable and was an excellent patient (he doesn't complain much anyways...he's pretty "go with the flow" if you ask me!) He is not allowed to have visitors quite yet...I will inform when that is allowed to go down! Thank you to all who've been amazing to us. We truly appreciate it.

Moving on to today...the defibrillator was to be put in his chest on Monday the 10th. That gave him 4 days of rest, relaxation and a few meds to keep his heart rate down. As of 2pm today, the doctor has informed us that his procedure went well and he is doing fair. As long as things go according to plan, we are hoping that he can come home next week. (PRAYING!!!!) He is to NOT lift anything more than 10lbs, stay away from devices such as microwaves and he’s to be up walking around at his leisure. (Dad said he was so excited to get his leg strength back again! Dedication at it’s finest.) We are hoping to see him in recovery hopefully within the next hour or so. Mom is currently speaking to the Doctor and continues to give us good news!!

NOW-With my Dad out of work because of this extensive surgery and my Mom on hiatus from work to take care of him, I am kindly asking for any donation to help with their bills for the house (they have hot water heat and I know the electric bill is high in the winter!) and his medical procedure/hospitalization/rehabilitation. Unfortunately, my parents have been without health insurance for a long time. This whole extravaganza is going to be out of pocket. I have done extensive research on how much a open heart surgery typically costs (and also installing the defibrillator) and on the high end, depending on time and unexpected complications, it can run up to $800,000. Literally any penny will help and we would be forever grateful for your donation (see link below). I know that I have set the bar high, but I am confident people love Bruce and I know that I can spread the world to millions. We love you, DAD!

I know for a fact that my Dad would want this post to be about happy vibes, so I'd like to include photographs of his healing remedy. That way, he can look back at this post and smile his face off. I just love him so!

You're killing it, Dad! I'm so proud of you and am here for you ALWAYS. Forever, your favorite girl. <3