The Faces of Sepsis
Joyce Przybylski - tribute
by John L. ("Larry") Przybylski (Joyce's son)
I asked her if she wanted to go to the doctor to get checked out (she was 73). She said "Oh, goodness no Larry, I'm sure it's just a 24-hour thing, but thank you for asking, honey." Then she smiled. Mom always smiled.
I called her the next day and she said she thought she felt somewhat better but assured me that if she didn't feel totally better by the next day, Monday, she would go to the doctor. She sounded completely lucid. The next morning, my Dad called me at work. He was crying. He said that I should get to their local hospital right away (a Level 1 Trauma Center, by the way), that Mom was "in really bad shape." When I got there, Mom knew who I was, was talking and certainly didn't look, to me, like she would never recover. The doctors said she was in septic shock but I didn't comprehend what they were talking about. They did explain it to us, but I still didn't "get it."
After stabilizing Mom the best they could in the ER, they took her to the ICU. Later that day, within one hour or so, she went from talking and even smiling a bit, to being in an induced coma, having a ventilator, eight IV bags going through infusion pumps, being on kidney dialysis, receiving blood plasma, and it goes on and on. The medical staff tried so hard.
Two days later, the team of doctors tending to Mom around the clock told us that she had a "near zero" chance of recovery and to prepare ourselves the best we could for her passing. I called for the Priest Chaplain who came and gave Mom the Last Rites of the Church, which was a great comfort to me and was something Mom would have wanted. Not long after that, she passed from this life. My Mom was the sweetest, most loving, kind and accepting woman I have ever known. Never in my wildest nightmare could I have foreseen the ravages this disease causes.
I spread the word about it to as many people as I can. I have a picture I'd like to send you of my Mom. It was taken in 2004 but she looked the same in 2010, before she got ill. I just like the picture. God bless you for your work. This is the website I set up for her: Joyce Lois Przybylski Thank you.