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  #11  
Old 08-22-2017, 09:33 AM
BDGIII BDGIII is offline
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I dont have penny to spare. I do have some free time. If they need something done around the property or house I will help. I live near Dan. Im in Pine Grove. How do I get in touch with his wife?
bdgraham3@gmail.com
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  #12  
Old 08-22-2017, 10:14 AM
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LARGEONE LARGEONE is offline
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Originally Posted by BDGIII View Post
I dont have penny to spare. I do have some free time. If they need something done around the property or house I will help. I live near Dan. Im in Pine Grove. How do I get in touch with his wife?
bdgraham3@gmail.com
Im sure they will appreciate any help at this point! Thank you!

Thanks Stan for setting up the GFM...keep the donations coming and pass to your network of friends that may know or may have crossed paths with Dan.
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  #13  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:52 AM
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Stan thanks for organizing, I hope Dan gets well soon.
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  #14  
Old 01-22-2018, 02:05 AM
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Get Outside Get Outside is offline
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Hi everyone! I've been out of all the forums for quite some time dealing with life and slowly getting back to it. The burning question now is how is Dan? What was the outcome since the last update?
Thank you and I really miss this group!
Paulo
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  #15  
Old 01-22-2018, 07:02 AM
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MountainGoat MountainGoat is offline
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Hey Paulo! Thanks for reminding me about this thread. I guess we left it incomplete, and I received a lot of help, Love, prayers and money from people who may not have the whole story. That, and the excellent doctors I was lucky to have, literally saved my life. I will complete the story for those who may not know ...

On the morning of 8/17/17 at about 8am I was rushed to St. Anthony's Hospital because of shortness of breath, high heart rate, atrial fibrillation and low blood oxygen levels. After a good deal of effort to diagnose why this was happening they did a cat scan and found that I had a congenital heart defect which was a malformed aortic valve. I had two valve flaps where I should have had three. This is a somewhat common condition, and it usually doesn't manifest as a problem until a person gets to be 50 or 60 years old. I am 58. So the diagnosis at that point was congestive heart failure caused by aortic stenosis. The valve had stiffened up to the point that it was no longer functioning effectively.

So the diagnosis was made which was good news because the condition could be fixed with heart valve replacement surgery. However, I was still in critical condition at that point and all the original symptoms were still present. There was no way they could do open heart surgery while I was in that state. One of the side effects of a weak heart is that the body begins to retain water because the pump (heart) isn't strong enough to move it off. This puts even more pressure on the heart and lungs and that is what triggered my heart failure. Due to the extremely high heart rate (180-200 bpm) and lack of blood oxygen I was experiencing they had to act fast to prevent heart and brain damage and death.

At that point they put me into a medically induced coma, performed an emergency tracheal intubation (put a big tube down my throat) and put me on a ventilator, which is the breathing machine they use for people who are brain dead or in a coma. They started high dosage diuretics to get the excess water off. This went on for 2 days until they got enough water off that I could function on my own. The first time they checked my weight I discovered that I'd gone from 215 to 180 pounds in three days. Then I spent another 5 days in the hospital regaining my strength and getting stabilized.

At that point I had developed hyperthyroidism, probably in response to the iodine they injected to do the cat scan. They had to get that under control before they could do open heart surgery because general anesthesia can be deadly with a hyperthyroid condition. So I spent from 8/24 to 11/2 at home managing the thyroid and getting strong enough for open heart surgery to replace the bad valve. I had one other emergency trip to the hospital during that time due to atrial fibrillation when my heart rate went over 180 bpm again, but it was only 3 days and was managed with beta blocker drugs to slow the heart, lower blood pressure and maintain heart rhythm.

Finally on 11/2 I went in for surgery. Here is my wife's blow by blow of how it went, which she was posting on Facebook to keep everyone informed:

"Soooo... Tomorrow is the big day.

Here is where I will post updates on Dan Kucera.

11/1 - Tomorrow we will arrive at St. Anthony hospital at 6:30am. We will get to stay with him for 2 hours of pre-op preparation. At 8:30am the will take him into the operating room to begin anesthesia and surgery prep. They are expecting the first incision to happen at about 9:45am. A textbook surgery would last until about 3:00pm. When surgery is over, Dan will go straight to the Cardiac Intensive Care unit, but he will remain on the ventilator until at least 9:00pm under heavy sedation. I will keep you all posted as the day goes on.

Please say a prayer for a speedy recovery.

Please pass around the info to anyone not tagged.

11/2. 6:00am- on our way to the hospital!

11/2 9:00am - Dan went back to surgery. We should get our first update about 10 or 10:30. So far so good.

11/2 12:30pm - The nurse called from the OR. They are sewing in his new valve now. He's stable.

11/2 2:00 - The surgeon just came out. Dan is out of surgery and doing great. They are moving him into the CICU and are planning on taking out the ventilator as soon as it's safe (probably about 4 hours). He said I can probably see him in about an hour!

11/2 3:20 - I was able to go see Dan and he is already waking up and off of the ventilator (5.5 hours ahead of schedule!)!!!!!

11/2 5:55pm - Dan is doing great. He is sleeping off the anesthesia and they are prepping him to walk soon!

11/2 10:00pm - Dan did a lap around the CICU unit using a walker at 9:00 and is now ready to sleep for the night (except being woke up every 1.5 hours for vitals). He is still doing great!

11/3 7:00am - Dan was already up walking around the unit this morning. He is ordering breakfast so he can get more than jello into him. They are planning on transferring him to the step down ICU today if there is an available bed.

11/3 3:30pm - They have removed Dan's catheter so the only tubes he now has is his oxygen. He's walking around the CICU with a walker 4+ times a day. They are managing his pain with quite a bit of pain medication, but we were told that today would be the hardest day. He's doing great!

11/3 6:30pm - We are in the Progressive Care Unit on the 3rd floor!!! We will be here until we are discharged. We are in room 321.

11/4 10:30am - Dan went into afib this morning which is EXTREMELY common after heart surgery. The doctors aren't super concerned but Dans pretty upset about it. Hopefully he can convert out of it soon and move forward. I have to leave for the day, but anyone wanting to visit, please make sure you are not sick. 😊 He is on the 3rd floor in room 321.

11/5 11:00am - Dan is doing good. He is walking for the first time without a walker. The surgeon came in this morning and talked to Dan. Looks like we may be staying another day. Everything is going well and we expect to be home soon!

11/6 8:30am - THE DISCHARGE PROCESS HAS BEEN STARTED!!!! We don't have a time, but it will be today!!!

11/6 1:30pm - we are on our way out of the hospital!"

I survived the surgery and was on the road to recovery with a brand new bovine aortic valve and a lot of pain. ...
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  #16  
Old 01-22-2018, 07:20 AM
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So that was 11 weeks ago. Besides a few episodes of afib in the first two weeks, I have progressed well in my recovery. I spent about six weeks doing cardiac rehab (monitored cardiac exercise and education) which helped immensely. I learned my limits and how to get my heart and body stronger without causing further problems. I have a treadmill at home now and I get on it or go hiking at least 3 times a week. Last Friday I did a 3 mile hike with a 300 foot elevation gain. My stamina was better than the last time I hiked that trail late last summer. I am back to work and almost pain free.

My family and I learned a lot from this adventure. We have a very different outlook on life and we are all grateful for the incredible help we got from our friends and the community. Every single person who helped (no matter how - prayers, money, logistics, plain old positive energy) had a hand in getting me to where I am today. I want to personally thank each and every one.

Now let's go wheeling!
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  #17  
Old 01-22-2018, 03:38 PM
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Inukshuk Inukshuk is offline
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Great news! I was organizing photos over the weekend and had some video of you spotting on a CM pre-run. (you are bottom left in this picture) Lets get back out there!
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  #18  
Old 01-22-2018, 06:37 PM
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Awesome update Dan!!!! We need to do some hiking at the cabin.

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  #19  
Old 01-22-2018, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
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Great news! I was organizing photos over the weekend and had some video of you spotting on a CM pre-run. (you are bottom left in this picture) Lets get back out there!
Ah yes. First time on Flatiron Mesa - that was a blast! Can't wait to get back out wheeling with you Daniel.

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Awesome update Dan!!!! We need to do some hiking at the cabin.
Hell yeah Perry!
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  #20  
Old 01-22-2018, 10:05 PM
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Default So happy you are doing well!

Dan, I'm glad you made it!
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