I received this letter this morning. Let's keep the prayers going for a speedy recovery.
I'm sorry this always has to be a joint note to all of you at once but
time is limited for me since I am at the hospital most of the day.
Yesterday was THE day of surgery. His surgery last 4 hours and he had
5 by passes instead of just 4. The Dr said it was successful and that
his heart vessels were a mess. I saw him 3 xs after they put him in
ICU. He is attached to so many machines it isn't funny. Has 3 chest
tubes sticking out and of course, on a breathing tube which he did not
like at all and wanted it out.
The last time in at 6:30 pm they had been able to remove the breathing
tube much to his relief. He is in pain and the meds don't seem to be
easing it as much as he would like. They say he won't remember much of
the first day and I hope not. Willem has always been a very strong
person who stands a LOT of pain very easily so this must have been
I will go up to the hospital in about an hour and be with him the rest
of this day.
I was pooped last night so came home and was in bed ASLEEP at 9 pm!!
If you smoke STOP IT, if you like greasy, fried and fatty foods, LIMIT
them. You don't want to have this operation if you can possibly help
Willem was the first operation of the day for this surgeon and he did 4.
There are 6 surgeons that do this at this special heart hospital and
everyone of them had a full schedule of operations for the day. I never
saw so many beds going to and from the main operating rooms in my life.
And this did not count the beds being taken with patients to another
part of hospital to have heart catherizations, thoracic procedures,
stent and ballooning procedures. I believe heart hospitals must make a
LOT of money and mainly because we do not take care of our bodies by a
healthy life style.
Thanks so much for all the emails, notes of encouragement, cards to
Hopefully he will be in a regular room by the end of this day and be up
walking and coughing (yes that is part of the therapy and a painful but
necessary part of his recovery). He has a big red heart pillow he must
hold over his chest wall and then deep breathe and cough, clearing his
lungs and bringing strength to his chest wall that is now wired closed
Did I tell you more than you wanted to know??? Well, I am sharing my
emotions, stress and thoughts with you all since I feel I can because
you are our friends.
Thanks for the update. The operation appears to have been successful, and we pray Willem continues to improve. I guess this is just one more argument against smoking. In fact, just about everyone I know who has died or suffered from heart or lung problems either is or has been a smoker. I am glad that neither Peggy and I nor either of our children has ever smoked. I guess that it is up to all of us to make our own decisions as to the life style we choose.