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This fundraiser ended on 01/31/13

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This is the family of Pam Serrano. The funds will be used for Pam's medical costs and related expenses not covered by insurance.

On Friday, September 14th Pam Serrano went in for a routine foot surgery. The procedure was a success and she was sent home that morning. Sometime mid afternoon she started feeling sick. She asked her husband David to call 911. She began having seizures and at one point her heart stopped for 1 minute and had no pulse for 7 minutes. She was stabilized at the hospital but the doctors were most concerned about the amount of time her brain went without oxygen. They determined the best course of action was therapeutic hypothermia. They began cooling her body down to 89 degrees F over a 24 hour period and then slowly heated her back up over the next 24 hours. The idea was to limit the swelling in the brain the same as you would by icing an ankle. The family was told this was going to be a long process even after the 24 hours to determine how much the procedure helped. The body can perform basic functions like gagging, breathing, and opening and closing the eyes without much brain activity and these were the things the medical team was looking for as Pam was going through the procedure and beyond. Early in the first week she started to show the gagging and eye movement. She had been on a ventilator since she arrived at the hospital. The main thing we were told about brain injuries which is what you have when you are deprived of oxygen is that only time can tell. We should see little improvements as the body has time to heal and gain strength. Over the course of the next few days she started to show some of the basic things the doctors spoke about but not much more. When she opened her eyes they were not focused. The bad news started coming towards the end of the week as Pam wasn’t making any real improvements. The medical team started talking about being able to see damage to her brain. First the indication was on one side then after further exam they could see it throughout both sides. By the weekend we could tell the hope seemed to disappear from the staff and things were not looking good. On Sunday September 23rd the head Neurologist for the hospital sat the family in a private room and informed us that Pam had started regressing on even the most basic functions she should have and that they could not detect any brain activity. He said we would have to make the decision to keep her on a machine possibly for good to keep her alive or let nature take its course. His specific words were “I don’t see her being any better than she is right now.” The entire family knew her wishes about not wanting to live on a machine so the decision was made to give friends and family a chance to see her before we took out the breathing tube on Tuesday September 25th. This is when the miracle started. On Monday morning when her husband David went to sit with her for the day she woke up. Her eyes had been open before but this time was different. She was tracking people in the room. Basic functions had come back. You could tell her to look at a specific person and she would find them with her eyes. The doctor came to look at her and informed the family there is something happening that wasn’t before. She started blinking on command to answer questions and squeezing with her hands. Through the week she showed signs of improvement every day including her breathing and the occasional smile. By the beginning of the next week she had a trach inserted and the tube came out of her throat and by the end of the week she was breathing on her own. Pam is set to be moved to a rehab facility on Friday October 5th after 3 weeks in the ICU. We have a long road ahead with lots of ups and downs expected but through the power of prayer and a miracle from our Heavenly Father Pam is with us fighting every day to get better.
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