Seeing a need for friends and families with a loved one in ARDS crisis to have contact with others in the same situation, we added this page to the Pen Pal Circle. If you are interested in posting a message here, please fill out the short form provided to obtain the necessary information we need to do so.


My husband had a heart transplant on September 19. The new heart is working fine, but he developed ARDS shortly thereafter. He is now on ECMO and a ventilator. Has anyone else been in this situation?  If so, how are they doing?

posted 9/21/2013
Terrence Duong
My mother is on her third hospital visit and was finally diagnosed with Dermatomyositis as well as ARDS. She was admitted to the ICU and initially had just a breathing tube for her nose and an oxygen mask. That wasnít cutting it, so they sedated her and put her on a CV. There was an incident one night where they tried to shower her and her oxygen levels dropped and did not go up. Sheís now on a high frequency oscillating ventilator as well as the Rotorest bed. They gave her Cytoxin which is a chemo drug which happens to help in cases of the lungs. So far we are 9 days into the latest hospital admittance. There have been many ups and downs and this has been very tough for everybody. If anybody has any ideas how to help pull her through this, please let me know.

posted 6/17/2013
Sandra Tipton
My mom was admitted to the hospital March 7th with strep pneumonia. She had surgery on March 11th to have a thoracotomy on her right lung. Her left lung still needs to be done but she's not strong enough right now. She developed ARDS and is on a ventilator going on 11 days now, and has been in the rotoprone bed since Saturday and was a also given a paralytic drip. Most stats seem to be stable but the x-rays look no better than they did day one. My siblings and I are so confused with this whole process. Has anyone going through something similar that has any words of encouragement? If so, please contact me.

posted 3/21/2013
Jennifer Harris Slayton
After a successful fight against lung cancer, my mom is in SICU with ARDS. The doctors are thinking it's a late side effect from radiation. She was short of breath one day, and by the end of the day on a ventilator and sedated. It has now been 6 days. She is alert, writing notes and has her favorite nurses. She is waiting for steroids to reduce the inflammation in her lungs so they can start turning the oxygen down on the vent. This has been a terrible emotional roller coaster. I just wanted to hear from anyone else that has dealt with anything similar to this. I feel like I'm floundering in a sea of doctors and nurses. Today's xray showed no improvement and I don't know what to do. Thanks.

posted 3/20/2013
LeeAnn Doyon
My mom was rushed to the hospital after not feeling well all day. She stopped breathing in the ambulance. Once at the hospital they did their tests and said she has pneumonia and sepsis. After another couple days we were told that she has ARDS. The long story short, she has been treched and she has a feeding tube now. She is still on the vent in a drug induced coma. She most likely will be brought to a rehab very soon. So, that's the story of my mom. To be continued.

posted 3/16/2013
My dad had a heart transplant on January 14, 2013. He seemed to do okay and didn't reject the heart. Within the first week he was back on a vent. After nearly a week, he was off of it, but stayed in the hospital. He started having problems breathing again and ended up back on the vent, then had a trach. The doctor didn't find any infection and diagnosed him with ARDS. He had carbon dioxide build up that caused sepsis, and he got two units of blood. He now has ARDS, pneumonia, another lung infection causing slime like substance, bacterial blood infection and is now running a fever. Watching him like this is so devestating. Any advice would be helpful.

posted 2/22/2013
Bill Luke
Marcia had surgery in her left leg for no circulation due to a blood clot in her aortic bypass. Two days after surgery she started having breathing problems. We'renow on day 20 of ventilation. This is the third time this has happened to her. The doctors are puzzled why she breathes so rapidly. This is very frustrating,even though i've been down this road with her before.

posted 2/20/2013
Tinna Kopelow
I am 67 years old and live in a suburb of NYC. I have been treated twice for NHL, stage 4, large bone marrow involvement, follicular and aggressive large B cell at MSKCC. My husband had had 2 heart attacks, quintuple by-pass, surgery, many stents, a fib. But this is too much for us...our 43 year old son who lives in Tampa was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia. He started chemo and within a couple of days developed ARDS. That was back in June. He is at Moffitt. Twice the doctors told us he wouldn't survive, but he is still with us and fighting. Please anyone with similar story or caregiver or friend give us some support. We just want our son back.

posted 8/4/2012
Bonnie Linares
I found the ARDS website a while ago and just now felt the need to write. My husband is on day 42 of hospitalization fighting ARDS. Roller coaster ride is right! I'm hoping someone can help me with support.

posted 8/4/2012
Gina DeBellis
My very good friend is in the ICU right now recovering from ARDS. She is still on the vent, and needs to be sedated because she becomes combative. I am trying to figure out what I can do for her. My father had ARDS and passed away, so I am very scared. She is my best friend and I love her. She does not have any money and I will be there when she gets out, but I don't know how I can help her financially.

posted 5/13/2012
My friend Ricardo went into the hospital on December 26 2011. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and he now has ARDS and is fighting for his life. The cause seems to be the H1N1 virus and that is why he got pneumonia. He has been in an induced coma since December 27th. He is stable but on a respirator that is doing 70% of the breathing for him. The swelling in his lungs has not come down and he has swelling in his heart. We are very scared!

posted 1/8/2012
Pat had a gum infection, and after not healing for 3 weeks and feeling worse, she went to the ER and was told she had a white blood cell count of 90,000 and had leukemia. She was on a vent for 2 weeks, and has been off the vent for 3 days. She seems confused and has no voice and cannot express herself. The 'guessing game' doesn't seem to be working. She gets very frustrated and so do I. Will she ever be able to talk again and act normal?

posted 11/16/2011
Inhaled nitric oxide gas therapy was given to my daughter tonight. She went in for a stem cell transplant and contacted pneumonia. She is on her third pneumonia in a month in the ICU. I am terrified for her.

posted 6/3/2011
I brought my son to the ER because he was vomiting, coughing, and had a headache and severe abdominal pain. He quickly became worse so they put him in the ICU on a bipap and suddenly he started gasping for air so they intubated him. He has now been maxed out on a ventilator for 8 days. His O2 sat was 85% until today. Now he's at 92% since they started steroids. He has bed sores, a yeast infection, a swollen red eye, and swollen ankles, hands and arm. They are calling it ARDS. Will he be OK? He's young and otherwise healthy. This is a cruel illness.

posted 3/21/2011
My stepchild was admitted with severe abdominal pain and diagnosed with a pancreatic attack. It rapidly progressed to severe acute pancreatic (SAP), 10-15% tail dead, blood colts in portal and splenic veins, pneumonia, ventilator set at PEEP and ARDS. The current body temperature is normal, although there has been a variation of temps from hypothermia to hyperthermia at 102.6. There are bed sores after one full week in ICU. No signs of infection by CT at the present, but remains heavily sedated and restrained.

posted 3/12/2011
This is my husband's 11th day. He has pneumonia, sepsis, ARDS and now a bad gall bladder. He started on a vent but maxed that out and he had to placed on an oscillator. Now, they are having a terrible time trying to wean him off. Yesterday he only last 50 minutes before the blood pressure went sky high and other stats plummeted. I didn't realize only 60% of these patients survive. I am scared, stressed and just about maxed out. Please pray for a miracle! My two kids are also maxed and it's no fun being a single parent.

posted 3/3/2011
Rachael Shepherd
This all started on December 4th when John complained of pain in his ribs. He went to an urgent care clinic that told him he was having a muscle spasm and sent him home with pain killers. The pain didn't go away, so he went back to the clinic only to find out he had pneumonia. Four days later, I took him to the ER only to find out he had emphysema, pneumonia and respiratory failure associated with ARDS.

posted 1/11/2011
Nila Penn
My mom has been in the hospital since Monday, November 8 2010. It has been a roller coaster ride for her since then. She went in complaining of chest pain and shortness of breath now, and she was placed under a doctor induced coma to help with the recovery. But now she's showing signs of kidney failure and her blood count is low. I have no clue of what to expect next or if I should take my children to visit her. If you have any kind or helpful words of support or suggestions to ask the doctor, I would greatly appreciate it. I just feel so lost and confused.

posted 11/13/2010
My mom was diagnosed with cancer in April 2010. Chemotherapy helped a great deal and she was recovering wonderfully. On October 22, 2010, she had a slight fever and went to the hospital the following night because she was having trouble breathing. The doctors said she had severe pneumonia and ARDS. She has had a low fever and is on a ventilator. My sister and I have been very stressed out and we are requesting you pray that my mom can fully recover from this. She has lived a hard life and deserves to finally enjoy it without working as hard as she has. She is a wonderful person and still has to teach my sister and I so much.

posted 10/28/2010
Jennie Stearns
My sister was admitted into the hospital on September 26, 2010 for diverticulitis. On September 30th, she was put on a ventilator and diagnosed with ARDS, which they believe she got from becoming septic. She was on a regular ventilator until October 13th when they switched her to an oscillator. She currently remains sedated and medically paralyzed. The doctors say they are running out of options to treat her. She's not well enough to transfer to another facility. The family is struggling with this sudden illness and we are unsure of where to turn for help or guidance. Anything you can share would be greatly appreciated.

posted 10/25/2010
Melissa Brown
My husband went in for ankle surgery on September 30, 2010. This was normal because this was his third ankle surgery. He aspirated and it went into his lungs and made them collapse. He then got pneumonia and 3 other bugs while being there. He couldnít be taken off the vent and if left on much longer it would damage his vocal cords. They put in a trach on October 15th and today he seems to be getting better. His white cell count is down to 19 and he is only on 35% oxygen. We have two daughters and itís so hard to hold everything down by myself and deal with this terrible time in my life. Iíve never felt so heartbroken in my life. Iím so sad and every day I feel a part of me is gone. Iím doing everything I can and he is getting better.

posted 10/19/2010
My father had a CABG heart operation on September 5th 2010. The operation turned out very successful, but we were informed that he can't breathe on his own and is on a ventilator. My father has been struggling with ARDS. As an only child, I'm going through the hardest time in my life. I need some sympathy.

posted 9/29/2010
My 20 year old sister came down with cellulitis and went into septic shock on Thursday, September 2. She was diagnosed with ARDS on September 4. She has been on a vent ever since and is still on 100% oxygen. The chest x-rays are not improving, and has pneumothorax in both lungs.

posted 9/21/2010
My husband was diagnosed with bronchitis, then viral pneumonia, now ARDS. We are on day 16 of ICU, and he is still under complete sedation. He was paralyzed for the first week, taken off for the second week, and is back on it now. It's been an up and down rollercoaster ride; every time I think it is getting better the next day is worse. He had a mouth vent for the first 12 days, and now has a trach tube. His kidneys have failed and he has had 4 sessions of dialysis. I think he can hear me; I try to talk happy thoughts to him to influence his dreams. I'm trying to stay strong for our 11 year-old son.

posted 9/4/2010
Justin Shaffer
My dad went to the ER on June 28, 2010 after coughing up a little blood. Three hours later, he was being life-flighted to a larger hospital. The doctors say he vomited and aspirated while getting a CT scan, but they don't know for sure. He was diagnosed with ARDS and has currently been in the MICU for one month as of today. The doctors said he should have died that night, but somehow he made it through. He was recovering well and weaning off of the vent last week, but now he is back on full sedation. They said there would be ups and downs with ARDS, but this daily roller coaster is so much to handle.

posted 7/29/2010
This is my daughter's second episode of ARDS within 14 months. In May 2009 she developed ARDS after a pulmonary embolism that kept her hospitalized for 9 weeks. Another complication was the need for an ileostomy. Last Monday she had surgery to reverse the ileostomy which was successful, but on Friday apparently she aspirated vomit and is now back in the ICU on a ventilator. She is stable at the moment, but I am discouraged and worried about her long-term recovery. She had just gone back to work full time in April.

posted 7/25/2010
Jill P.
My mother had severe pneumonia, complicated by the fact that she was already on steroids for a liver condition. Now they're saying she has ARDS. She is looking for a quality pulmonary rehab in the NY or NJ area. I can get a list of all the rehabs in those states, but have no way of knowing which are the best.

posted 7/23/2010
DK Wilson
My friend Sandy was hospitalized in the ICU on February 7, 2010. She is still in the hospital as of June 21, 2010. She is in recovery and on oxygen and a walker. She is battling with depression and all the changes to her health and cognition. I know she would love to hear from anyone who came out on the other side and survived.

posted 6/21/2010
My sister was just diagnosed with ARDS after an aspiration after a simple back surgery. I would like to learn all I can to be as helpful as I can for her.

posted 5/17/2010
Dad had a massive heart attack. He blacked out and fell 3 times and broke his jaw. He made it through a quadruple bypass, but now they say he has ARDS. Please help me understand.

posted 4/26/2010
My 3 year-old son Jacob is a bone marrow transplant patient that incurred some difficulties in his respiratory system. The cause is still undetermined. He has been put on ventilation support and was on and off the oscillator and the conventional vent. We have been bouncing back and forth due to a possible bleed and something undetermined but guessed to be another bleed that put us back on the oscillator which is what he is on now. He has been in the PICU for almost a month. We are terrified of what is going on and hope that we are at the best place we need to be for him and his recovery. For now we trust the doctors.

posted 4/18/2010
My brother Michael is currently battling ARDS. It has been a week and a half so far and he is finally stable.

posted 3/20/2010
Christy Duncan
My boyfriend John was admitted to the hospital on February 13, 2010 with a diagnosis of double pneumonia. On February 15th, he was moved to the ICU diagnosed with ARDS. He was placed on vent set at 100%. We now know that H1N1 was the initial illness. He remains in ICU with a trach and the vent is now on the CPAP setting at 40%.

posted 3/7/2010
Meg M.
I found my husband Leo barely conscious and gasping for air. He has been in the ICU for 23 days. Nobody has been able pinpoint a cause. Improvement is slow and unpredictable. No one has said ARDS, but all symptoms are present. They have said non-acute leukemia, but the oncologist said no. No bacterial infection has been discovered. This is frustrating and frightening.

posted 2/14/2010
Carlos Garay
My wife fell sick on January 2, 2010. By January 5th, her sats were dramatically dropping. Intubation and airlifted from Uvalde to San Antonio was recommended by the treating physician. The pulmonologist to receive her was Dr Randal Bell. On Jan 13th, her condition went from severe to it seemed I was going to lose my wife. Family was notified, the priest read the last rites and everything. My prayer became more intense. One of the previous shift nurses left a note for the physician regarding the Roto-prone bed. When she was placed in it, her sats came up again. However, improvement was very slow. It wasn't until February 10th that she was strong enough to withstand a trach. Afterwards she remained supine for 52 hours and was transferred into a regular bed. The next day a peg tube was also placed. Additionally a Picc line had also been placed two days after her arrival at the Methodist hospital. Her progress has been slow but positive. X-rays are starting to show black areas vs the whiteout. The biggest problem now is due to the sedation, paralytic, and pain med she received for a month. When stopped completely, she goes into withdrawals. This I can understand and I also understand that weaning her from meds will take weeks. She is doing better with the vent. She is now at 60%. I realize there will be some problems afterwards. The physician stated she will be at that hospital for another 1-1/2 months. Then she will need to go to a rehab for approximately 2-3 months for o2, speech, and physical therapy.

posted 2/13/2010
My mother-in-law went into the hospital with pneumonia. Then they said she had the H1N1 virus and pneumonia. Now she has ARDS and yeast in her bloodstream and lungs. She no longer has H1N1, but now is fighting the yeast and ARDS. I am hopeful she will pull through, but she has been in the ICU for 1 month now.

posted 1/2/2010
Justin Lawrence
My wife was taken to the ER after she had difficulty breathing. She was diagnosed with pneumonia; as of yet they are unsure of what kind. She progressed to ARDS and was transferred to a larger hospital. She is still there and the doctors say she is improving. Please pray for her if you would. Thank you.

posted 12/18/2009
On November 2, 2009 my mom was admitted to the hospital because she was diagnosed with pneumonia and 8 days later the doctors diagnosed her with H1N1 and said that she had ARDS. The doctors have given her so many medications that its crazy she is not getting any better. They keep telling me she has a very poor prognosis. I donít know what to think at this point; I am so scared because this family has had so many losses that it is not fair to have another one......HELP!!!

posted 12/10/2009
Barb Collins
Please help. I need you to pray for my sister. I am afraid she is going to die. I already had a sister and dad die last year. I need help to go and see her; She is in a Lexington hospital. Please help and pray for her.

posted 11/28/2009
Beverly Fisher
My boyfriend was recently diagonosed with ARDS. We are in the early stages of it

posted 11/20/2009
Jim Lagerquist
My son Brandon has been in the ICU for the past 3 weeks with a very severe case of ARDS. He's been sedated and on a ventilator the entire time. He's receiving dialysis daily for poor kidney function and has had some liver and minor heart problems as well.

posted 11/14/2009
My brother was admitted to the VA hospital on October 20 for pneumonia. He is 50 years old now and is a quadraplegic due to former spinal cancer. The pneumonia came on just 30 days after recovery from pneumonia in September. The doctors suggested intubation to help him clear his left lung. This was a voluntary procedure that was supposed to last only 2 days and then he would be back in his normal spinal cord unit. Needless to say he has been intubated now for 2 weeks and has developed ARDS and double bilateral pneumonia, which keeps going back and forth between his lungs. To complicate things more he has MRSA (from the hospital) and no spleen to fight infections on his own.He also has a syrinx on his spine that makes recovery more difficult. They now suggest a tracheotomy so that he can communicate with everyone but after reading all of this about ARDS and trachs i am very worried about the decision I must make. He has always been a fighter and has overcome a lot of battles before, but I am not sure if he can beat this ARDS!! I pray every day that he makes it through this!

posted 11/13/2009
Richard E. Cauchon
My wife Joan was admitted to the hospital on 10/04/09 with a lung infection. Since Monday, 10/5, she has been treated for ARDS. I read there is a 40-60 % survival rate with no complications. My wife is diabetic and now going on dialysis because her kidneys are failing. They also told me she may have heart damage. Nothing is certain until she recovers and is tested. I'm her husband and we live at home with our son, daughter and two grandchildren. My wife keeps us all afloat and I'm deeply troubled with the possibility that she may not make it. I talk to friends and relatives, but I get emotional when I tell them there is a possibility she may not make it. It's horrible.

posted 10/14/2009
My girlfriend is 23 years old and has been in the ICU now for 3 weeks. She had been complaining of chest pain and muscles aches, and had also been running a fever for days. I took her to numerous ER's for 2 weeks and they said she just had a cold and sent her on her way. They performed chest x-rays and numerous blood tests and everything said she just had a cold. She was getting sicker and sicker. One of the doctors even told her that she was "she was just gonna have to suffer." The next day her mom rushed her to the hospital where they FINALLY performed a CT Scan and it showed what the doctor called "terrible pneumonia." This was on September 12, 2009. She was admitted on a Sunday morning and by Tuesday morning she developed ARDS and was placed in ICU on a ventilator. I was also admitted into the hospital for the flu. I was released after 2 days. They tested her numerous times for the flu and it has come back negative. Her lungs were just so inflammed and she couldn't breathe. After 2 weeks of being on the vent, nothing was improving and her lungs were still inflamed and still wasn't able to breathe on her own. They have been giving her Propoful, Ativan, anti-inflammatory meds and antibiotics. The doctors say her lungs are sounding clearer everyday and the chest X-rays look a little better each day. They have tried numerous times to take her off the vent but her lungs just aren't ready. They're now afraid of her getting oxygen poisoning, so they performed a tracheotomy. I was with her all day and she looked like she was comfortable but she keeps fighting the machine. She tries to breathe on her own and override the machine...which isn't what we want because her lungs are still so inflamed from the pneumonia. They decided to completely paralyze her body so her lungs and finally get the REST they NEED. She's been in that "drug coma" since the beginning. They have been having to use the high doses of meds just to keep her sedated and she would still fight. So now she is basically paralyzed...hoping she gets that rest for her lungs. They say what's keeping her alive is her BIG HEART and her youth!!!! We have all been there for her the whole way. I also would like to mention that her family is out of work and are struggling to pay their mortgage and bills. This has taken a big toll on the family. If they lose their house, where is Ashley going to come home to WHEN she recovers?? Is there any way they can get some kind of help?? Are we going about this situation the right way?? Is there anything else we can do?? PLEASE HELP!!!!!!! Any suggestions would help!!!!

posted 10/3/2009
Steve Smith
Karen was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, and went through 7 weeks of chemo/radiation & esophagectomy. Two weeks ago, she underwent a routine test & aspirated into her lungs. She developed ARDS & was placed on a ventilator 09/21/09. It has not spread, but there is no improvement and doctors have little hope.

posted 10/2/2009
Laura Fox
My husband and I moved to Puerto Rico due to my husband's debilitating arthritis. Four days after our move, he was involved in a horrible accident. He broke his left femur in 2 places, had surgery the next day went into respiratory distress on day 3 and now is intubated on a vent in ICU day 9. He is doing well now but I look at some of the stories here and now am worried. The doctor said he is on pressure not volume on vent would be better if it was the other way around. I did work in medical field so I know a little but sometimes knowing a little is knowing too much. I'm just looking for a little encouragement. I know that we have a long road ahead of us, but want to know if he will recover.

posted 10/1/2009
Telka Herman
My mom had a stroke at age 50, 15 years ago. She had fought her way back to independence, even driving again. She had not felt well for about 1 week when she was recently admitted to the hospital. After many tests (inconclusive) they suspected her gallbladder was causing abdominal pain. Within a week, her O2 sats were dropping, and she went from full pulmonary function to being on a vent with total nonfuction in 3 days. She was diagnosed with ARDS. She was placed on the vent on 9/11/09 and remains on it today. She is not stable enough to trach, her blood pressure is still dangerously low and 3 different pressors have been tried. She had renal failure on day 2 of ventilation and continues to be on dialysis. The medical staff are providing good care, but her prognosis is grim. I would like to talk with others about their experience with ARDS.

posted 9/30/2009
Margo Cole
My niece was ventilated and put in a medically induced coma on 7-4-09 for ARDS. A trach was inserted about a week ago, but her condition remains unchanged. Her blood oxygen drops when they try to wean her off the ventilator. She has asthma, diabetes, and recently recovered from pneumonia. Her lungs look solid white on x-rays, and she was diagnosed with swine flu as well. I'm getting second hand information since I live 500 miles away. I am encouraged by other stories I've read that patients have survived long terms on a ventilator.

posted 8/30/2009
Theresa Edler
I am looking for hope. My mom had a quadruple bypass 36 days ago. She developed ARDS and was intubated for 15 days, then trached. She was doing well on the trach then got a lung and blood infection. This flared up the ARDS; they have had her in a drug-induced coma for 10 days now. The doctors say there is still hope, but it is minimal. Yesterday she progressed to 80% on machine, and today it was 70% for awhile. While the doctors and my family want to continue, some of the nurses are looking at us like we are crazy and indicating that we should take my mom out of her suffering. If there is even a smidgen of a chance of my mom's survival, my family and I want it because we adore her and we know she wants to live. Any hopeful comments would be greatly appreciated.

posted 8/14/2009
Sandra Butler
My Dad, who is 80 years old and a highly intelligent and active man, was admitted to hospital nearly 3 weeks ago with an allergic reaction to blood pressure medication (angio-oedema). The drug was immediately discontinued; he was told this was not uncommon and it would clear up within 6 months. After that, things went downhill. Day 6-mild chest infection,  Day 9-breathing difficulties, Day 10-respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, ventilation in ICU. He was then diagnosed with ARDS. Day 15-off ventilator, 2 tough days fighting for every breath, then back on ventilator. Next day tracheotomy, 2 days excellent form, doing crosswords, very positive, totally mentally normal and positive, then today day 20, he was agitated and didn't know where he was (ICU Psychosis), kept trying to pull out tube, finally succeeded tonight, now back on full oral ventilation. He had been given the trach as docs said he was unable to continue otherwise- now back to square 1. What happens now? Mentally-will he recover? Physically-can he withstand continued ventilation? If trach done again-will he pull it out? How long will this go on for? I need help and advice urgently-no-one seems to know anything, and we feel totally helpless. Can anyone please offer any info/advice?

posted 8/12/2009
Diahan Gensel
My husband had a bone marrow transplant on 05/22/09. He has been in hospital since because of one complication or another. He is now in the ICU (for the third time) on the vent; this time for two weeks. They just put him on the oscillator vent. Has anyone had to deal with this?

posted 8/3/2009
Danielle Shephard
My 8 year old niece went to the ER with a high temperature of 40c and shortness of breath. The doctors had no clue. The doctors got the results of her blood tests, which showed she was already in renal failure. They believe her ARDS was due to swine flu. She is one of the first children they have seen with this who were healthy before contracting this disease. She was transfer to ICU a day later and ventilated the day after. When the ventilator was not working due her her lungs collapsing, she was placed on a high frequency ventilator. She has been in a coma on this machine for nearly four weeks. Yesterday they put her back on a "normal" ventilator. She is still in renal failure, but she is slowly returning to us. Has anyone heard or known a healthy child that has become ill with this? It seems very rare. My family and I are very grateful she is still fighting, as they only gave her a 5% chance of survival.

posted 7/29/2009
My father was diagnosed about a week ago with ARDS due to pneumonia. He has already been through hell and back. In 1998, he was in an almost fatal car accident on his way down to my grandfather's funeral. He was given a life expectancy of ZERO! Slowly but surely he made it through that and for the last 11 years has suffered not only with a disability from the accident but has acquired diabetes which has complicated his life even more. I feel so hopeless right now because he is 2 hours away from me and I cannot be there 24/7 like I want because I need to work and I also feel like my family doesn't understand that. I would give anything to trade places with him so he doesn't have to suffer anymore.

posted 7/26/2009
Both my wife and I came down with flu like symptoms and we went to the doctor. I was better in 2 days but Lori did not improve. She went back to the doctor and he discovered her SpO2 was low and sent her to the hospital. Over the next 48 hours she developed double pneumonia and then ARDS. She is recovering and on her 7th day on the vent. She has no previous medical conditions, and even with excellent doctors and staff in the hospital, we have no known cause for why this happened. We're just fighting hard because losing is not an option.

posted 7/18/2009
Nicol George
My mom has been through so much. She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 2005, metastatic colon cancer to her lungs in 2008 and liver cancer in May 2009. She has gone through surgery for her initial diagnosis, chemo, CyberKnife radiation treatment for her lung tumors and RFA for her liver. She became short of breath and last week was admitted to the hospital for low O2 sats. She was transferred to the ICU and I was with her when she desaturated and required ventilation. She has had a lot of ups and downs and had a lung biopsy today to try and define her actual issue. She is currently stable at 65% o2 on vent with her sats around 94%. This is an improvement from the 100% she required this morning. This is horrible and a roller coaster ride. Has anyone shared a similar situation? I am afraid she will have permanent scarring and fibrosis from the radiation. Please email me and pray for her. I am praying for all of the people on this website.

posted 6/4/2009
Jayne Haftmann
My brother went into the hospital to have a subdural hematoma removed and three days later was diagnosed with ARDS. He was on a BIPAP machine at 70% and his oxygen levels were dropping. The respirator and medication management were his only chance for surviving ARDS. It has been an emotional roller coaster with our family. He has a wife, three daughters, three grandchildren, my two brothers and myself (his sister and DPOA, I am a RN and that is one of the reasons he chose me for his DPOA several years ago). He has cirrhosis and this has been causing problems with his platelets and bleeding times studies. We are on an emotional roller coaster but we promised him and he agreed to two weeks of aggressive treatment to try to treat the ARDS. Please share with me your concerns you have with your loved ones and how things are going for you. We are on day 6 of our 2 week promise.

posted 6/2/2009
Amanda Vanco
My brother was admitted in the hospital 21 days ago. They did surgery 15 days ago on his lung to drain fluid off, but it has not healed at at in all. His oxygen is down to 60% but the lung has not healed. Please help.

posted 5/30/2009
My stepfather was admitted to the hospital on March 25th with-double pneumonia. He went into respiratory distress on March 27th and placed on a vent. He stayed on the vent for one week, was off for 3-5 days, and is now back on the vent. They are diagnosing him with ARDS, and a fungal infection. We are now back to square one. The doctors say there is no hope and have stopped all meds. I'm now just waiting.

posted 4/27/2009
Evelyn Brown
My niece Keisha delivered a beautiful daughter on April 15, 2009, via cesarean section, but developed pneumonia due to aspirating on the operating table. This wonderful woman who is bubbly, nice, and just a good person, with a wonderful partner, a loving family, and so very much to live for is fighting for her life today. Pray for her.

posted 4/26/2009
Laura Hickie
I hope this is available to me in the UK. I cannot find a support group locally. I need help and to talk to someone. I'm going through hell. My dad was admitted to hospital on March 26th. He had an operation to remove lung cancer. That night he called and was fine, but over the next couple of days, he had issues breathing. He was put in a drug induced coma, for 14 days, they then woke him up, and did a tracheotomy on day 15. He was doing very well for a few days, almost normal but still on a lot of support from the ventilator although pressure support as he can breath alone. We have had positive days, and today has been a negative one. The support has increased slightly.

posted 4/19/2009
Vicky Stephen
My mom went into the hospital in February with pneumonia. It got progressively worse, and she developed sepsis with necrosis resulting in some of her extremities. She has been ventilator dependent since February. She had to have a trach and a peg tube inserted. It has been a rollercoaster ride and it gets very frustrating.

posted 4/3/2009
Karen Hannen
My daughter has ARDS as the result of a salmonella bloodstream infection. She has been on a vent since 3/25. She has had a lot of setbacks in her life and suffers from bipolar disorder. We are very concerned about her future because of the potential cognitive and mental illness consequences. The CCU staff at Central DuPage Hospital is incredible and so very kind to all of us. Each day she isn't worse seems like miracle to us. Thanks.

posted 3/31/2009
My husband got ARDS from aspiration. He has a very rare disorder called Achalasia and was very prone to aspiration, thus the ARDS.

posted 2/22/2009
Brenda Reedy
My beautiful 61 year old sister has ARDS. On January 9, 2009 she tripped and hit her shoulder on a curb. This impact dislocated her sternoclavicular joint. She went to the ER, they referred her to an orthopedist and he put her in a sling. She had a tremendous amount of pain and went to the ER for a pain shot. The following Tuesday evening she began to have trouble breathing; she had been treated the week before for a respiratory infection with antibiotics. She went to the doctor the next day. By the time she saw the doctor, she was in trouble. Her inability to cough and take in a deep breath was turning her fingers blue. The General Practitioner sent her home to wait for a room at the hospital to open up. My 80 year-old Mother said, "She needs to go to the ER now." Upon arrival to the Hendricks Hospital in Abilene, Texas, her O2 sats were 57%. The ER doctor put her on a C-PAP and called a pulmonologist. The pulmonologist put her in the ICU and kept her on the C-PAP thru the night. The next morning her blood gases were so bad, they finally intubated her. The doctor had her sedated and on 4 different antibiotics and two different steroids. She was given heparin daily. They put her on the T-bar on the third day but kept putting her back on the vent. This went on for 8 days, never getting off the vent. The evening of the 8th day she went into septic shock. We almost lost her; her BP was 60/30, respiration rate 52 and so on. By this time, they had been giving her insulin because of all the steroids. The blood cultures never showed what we were fighting. Septic shock slowed down her urine output and she was started on dialysis. They said she may have HIT, so they stopped giving her heprin. Then they said because her CPK was 30,000, that she had Ribdomyolisis. The ribdo, they said, causes muscle breakdown. She wasn't moving her arms and legs when asked to. They called in a hematologist because her rbc's were low. She received blood for 7 days. They called in a neurologist to order MRI's, CT's EEG and neuro evaluations. No brain damage was shown. An infection doctor was called in, and she changed the antibiotics and steroids. No cultures ever grew. The pulmonologist and infection doctor disagreed on treatment after the antibiotics were stopped, and my sister got hospital acquired pneumonia. The pulmonologist put her on two new antibiotics, and the infectious disease doctor dropped out of my sister care. On February 13, my sister almost left us again. Her O2 SATS dropped, BP was 60/30, and so on. Her chest x-ray shows that her lungs are full of fluid. She got a trach put in at 3 1/2 weeks, and she got a peg tube today. Once again they pulled off 41/2 liters of fluid when they did her dialysis today. We are not getting the answers as to why her lungs are not improving, are they are dehydrating her when they do dialysis and not rehydrating her. They have her on adavan and other sedatives. When they try to wean her off, she gets agitated, and her respiratory and pulse rate goes up, so they put her back to sleep. They have had her on dopamine and other heart meds several times, and her kidneys are shot. We have questioned the doctors and nurses about moving her to a more ARDS experienced hospital. Hendricks Hospital in Abilene is not the place to get critical care, but they say she is too fragile to move. HELP US PLEASE. We are all terrified, frustrated, tired and angry. My sister Donna was a loving, kind, giving, talented artist and interior designer, UT graduate, is funny, and has hundreds of friends. She has been laying in a hospital bed for 5 weeks now.

posted 2/17/2009
Jill Nugin
My dad had what was supposed to be routine surgery for a block in his stomach. After an incorrectly inserted "central line", following surgery he had 2 or 3 small strokes, developed pneumonia and now has ARDS. Today makes 7 days on a ventilator in the ICU. We have been told that the incorrectly inserted line may have caused the strokes, which may have caused paralysis, trouble with swallowing and aspiration that led to the pneumonia. We are scared, but the information we have found on this site gives us some hope. He seems to have a good team of pulmonologists and great nurses. We just don't know what to expect.

posted 2/17/2009
Wendy Robertson
My boyfriend Anter and I went into the ER on January 28th. He suffered from a severe headache and he had a 103.5 fever. Anter was admitted for tests, and had a CT Scan, chest x-ray, Spinal Tap, HIV, and flu, and everything was negative. Within 10 hours, Anter was on a respirator, and both lungs were completely infected. The doctors have tested for legionnaires, which came back negative, and finally diagnosed him with ARDS. Anter is now on 50% oxygen (he was previously on 100%) and is heavily sedated. He is in critical condition, but making slow improvement. He is young, strong and no other organ is affected, although they say that could change quickly. These have been the hardest 8 days of my life; although I look at Anter and think how lucky to be healthy at the moment. My job is to see him through this awful sickness, but being in the dark and not knowing is difficult. Having the knowledge that other people pull through and others can help through their own experiences is comforting.

posted 2/5/2009
Dianne Scott
It's been a really rough time; my husband Jim has been in the ICU at Swedish Covenant since Thursday, January 8th with ARDS/post-viral pneumonia. He has respiratory failure and the infection in the lungs is diffused. They put him on a ventilator Sunday, 1/11 to give him a break from breathing with the mask. The infection has worsened today and the x-ray is consistent with fibrosis. He also has a weakened immune system after he had shingles in December. If anyone can offer help or advice for this case, please do. Please pray for us.

Dianne Scott - (773) 297-7084

posted 1/18/2009
Kristina Tracey
My father had knee replacement surgery, which lead to aspiration pneumonia then ARDS. He has been in the ICU in a coma for last 33 days.

posted 12/22/2008
E. Rudin
On November 30th 2008, my uncle had pain and had his blood pressure checked while they were in Wal-Mart and it said 155 over 122 so he immediately went to the hospital. He had suffered a heart attack. They tried to give him Plavix and after that he had an emergency transfer to St. Joseph in St. Charles. He had angeoplasm and triple bypass surgery on December 4th. He was actually doing okay from the open heart surgery for the next couple of days, but he got worse and he now had pneumonia. He was running a fever and eventually he had to be sedated and put on a ventilator. It is now December 21 and every day it is up and down and you never know who to believe. Some doctors give us hope and some make us think that he has no hope. The nurses for the most part have been wonderful. Today, his lung collapsed and we are all here in the ICU waiting room wondering what that means and what happens next. We have said so many prayers that God is bound to help Kurt. Our family has been here days and nights; the strength of your family is the key and the prayers. After the lung collapsed they had to put the ventilator on 90% and his blood gas levels are in the 90's, so is this God letting us know that he needed to have his ventilator decreased. The doctor said that he has a lot of good things going for him all his organs are functioning good with the exception of his lungs. He told us this will be a long process and he has been holding his own for the past couple of days with the exception of his lung collapsing. They put a tube in his lung to release the air from the ventilator around his lung and he is stable now. Every thing we have read on this site has given us hope, but it also scares us that this will keep going up and down for months. Please say a prayer...

posted 12/21/2008
Geri Bellis
Julie received 3 mechanical heart valves & had a hole in her heart repaired on12/5. She has a history of CHF and COPD. She is presently on a ventilating oscillator, on paralytics & drug-induced coma. The doctors are presently working on lowering her nitrous levels. She is off the cardiac meds, and it's now a waiting game with ARDS. Waiting is hard, but we talk to her, play recordings of her beloved granddaughter, rub her extremities with lotion, gave her pedicure, etc. My son had ARDS 8 years ago and told me you hear all around you but can't tell what is really happening and it felt like a very realistic dream. I know she'll make it, with prayer and the knowledge God has provided for the medical staff. Take heart, folks. Where there is life, there is hope.

posted 12/13/2008
Susan Howe
My husband had a bone marrow transplant in August of 2008 and was doing well until 3 and a half weeks ago. He had very few side effects from the high doses of chemo he received prior to the transplant. To make a long story short, he now is in the ICU with ARDS. Has anyone else seen this after having chemo? The doctors are giving him only a 10 percent chance of pulling through this.

posted 11/30/2008
My mother has been diagnosed with ARDS as a complication of severe pancreatitis. She has been on a ventilator since November 17th, and in the hospital since November 11th. Today she was able to be awake for a long time, but there is still talk that she is not doing well. We will find out more tomorrow after another CT scan. The doctors are thinking about airlifting her to another hospital in case she needs surgery related to the pancreatitis. All of this has been extremely difficult on our family. Some of us live quite a distance away (including myself) so it is even more of a helpless feeling. Our family is strong and so is our faith in the Lord, which is getting us all through this.

posted 11/20/2008
Kenda L.
On October 24th my mother, who was visiting for the week, had a follow up with her rheumatoid doctor, then was going to head on home. My husband came home to find her still in bed, breathing hard, and confused, with a fever of 103.6. I called an ambulance and they took her to our local hospital for assessment. Later, she was flown to St. Joe's. Here she remains in ICU in critical but stable condition, which seems to be improving as she is responding well to antibiotics. Initially they diagnosed her with pneumonia; however, a pulmonary specialist believes she may also have ARDS.

posted 10/27/2008
Jeff O'Toole
My mother Mary Ann checked into the Kaiser hospital emergency room on Thursday October 2nd, with difficulty breathing. The diagnosis was pneumonia. On Saturday, after several hours of acute difficulty breathing, the doctors put her on a respirator to help her breathe. We have been staying with her overnight and throughout the day. This is affecting the whole family very much. A few nights ago it was good to see her eyes open and get a squeeze from her hand after so many days of her being knocked out from the drugs and sickness. We were hopeful yesterday when for 24 hours she was taken off the ventilator. Today we had a setback and her lungs started to fill with fluid again, so today they had to put her back on the ventilator. It is hard. Thank you for the website!

posted 10/14/2008
My mother was admitted to our local hospital on September 16th, 2008 after treatment for what we thought was asthma. On the 17th, she was flown by STARS helicopter transport to a larger hospital an hour away. We were told that she had pneumonia. Now we have been told it is ARDS. It has been 3 and 1/2 weeks now and after a few "sedation vacations" we feel that she is improving. While on "vacation" she is responsive and even good humored despite having a tracheotomy. The hospital staff, however, is trying to prepare us for a not so favorable outcome. HELP! We need support and encouragement to keep on keeping on.

posted 10/11/2008
Theresa Griffiths
My husband David had his appendix rupture and walked around like that for 24 hours. He had his appendix removed and he became septic and had pneumonia. The pulmonary doctor said he had ARDS and his prognosis was very dim. His oxygen sat is 70 at 100 percent oxygen on life support. No other organs have been affected. He has been in the hospital for 2 weeks and 3 days and they just put a trach in 3 days ago. I cry myself to sleep every night . They are keeping him sedated. He tries to communicate, opens his eyes when he hears voices, and will do what is asked on command. I fear the ringing of my cell or home phone that it will be the hospital with awful news. The doctors say there is improvement but very little. To me every little bit counts.

posted 10/3/2008
Tron Sutton
My 3 year-old daughter had no history of lung issues. She had a fever one day, and the next day she was in the ER, then ICU with ARDS. We have no idea how it came about, and we are looking for answers. My wife also posted here, but I wanted to part of a solution also.

posted 9/13/2008
Jim started out with flu symptoms; a week later we went to the doctor because he couldn't breathe and his color was a weird bluish grey. The doctor gave him a B-12 shot and sent us home. A week later, he was air lifted to a large hospital put on a vent, and had lung, kidney, and liver failure, bilateral pneumonia and he is now in a drug induced coma. I have never heard of ARDS, and now the love of my life is fighting for his life and we have no clue what caused it.

posted 9/12/2008
Larry Rankin
Five weeks ago, my sister was admitted for insulin shock (her insulin pump had quit working). They saved her life and stabilized her. When they thought she could stand it, they removed the vent tube. Very soon, they realized they had to re-intubate her. That was when she aspirated stomach contents and the ARDS begin. We are now in week six and they want to do the trach. I agree with them due since they will be able to remove Deb from the drugs. I think this will give her a fighting chance. While drugged, I feel she has no chance. Some ask what her quality of life will be, while I say there is still life. It appears we have a long road ahead of us with no guarantees, but my sister will not be on that road alone.

posted 9/9/2008
Carrie Sutton
My 3 year-old daughter Nora had no previous injury or illness. I took her to the doctor and the doctor said to go home and watch her fever. Twelve hours later, she was panting like a dog. Later she was intubated and put on life support.

posted 9/9/2008
Brenda Jackson
They said my mother was having a heart attack, and it turned out her stomach twisted behind her heart. The surgery was successful, but her lung took a hit and we are are having difficulty removing the vent.

posted 9/2/2008
My husband was diagnosed with ARDS yesterday. He had MRSA about a month ago but it was removed from his knee and he was doing well. Last weekend he was feeling tired and had shallow breathing. The hospital said he had a severe case of pneumonia that has led him to this. Yesterday, his breathing had not improved on BiPap so they now say based on his x-ray, he has ARDS. They do not know the cause. He is in a drug induced coma with an oscillating ventilator. He has improved a little bit, but based on what I have read so far if he makes it it's going to be rough.

posted 8/30/2008
I need one answer please. Can an appendix operation leads to ARDS? Please provide me examples. Thanks.

posted 8/2/2008
My father has been battling with ARDS for the last four months (which he developed from pneumonia). He has been going through cycles of battling infection from bacteria and fungus during this period. This has led to renal failure and he is on dialysis support even though his kidney has recently opened up. Just 45 days back he had a brief episode of bradycardia that reduced oxygen supply to the brain. Since then he has been in a vegetative state and the doctors are calling it hypoxia encephalopathy. He is a 69 year-old diabetic; otherwise he is healthy. The doctors are concerned about the repeated onset of the Candida fungus that is making recovery difficult. He is on and off the ventilator, depending on the infection cycle and I am desperately trying to find help to cope with his condition. Is there anyone who can offer any suggestions on his treatment? Any help will be deeply appreciated.

posted 8/22/2008
Jynifer Gassiott
My son had a horrible truck accident on July 28th. He sustained massive internal injuries and is now battling ARDS. I am so devastated...I have no idea what to do. I have a lot of faith in the Lord, which is what is carrying me right now. I have never heard of this disease until now.

posted 8/14/2008
My mother had Gastric Bypass Surgery on July 23rd. Following her surgery she was put into the ICU overnight because she received a pint of blood and she also has severe asthma and they wanted to watch her closely. On July 24th, my mother started to project a dark strong smelling sewer color fluid over and over. The doctors said that she aspirated this into her lungs and now she has ARDS. My mother was on vent for a week and a half and they decided to give her a chance to breathe. She surprised all the doctors and a half and she breathed with just a Nasal Cannula for a day and a half. My mother started vomiting that fluid again, so they had to put her back on the vent. My mom underwent surgery yesterday where a tube was placed in her stomach to drain this bile out. In 24 hours, they have gotten over 5 liters of fluid out of her. Doctors have gone back and forth on the idea of a trach and they have decided they will go ahead and do the trach tomorrow. They said her lungs are great and that they are doing it more to protect her lungs from this bile. I don't feel 100% OK with what they are saying; in fact, I would like to get a second opinion but Dad feels comfortable where we are with her. I feel this could be the beginning of a leakage from her old stomach from surgery. Anyone with any similar cases or any ideas, please let me know. Thank you so much. I'm so afraid I'm going to lose my mother.

posted 8/7/2008
My sister has long battled a disease called Cushing's (since she was 12). This week she started to feel sick, and it turned out she had an e-coli infection, which was followed by ARDS. She is currently on the ventilator. Stats are starting to look good.

posted 8/1/2008
My brother was surfing, had a heart attack, and was revived and brought to the CCU in Shands Hospital. He seemed to be doing well and making improvements. He had a stint put in; two days later, he started regressing. He started having trouble breathing, etc. He is currently intubated with the machine breathing 90% for him. We are awaiting tests to find out what caused it.

posted 7/23/2008
Cynthia Atchison
I wanted to talk with other ARDS family members to ask what they did to help with the recovery for their loved one. My husband has ARDS and is on ventilator and has been in the hospital since May 16, 2008. I have read all the letters on the website at and I am delighted to know that some loved ones have survived and would like for some to contact me if they would like. Thanks for all the encouragement on the website. I have to work at the same time so I am not able to spend that much time with him during the day. During the afternoons and evenings, I have lots of time and talk to him and play music. I would like to start taking a book to read soon.

posted 7/9/2008
Cathy Ruddy
Patrick is a very close family friend who has been on a ventilator for the last 8 months at a hospital in London. His wife and 16 year old son are two of our close friends and we are doing all we can to support them at this difficult time. Pat originally had a heart attack and during an angiogram his main artery burst. The surgeon did a triple bypass and Pat was sent to intensive care. He did come around from the operation, but then got an infection and contracted ARDS. Since then his lungs have remained stiff and the scans have not shown any improvement. His CO2 levels remain at around 9-10 most days. He is a awake and can communicate with us but his muscles are not moving properly yet though the physios do get him up and sit him in a chair. His condition is no better 8 months later and we are all so worried. Can you let me know if any of you have a similar story and if any treatment has proved positive? My friend's son Sean has sadly started to rebel as a consequence of his fathers illness and his mother Teresa is unable to cope with his behavior. I would love to hear from any survivors of ARDS who may have a similar story.

posted 7/3/2008
It started with a fever, so we took daddy to the family doctor, but the fever did not come down. He stopped having food & had problems breathing, so he was admitted to a hospital. All the lab reports were negative. Then he was shifted to another hospital with an ICU facility in Bombay. There he was diagnosed with ARDS (we had never heard of it before). The x-ray shows severe lung infection (the cause was not known - he does not smoke). He is still in the ICU on a ventilator. The doctors had told that he was critical, but now he is stable. The doctors have told us that he might be on the ventilator until the infection disappears (he has already been on the ventilator for 9 days).

posted 6/5/2008
Jennifer Peavey
My father recently underwent knee replacement & apparently aspirated during surgery. Within hours his lung function began to deteriorate & he was placed on a respirator. My father took a terrible turn for the worse & my 3 siblings & I were called to immediately fly to Arizona to say our goodbyes. My father, however, is a strong, stubborn Finlander & fought his way back! He is now off the respirator & on the road to recovery. We are hopeful that he will fully recover lung function & go on to live a happy, productive life. Thank you to ARDS.ORG for giving us an informational resource that answered so many of our questions.

posted 5/20/2008
Matthew Henry
My sister was diagnosed with ARDS after going to the doctor for pneumonia. Although she has been sick most of her life with diabetes, we thought this was just an "average hospital stay" only to find out it would not be. We are currently on day 12 and today they have fully paralyzed her. We thought we have lost her a couple of times but she continues to fight. My family wants is to understand this monster, and to be in the thoughts and prayers of others.

posted 5/16/2008
Ellen Kimball
My 19-year-old stepson has stage III malignant melanoma. He had surgery to remove lymph nodes and was into his second week of interferon therapy. Last week, he got a staph infection at the site of his "port", which turned into pneumonia then sepsis, and finally as of yesterday they told us it was ARDS. He is now in the hospital sedated, intubated, all the rest. I'm wondering if anyone else has had this happen. I'm wondering if he will ever be able to eventually progress to interferon therapy for the melanoma? This seems so hopeless!

posted 5/15/2008
About 5 days ago, my mother was on a 4-wheeler for the first time. She pushed on the gas instead of the brake and the 4-wheeler took off and threw her off. She suffered 4 broken ribs and two fractures in her neck. She also had contusions that led to her ARDS. These have been the worst 5 days of my life. I have cried enough to last me a lifetime. I guess the unexpected is what scares me. She has gained 56 pounds of fluid in only 5 days. They say she has turned a corner and is doing better but I am so scared. She has been in a drug induced coma for 3 days now. They are thinking about waking her up in another 2 days or so. I am scared because I don't know what to expect. Is the swelling normal? Will she survive this? If anyone has any advice or help, please email me. We have been praying so hard that the Lord will touch her and heal her. I am not sure what all the settings mean on the vent so I never know when she is doing better. Please keep us all in your prayers!

posted 4/15/2008
Carla O'Neill
My mother went into the hospital for a hip replacement. By the second day she was in the ICU. They treated her for pneumonia, and she started to aspirate. They sent her to a nursing home for a week in full blown ARDS. We finally got her to a major hospital and she has been in the ICU for two weeks and on a vent for 7 days. We are terrified that we could lose her like this. Reading up on ARDS has been helpful. I would like to hear from people who have recovered.

posted 4/4/2008
My mother went into the hospital for a liver resection related to the neuroendocine tumor she has had for the past year or so. She has been in the hospital since February 20th. As of today, she is breathing on a trach, liver function is fine, but she has severe difficulty breathing on her own. As of today the medical staff hasn't been able to conduct a thorough analysis of her lungs. They have treated her with top tier antibiotics and have removed her from the oscillating ventilator. For the past 30 plus days, it has been an emotional roller coaster for my younger brothers and me. We are taking it from day to day.

posted 3/30/2008
Jennifer McCarty
My mom was just diagnosed with ARDS yesterday. She has been on a ventilator for 3 days now. She has recurring esophageal cancer that has come back in her left bronchial tube (Feb 1 we found out). She had been free and clear of the cancer for 2 years. She had a partial (60%) esophogectomy 2 years ago. She is prone to aspirating vomit into her lungs; she vomits because of her shorter esophagus frequently. She was brought into the hospital 1 week ago with pancreatitis, then she got pneumonia in both lungs. She was fighting for air too much, so they put her on the vent�this is her 4th time on a vent since 2000. I have just read up on ARDS and I had no idea how serious it was until now. They seem to think they can keep her on the vent for a couple of extra days so she can heal from it and then wean her off. They have her sedated with Propofol and she is fine when she is out, but when she wakes up it is TERRIBLE. I just want them to keep her asleep. It is so terribly stressful for all of us.

posted 3/26/2008
Steve was diagnosed with a viral infection, which turned into viral pneumonia and eventually he developed ARDS.

posted 3/10/2008
Carol Ward
My mother became ill on March 1, 2008. She started vomiting as we were trying to get her to the hospital. She had a history of Angina so we thought she may be having a heart attack. She passed out just before getting to the hospital. With no apparent pulse, the staff shocked her twice, bringing her back. She was then life flighted to Tulsa. The doctors there confirmed she had a massive heart attack to the front part of her heart. She was put on a ventilator. This was bad enough, but then on March 5, they put in a swan catheter to determine why she had a build up of fluid in her lungs. Today we received the horrifying news that she has ARDS and that there is basically nothing they can do. They have been treating her with antibiotics but to no avail. I am at a loss, I don't know what to do. I am a believer in healing and I know that GOD can do anything. My mother is a very devout Christian and I know she is ready to go, but I'm not ready for her to leave us. Please I would welcome any comments, prayers and advice that you can give me. THANK YOU!

posted 3/6/2008
My wife has had RDS for 4 years now. She recently had her gall bladder taken out. she has severe malnutrition, and she went to hospital for it. After one week, her blood pressure bottomed out. They flooded her with fluid, and to maintain her blood pressure, she was put on 100% oxygen then finally vented.
She now has ARDS.

posted 2/12/2008
Barbara Hatfield
My stepmother is in the ICU with a trach and vent, plus a PEG/feeding tube. The doctors are at a loss to explain why ARDS has attacked her. She was diagnosed with a light case of pneumonia in late December and was on antibiotics. She was experiencing shortness of breath and visited her family practitioner who admitted her to the hospital on January 14. Her condition has deteriorated to the point where she is now, three weeks later. I would like to communicate with those who currently have or recently have had a loved one in crisis.

posted 2/4/2008
Chris Lamb
My dad went in for two bypasses of his heart. He pulled through fine, then days later couldn't breathe. We are on day 40 since surgery. He has a trach for ventilation. He has lost all muscle strength. He was paralyzed and sedated but now he is just sedated. His CT scan showed a "white out." We are in such turmoil. One day he is doing well, then the next, his stats are up/down. It is so difficult to keep the hope and faith.

posted 12/28/2007
Susie Kayser
My husband worked for a co-op as a grain specialist. He was attempting to harness up to load a rail car and fell 15 feet onto the rail. The doctor says it was like falling 3 stories. He broke his back and will never walk again. If that is not devastating enough, he also bounced onto his chest and broke 8 ribs on the left side. They had to remove 1 and a 1/2 ribs on the right side. He broke and displaced 7 ribs, punctured a lung, and had 2 chest tubes in due to air pockets in the chest from his fall. This led to pneumonia. The chest injury was so devastating he now has ARDS.

posted 12/17/2007
Diane Uda
My brother-in-law contracted bacteria pneumonia. After being admitted to the hospital, he quickly became an ARDS patient. We are currently in experimental drug therapy on a ventilator in a drug induced coma on a bed that turns 180 degrees. Is there anything else we can be doing to get his lungs to breathe on their own? Has anyone used a ECMO machine?

posted 11/29/2007
My dad was brought to the hospital with stomach pains. It turned out to me a perforated ulcer of the duodenum. He went into surgery 2 days later. He was intubated, then extubated, then re-intubated. He has since been diagnosed with ARDS, he had a heart attack and they are concerned with a battery of other things since he is diabetic and has hypertension. Does being diabetic hinder any sort of recovery? What kind of questions should I ask his doctor? My dad has been chemically comatose since his ordeal has started. I need some help.

posted 11/18/2007
My mother was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer on October 9, 2007. On October 29th, she had VATS and was put on a ventilator within 48 hours. On November 6th, we were told she has ARDS. I am just trying to find out as much as possible and maybe find someone who knows what questions to ask and what to be prepared for.

posted 11/6/2007
Carol Smith
My 81 year old father is in his second week in the ICU, and is currently on Peep. He has not had invasive ventilation, but it is a standing order in the event his oxygen sats drop again. A week ago he was returned to nasal oxygen tubes, but has regressed to this point. Morphine, prednisone, blood thinners, and insulin are being used for his treatment. He has mental confusion and unbelievable physical weakness. He still has pneumonia after 3 weeks of IV antibiotics, which was the original illness. My mother died 6 years ago, and he married a childhood friend 1 1/2 years ago. He has big plans for them.

posted 10/25/2007
Martina Spears
My mother recently underwent surgery to remove cancer from her upper left lobe of her lung. The surgery was a success and she came through it like a champ. Seven days after surgery, she was released to rehab, which was on a Thursday. Friday, right before lunch, I stopped in to see her. She was excited, she had just had a shower and couldn't wait to get to the dining hall for lunch. Less than four hours later, she was sobbing on her bed complaining of trouble breathing. I soothed her, checked on her oxygen and told her to just stay calm and breathe. She settled down to sleep, so I left. A few short hours later, we were notified that mother had been transported back to the hospital with low oxygen stats. Thus the battle began. Quickly mom had to be ventilated and none of us knew. On Saturday morning we were informed that she had been transferred to ICU and was on a ventilator. It is now Tuesday. I talked to the lung doctor and her infectious disease doctors this morning and they pulled out the acronym ARDS. Of course I came running home to figure just exactly what it is. And we are now taking it one day at a time and still trying to figure out what exactly caused the trauma or illness that has mom by the tail. Hopefully in 48 to 72 hours we will have the preliminary results of a scope they did yesterday.

posted 10/2/2007
Calvin Walker
My wife is Cathy Walker. She was diagnosed with malignant melanoma in November, 2006. In January, 2007, all the cancer removed and she started Interferon treatments. This is a very toxic drug that kills the immune system but is supposed to give an additional 2 to 3 years before cancer returns. Following is a short rundown of where she is today:

August 1st: took Cathy to doctor she was having pain in her chest when ever she took a breath. He sent her to the hospital with a mild case of pneumonia.
August 3rd: Moved to intermediate care unit and put on a positive pressure air mask.
August 4th: Moved to critical care unit, put on a respirator and I was told she hade very little chance of living out the night.
August 5th: Bay Area Hospital has done all they could do for her. She was airlifted to University Hospital ICU who diagnosed her with ARDS. She has been given very little chance of survival.
August 12th: It has been a week long rollercoaster ride. Cathy is showing some signs of improvement. The doctors and nurses are now saying "when" she goes home instead of "if." I'm also being told to expect her to remain in critical condition in the ICU for another 2 weeks and in the hospital for probably 3 months barring any complications!

(Interferon appears to be directly related to ARDS in this case.)

posted 8/13/2007
Joyce Kober
On June 27th, my husband had laparoscopic gall bladder surgery. He went home after 2 nights in the hospital; he immediately returned because he could not breathe. They said he had pneumonia in the right lung, gave him an IV for 5 days and sent him home. Five days later, he was back in intensive care; by now the left lung was so infected it could not be seen. We live in Costa Rica and only came to Pennsylvania to see his kids and grandkids. They think he aspirated during the gall surgery. He will get a trach next Tuesday. He is totally sedated; he has had 6 surgeries including a bypass and prostrate cancer in the last 5 years. This far surpasses any of them. My friends call and email, but I am totally alone with him and God. I know the only true thing that will work is prayers.

posted 8/4/2007
My mother-in-law went in for gastric bypass surgery on June 20. She was supposed to be in the hospital after surgery for 2-3 days, but was having complications. The surgeon believed that she had a leak in her intestine and took her back in for a 4 hour long surgery to find and repair the leak. After she came out of the surgery, they put her on a respirator. They said she should be off it in a couple days. She started having trouble getting off of it and they did some tests. They found that she had an infection, but they are not sure exactly where. They also found that she has ARDS. They tried to put a trach in today because she has been on the respirator for 2 weeks, but she was not stable enough for the trach. We are all very worried and praying a lot.

posted 7/6/2007
April and Steve
Our daughter Pollyanna was eating a snack at 9pm, and her mother and I went to bed. I awoke at 1am to find her on the floor of the kitchen laying on her back, unconscious and barely breathing. I called 911, and they were here in minutes. She aspirated, while unconscious from a mixture of drugs and alcohol. We're not too sure what happened. She has been in ICU on a ventilator since June 17, 2007. She has been on 100% oxygen, but the last few days, the doctor gave her steroids and her oxygen assist is now down to 65%. This is good. We are taking it hard and need support from you.

posted 7/6/2007
Jennifer Burns
My daughter Colleen flew from Milwaukee to California to visit her father on Monday June 11. On the morning of June 14, I got a frantic call from her stepmother that they had been unable to wake Colleen that morning and that she had vomited in her bed. They called 911 and she was taken to North Bay Medical Center in Fairfield, where she was originally treated for aspiration pneumonia, but moved to John Muir on June 16 when it was clear that ARDS had developed. As of June 29, she remains in ICU, on a vent and heavily sedated.
Her status changes from day to day and hour to hour. I flew out right away, stayed 8 days, went home for 3 days and came back because she was crashing. She is still with us making baby steps of progress, but in worse shape than last week.

posted 6/29/2007
My brother Jon's situation is a little difficult to describe. Basically he was misdiagnosed by his primary doctor, and subsequently has developed ARDS as a result of a rare life-threatening form of a fungal infection called blastomycosis. He is currently undergoing treatment at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and is in their ICU. He has been there about 9 days. He was flown there after the doctors at our area hospital had exhausted their options. Our family is devastated and we would like to get involved with any support groups that may be able to help us through this difficult time.

posted 6/20/2007
Carol Robinson
My daughter has been in the ICU, heavily sedated, since May 11, 2007. Her diagnosis is constrictive bronchiolitis. My husband and I are living in a nightmare. They have put her in a rotoprone bed. She is improving.

posted 6/14/2007
Connie Graham
My husband Roy was diagnosed with cancer in the beginning of April and started his chemo treatment in mid-April. He had been through 2 cycles of the chemo getting 3 drugs Etoposide, Cisplatin and Bleomycin. He got a treatment of Bleomycin on Tuesday, May 29, 3 weeks ago today. By Thursday he had shortness of breath and as he also has cardiomypathy. We took him to the emergency room. They diagnosed pneumonia and admitted him and started antibiotics. By the following week, he still had not improved so the did a scope of his lungs and took samples to test. The next day, May 31st, they started him on steroids. By Saturday, he was in intensive care and on a breathing machine. By Wednesday of last week, he was really struggling to breathe and was put on the ventilator. They have him on a rotoprone bed and are giving him 65% oxygen down from 100% from when they put him on the ventilator. Yesterday they put breathing tubes in each lung because air was starting to leak into his chest and they were afraid he would not survive a collapsed lung. The doctors have decided the most probable cause of the lung injuries was the Bleomycin. There has been no improvement in the chest x-rays so far. They found no sign of infection. His heart is doing well and all his other body systems are good. He was conscious and understood what was going on when they put him on the ventilator. I know he is getting good care and there is not much that I can do for him at this time. I know we are in for a very long hard time and hope to just get myself through so that when he comes home I can take care of him.

posted 6/12/2007
My mother is currently in a hospital in LA. She developed ARDS or a similar condition after her initial hospitalization for unrelated heart problems. After progressing from CCU (on a ventilator around 2 weeks) to cardiac rehab, she apparently aspirated on some vomit and had to re-enter ICU care. Her overall medical issues are resolved, but she has been back on the ventilator (now via tracheotomy) for about 3 weeks, and apparently will require extended pulmonary rehab to try to wean her off. We are considering transporting her back home to CT for this phase of recuperation. My question is: Does anyone have advice on appropriate facilities in CT to handle my mother's care for this upcoming phase of treatment, or know of a resource to help gather this information?

posted 6/11/2007
My father walked himself into the hospital on a Monday and was put on a vent by Tuesday (a week ago today). I live in Arizona and was able to fly to California for the weekend, but I was devastated when I realized this is a ride I can be on for a while. My reality is that I cannot afford to stay there for 3-4 weeks. Leaving was the hardest thing to do. It is a 12 hour drive for me and a 2 hour flight. I want to be there as much as I can, and it hurts to know I have to leave him. We do have other family there, but they do not spend the time with him I would like.

posted 5/1/2007
My dear friend and mentor has reached the point where she can no longer live on her own. ARDS, scleroderma and a multitude of other issues have her constantly hospitalized or in need of friends and family to be with her. How do we tell her it is time for something more permanent where she will have constant care? And where might that be?

posted 4/22/2007
Heather Blevins
My Aunt Jane has been sick for some time and when she was admitted to the hospital, I thought she was finally going to get the help she needed. She was admitted with dehydration, but with every treatment came a new diagnosis. Soon, she was sent to ICU to be more closely monitored. She remained in ICU for some time, and they were trying to regulate her blood pressure. She was soon diagnosed with ARDS brought on by pneumonia. The ventilator followed closely behind. She has been off the ventilator once, but she got worse quickly and is now back on the ventilator for O2 assistance. My family is discussing the possibility of a tracheotomy. I'm a nurse myself and even I'm scared of the outlook.

posted 4/9/2007
Alicia Sauer
My husband had heart surgery (aortic valve replacement) on January 31, 2007. The right side of his heart was fine prior to surgery. After Byron had his heart surgery at 7:30 am, I was unable to speak to my husband coherently until Saturday, February 17th. My husband remained in an induced coma and suffered liver and kidney failure, with the doctors racing to figure out how to spare his life. On February 4th, the liver enzymes finally started declining from 5K to the 1500's; he remained on dialysis for another week and then his kidneys kicked back in. The doctors never told me he was suffering from ARDS, but after reading the web site, they followed the treatment plan to a T with Ventilators and the Treatment of ARDS. My husband went into a second surgery on Friday night (Feb 16th) for a trach and a feeding tube and to also re-wire the sternum, which had come apart during induced coma as my husband fought the ventilator for 16 days. He now is recovering at home on a wound vac for his chest and suffering from PTSD from everything that occurred in the Cardiac Unit. We were not told if the reason was septic or trauma from the heart surgery. We are stressed and have no answers, nevertheless grateful that my husband survived the terrible odds. We have a long way to go and need some support. Thank you.

posted 4/6/2007
Rosie Santiago
My husband had lung cancer for the second time in six years. After the first surgery, he was out of the hospital in 4 days; this time he had post op complications, one after another. A pulmonary artery was cut and stitched, During recover, my husband was waking up and started coughing. As they were taking out the tube from his mouth, they opened up that stitch. He then was rushed for a second surgery to repair that artery. After that, he had some type of allergic reaction and his vitals were going crazy. We almost lost him again for the second time that day, which was March 5, 2007. On Tuesday, he woke up feeling fine. By Wednesday, he had a fever and that evening he started having trouble breathing. After that, it was going down hill. By Sunday they said he may have ARDS, and that's where we are now. After four weeks, there have been many ups and downs with fevers and chest tubes and a trachea. I feel lost with out him. He does not know who I am, but shakes his head yes and no with memories of the kids. He smiled for me the other day and that melted my heart, but the days that he can not reply just hurt so much. The doctors really did not say much of what ARDS is, but I looked it up and really understand a little more of what is going on with him. I just don't know how long will he be confused. Is this normal for someone with ARDS to be so confused for this long? Three weeks and not much of improvement. But nothing else is going wrong so I thank God for that.

posted 4/3/2007
Lori Duvall

My mother has ARDS and this is so hard! She had surgery for a bowel blockage on March 19, 2007. When she came out, she was OK, except in a great pain. Then everything went downhill on March 21st when the doctors talked to us about a staph infection. Then they told us she has blood poisoning in her blood system, urine and lungs. They told us that a breathing mask would help, but she was breathing too fast, so they recommended a breathing machine. She has had a port located in her chest for the past 8 years. The doctors have always had trouble getting blood out of her for testing in the past, so this would benefit her for an emergency if it ever came up. The surgeon, my mother's angel, tested the port and it was very infected! She removed it and took a biopsy, and they determined that is how she was infected with ARDS. She is sedated and just lies there like she is in a coma. She was in Barren County Hospital in our home town, and in and out of the hospital for 3 weeks. She was told she had pneumonia, and she was vomiting bile from her body. She was so weak that she could barley walk. The doctors down here said she was not in critical condition. I called Dr. Glendiac in Louisville and told her nurse about her situation. She said to transfer her here and keep the IV's in her. The doctors here said that she was not critical enough to take her by ambulance, so my brother and I took her by car. Dr, Glendiac said she couldn't read the x-rays at all, and said If she had stayed any longer she would have died. So they did the surgery and that's all good now. It's the ARDS and blood poisoning in her body that the doctors are worried about. They are all focused on the lungs right now. Please pray for us! My father has been up there, and has been so sick and tired, and my brother and aunt have stayed up there as well. I have my son Joseph, and he has school, so I have to take care of him, but I will make it up there tomorrow. Our church, and family and friends, are praying for her recovery.

posted 3/26/2007
My good friend of 37 years went in to have gastric bypass surgery. She came home the very next day. The second day she was home, she was in severe abdominal pain. Ann called another friend of hers, who is a nurse, and asked, "What does a heart attack feel like?" Her answer was "Call 911". They did, and she was taken by ambulance to the hospital, and they were told she just had gastric surgery. They gave her charcoal amounts for a regular stomach. They thought she had overdosed on the pain medication. Ann threw up, since that's what charcoal makes you do. Ann aspirated and is now in the ICU with ARDS. The pain was from a hernia. They operated on her for that too. She was on the vent, and now she has a trach. She has also been on the rotoprone bed. They found an abscess in her stomach and drained that. Now they are doing CAT scans, and they know she has another infection somewhere else. It is up and down. This started on March 2, 2007, and now it's March 21st. She was in a coma, and now she is sedated and doesn't even move. I can only leave this in God's hands.

posted 3/21/2007
Sharon Chagnon
My daughter had the flu for a week or so, and when she finally went to the doctor, she couldn't speak at all. She was diagnosed with laryngitis. The doctor put her on antibiotics and sent her home. That was on a Tuesday. On Friday morning, she was life flighted to the hospital. She is now on life support with 9 different IV's in her neck and arms. Every day something new appears, and it is not good news. She has blood clots in her legs and lung along with those collapsing. Now she has 5 chest tubes in her, a fever of 103 for a week now and her body is swollen and bruised. I am taking care of her daughter (my granddaughter) until she gets home. She has been in the hospital a little over a month now. Basically it's one step forward and 5 steps back. I have this guilty feeling leaving her there in the hospital and me back at home, which is about a 2 hour drive.

posted 3/14/2007
My Dad had the lower lobe of his right lung removed on the 28th of February. He developed a massive blood clot after 3 days and was intubated with a ventilator for about 24 hours. He showed slight improvement over the next couple of days until Monday, March 5th. He was once again put on the ventilator to help him breathe. The doctor phoned this morning (Thursday, March 8th) and informed us that Dad has ARDS. We are soooo scared!!! Both lungs are involved, his better (left) lung being the worst. This web site has given us the first information on this terribly frightening condition. He is currently on 40% oxygen, and PEEP??? The doctors are giving him steroids and antibiotics. Dad is awake and aware of everything that is going on. I can't imagine how frightened he is. I write this looking for support, answers, and comfort. Please reply!

posted 3/9/2007
Thigee Pather
My father-in-law went into the hospital on November 8, 2006 for a simple hernia operation. However, due to complications arising from the operation, he ended up with septicemia. It is now nearly 4 months later and this week he developed ARDS. The doctors first thought that it was heart failure, but have since ruled that out. He is on a machine providing him with oxygen and today it was decided that palliative treatment will be given and there seems to be no hope of him recovering. He is now on morphine and other drugs to make him comfortable.

posted 3/7/2007

Myra Adriano

Hi, I'm Myra. My 4 year-old daughter Iyana was diagnosed with ARDS just yesterday. She is our only daughter, and my husband Larry is at the bedside with her now. She is on a paralytic agent for the oscillator, and other medications to support her vital signs. We almost lost her yesterday, but now she is stable and they are slowly titrating the meds she is on.

posted 3/3/2007

Nicolas Hoots

My 4 year-old daughter went to the hospital with upper airway problems, and they thought it was croup. They gave her breathing treatments and steroids and it didn't help. She stopped breathing and was revived, and then she vomited. She aspirated her vomit and was then rushed by helicopter to the nearest Children's hospital. Now she is on her third ventilator, really an oscillator, 3 chest tubes, 7 medications, has a hole in the lung, and tubes in both nostrils. Her cO2 level keeps elevating and they can't seem to get it down, her pH level is below 7.2, and her oxization is only 85%. Her settings on the oscillator are at the highest setting for her and nothing seems to be helping.

posted 2/25/2007


I'm not sure if my mom has ARDS, but she has bronchitis, a fib, osteoporosis, hiatal hernia, and she is only 58! I am the oldest son, and my mom has been in the ICU for 3 weeks now. She was in one hospital, where she had been intubated, and then sent to a nursing home, and then to another hospital, where she was re-intubated again. Her O2 level had been dropping and that's why she was placed on the vent. She had a tracheotomy and is on 30 percent O2 on the pressure machine. I am very confused. My mom is also heavily sedated and really red and swollen. I call and try to go every day, but they all said she is the same. her PCP and lung doctor say she is stuck. I miss my mom and the guilt of my behavior is driving me crazy. Can anyone tell me how easy is it to be weaned off a respirator with a tracheotomy? She is on insulin, feeding tube, the trach, all kinds of antibiotics, and her labs haven't really changed. Doctors don't know if she is too tired to try to recover of if her bronchitis has gotten worse. Please help and keep her in your prayers. I'm turning to alcohol for relief because I feel consumed. My family here in the US and in Colombia is praying!

posted 2/24/2007

Dale Swanzer

My brother was in an accident a little over a week ago that broke the upper and lower part of his leg. He underwent surgery for the upper portion of his leg on 2/16/2007. Later that evening he became ill with a low BP reading, fever and low oxygen; on Saturday morning he was placed into the intensive care unit. He has been sedated and is on a ventilator. At this time we are not seeing much progress. The number is on the machine is at 70 and his oxygen level is at between 89-92. They lowered the oxygen level that they are giving him to 55 yesterday but now they increased it back up to 70. I have come to believe that this is going to take a very long time and was wondering if anyone can give me some insight on what to expect in the coming days.

posted 2/23/2007

Susan Streight

My friend, Jackie, fell and broke her hip in November, 2006. The next day she developed a fatty embolus that located itself in her left lung. All this led to ARDS. She got over the first bout in December, and was doing much better until a month ago, when the ARDS came back in force. Now both lungs are involved. She has been on a ventilator for over 3 months now. Now there is talk that there may or may not be brain damage. Her husband is about to have a nervous breakdown from the ups and downs she has encountered. Please, if anyone can help me help her family in understanding and continuing to keep hope.

posted 2/20/2007

Darryl Bush

Dion hasn't been given a diagnosis. The patient has severe respiratory difficulty, and is on a respirator. The lungs are stiffening, and the patient is taking steroids and antibiotics. The doctors offer little help and say they're doing all they can. The patient had a recent staph infection, but the hospital says it isn't related.

posted 1/20/2007

Jason Harrison

My mother was in an accident three weeks ago and had injuries to her lungs, ribs, and liver. Her right lung was slightly bleeding but was repaired internally. Her liver had a grade 4 laceration but healed on its own shortly after the accident. Mom was awake and talking to the doctors when she was brought to the hospital. She is on a respirator and was given sedation and paralytic drugs to keep her stable. She developed pneumonia as well. The pneumonia has been cured with antibiotics and she is no longer on the paralytic or sedation medication. She still has a central line IV giving her antibiotics. She is only given pain medication as needed. The main issue is that she still requires the respirator and she is not as responsive as the doctors would like. She has her eyes open and can open and close her mouth and will occasionally try to move her head and eyes toward the person who is talking to her. She has not moved any other body part and seems paralyzed. A few days before they gave her the paralytic medication, she was able to move her arms and head and seemed more responsive. The doctors have done a CAT scan and it didn't show any signs of a stroke. All blood flowing to her brain is unobstructed. We are all concerned why she is not responsive after 7-10 days of being off the medications. The doctors are scheduling an MRI and an EEG to see if there is something else going on. All of her vital signs are good and her oxygen level is acceptable. If anyone has any advice on what may be going on, it would be much appreciated. We are all confused and concerned for my mother.

posted 1/18/2007


My dear friend was misdiagnosed and treated for a sinus infection, when he really had pneumonia and now is fighting for his life with ARDS. It sounds exactly what you describe in all the info above. Right now he is in a sedated paralytic state and on ventilation. I was wondering if there are any ARDS support groups, or people in the Littleton, Colorado area that I can
put in touch with the wife of my friend. Although she is surrounded by good friends, she is so alone, with no parents/siblings around to help. Their family lives back East. Thanks. Warm regards, Gaye

posted 1/18/2007


My twin brother Stephan had an "epileptic fit" and vomited. The vomit went to his lungs on 7 January 07. On 10 January 07, he went into septic shock. His right lung collapsed and infected the left lung; under the right lung he generated fluid and they start with medication to help with infection. The medication worked so far, but the lungs don't want to work. He is sedated but can hear us. After a week, they did a tracheotomy and took all the pipes out of his mouth, and he is getting liquid food liquid. He has a fever, sometimes past 38�C, and high blood pressure. They are going to put a pipe in to get the liquid out and turn him to lie on his stomach. I don't what to expect next.

posted 1/17/2007


My brother is 55 years old and has ARDS. After a few weeks on the vent, he is on the trach. He is coughing a lot and agitated at times. Please pray for him.

posted 1/4/2007


My 47 year-old mother has just been diagnosed with ARDS. This is her second round. She had it in May 2005. She is on 100% o2 with talk of a vent. Her CT scan is grim. She is awake and talking, a little forgetful however. She went in the the ER with back pain, and 24 hours later the ARDS was back. Anyone with information, please let me know.

posted 12/30/2006


My friend Tracy had Gastric Bypass surgery on December 18th and should have been discharged on December 20th. When going for an X-ray to determine if there were any leaks in the new pouch, it was determined there were leaks. Another surgery had to be performed to eliminate the leak, but apparently, too much fluid had leaked out and caused an infection. She was placed in ICU on December 20 on a respirator/ventilator and has since been classified with ARDS.
Yesterday, she attempted to push out the tube with her tongue and succeeded, but could not breathe on her own. They changed her drugs to place her into a further drug induced coma. We pray each day for her to come out of ARDS. It has been 7 days with little or no change.

posted 12/28/2006

Ola Jacobs

My nephew has Chrohns, and had a minor procedure done 9 days ago. Following aspiration in the OR, he developed ARDS. He is not responding to treatments and remains on 100% o2 at 15 of PEEP. He did survive another surgery today to look for an abscess. We are going minute by minute. He is presently on nitric oxide. We need prayers.

posted 12/24/2006


My mom had undiagnosed cellulites in her legs and pneumonia when she was taken to the ER by ambulance. She had also gone septic. They did a trans-esophageal echocardiogram and tore her esophagus which caused severe bleeding. She was sent to the ICU and really went downhill from nasal cannula to cpap mask to ventilator in just a few days. She was put on the vent just about 5 days ago and every day is a question. Some days it's baby steps forward, but usually it's no progress at all or something negative. The doctors have been hopeful, but we've seen a big difference in the nurses. Some are extremely helpful and informative, others have asked about an advanced directive and been quite negative. I have several children, my dad doesn't drive, and neither of us can be there all the time. I am so torn as I need to take care of my family, but I feel like I need to be with my mom. It's tough to find a balance and keep positive and hopeful. We try to have faith and believe that she will overcome this.

posted 12/11/2006

Sandra Smith

What a roller coaster. Mom is 78, and after experiencing some chest pressure, she had the usual stress tests, and then a heart catheter, and then 2 bypasses. The day before, she had mowed her huge lawn. She was very healthy before all of this. She did not need to take any medications, short of osteoporosis medication. BAM! What a hit! She did fine through the surgery and 3 days after, developed the breathing problems. She has been weaned off the vent once already. This round she has been on the vent for 4 days as of today. The biggest problem I have right now is the pessimistic attitude of the doctors, and dealing with so many doctors and their varying opinions. Every day is a guessing game. One day things look better, and the next day they are not. How do you get through this? Some of the doctors are very pleasant and will answer any question and give you their time, and some not at all. Because the pulmonary doctors belong to a large firm, we are always seeing a new doctor. Did anyone else experience any of this?

posted 12/6/2006


On September 14, 2006 my mother (59) began experiencing inexplicable severe pain in her side and back. After visiting a general physician she was told to go the local hospital emergency room as she was probably dealing with gallstones. The pain continue to become more severe until she was finally diagnosed with acute pancreatis and given pain medication once in the emergency room. The course of treatment was explained and our minds were put at ease knowing that this was a temporary condition and that she would be better in a few days. The following day she continued complaining about the pain and began reporting difficulties breathing. Thinking she was hyperventilating because of the pain we reminded her to relax and rest...not knowing that she had been accumulating fluid in her lungs which was making it harder and harder for her to breathe. The following morning she wasn't in her room when we arrived - and it was then we were informed she was now in the ICU and a on a ventilator. It's been almost 2 months now that my mom has been combating ARDS. The first weeks were the worst...she was so obviously struggling and in a drug induced coma. At the end of the first month we began to see some improvements and she began to weaned off the sedative medication. Now - she is conscious, though at times appears tired and frustrated due to her immobility and having a trach. We can now see the light and though this hasn't been a fast recovery we feel blessed at the support we have received from doctors, family and friends.

posted 11/8/2006

A. Lydestad

My mother underwent triple bypass surgery on September 5th. She hemorrhaged and they had to go back in 3 times in 3 days and then she had a massive heart attack. She has COPD damage to her lungs from smoking & a paralyzed diaphragm and frenic (sp?) nerve damage from a chest surgery when young. She's had pneumonia 2 times plus more infections. 2 weeks ago we were told she would die in ICU and it was a matter of when. Yesterday, my mom was sitting up and off the ventilator for 8 hours-miraculous is what they're calling it now. I am so grateful but my mom has a long way to go. Mom is having memory problems. Does anyone know if this will get better? Any advice would be appreciated.

posted 11/6/2006


Andrea went in on Friday, September 29, 2006 for pulmonary valve replacement. She was in ICU for recovery and then moved to a room Saturday afternoon and complained about not being able to breathe. They started nebulizer treatments, but after a lung collapsed early Monday morning, she was moved back in the ICU, where she remains to date. She was on the Oscillator vent for a week, weaned from that to a regular vent and then trached. She was off the vent today for 12 hrs with blow-by, and is starting PT, but our big concern is agitation. She hasn't slept in almost 3 days, despite heavy narcotics to make her sleep. As her sister, I don't know if I should talk to her about how long she's been there and if she would even comprehend it. She is constantly mouthing, I want to go home, I want to drive my car. Doctors seem happy with her lung progression, but I'm concerned about ICU hallucinations...

posted 10/25/2006

Jim Sigler

Our daughter Teri fell and broke her shoulder. At first the doctor said surgery was not needed, and to come back in a week. She returned in a week and was told after an x-ray she needed surgery. I tried to get her to get a second opinion, but he was pushing to do the surgery and she wanted to get it over with. I can't understand why they did the surgery, as the surgeon made several things clear before putting her under. He told her he saw something on the xr-ay ,but they would do a CAT scan and address that after the surgery. She had bronchitis and was coughing when she went in. She had been running a low grade fever before going under, but he said if it was less than 100 it was OK. After the surgery she was coughing some, and my wife asked if he would keep her in the hospital to observe her. He said he could not justify doing so. Her cough continued to get worse, so we took her to emergency three days later and she was diagnosed with double pneumonia. They treated her for this three days with normal antibiotics etc. She was getting worse so they sent her to ICU. She was put on a ventilator there and scheduled for an open lung biopsy. On the day they were to do a biopsy, she developed a blood clot in the shoulder and they had to cancel the biopsy so they could use blood thinners. After treating the clot for a few days, they stopped the blood thinner and did the biopsy. The diagnosis was ARDS. She has been placed in a special bed that rotates her body and all of her bodily functions are controlled by machines to allow her body to only work to try to help clear her lungs. She has been in this bed 23 days. The only positive results we have seen so far is a slight clearing of the left lung and a gradual reduction in her oxygen requirement from 100% to about 40%. She continues on a ventilator but they are planning to do a tracheotomy in the next couple of days. She has had no previous heart trouble but she has had two occasions where her heart rate dropped drastically.

posted 10/10/2006

Pat and Nancy

Our 27 year-old daughter Polly, has Prader-Willi Syndrome, which has caused her to weigh almost 500 pounds. The doctors just discovered ARDS. She has been on a respirator for a couple of weeks and yester day she was put on a bed that allows her to turn on her stomach.

posted 10/7/2006


I have never even heard of ARDS! My Dad had abdominal surgery on August 14th, and about a week later, aspirated and ended up in the ICU. Has developed ARDS. He has been on a respirator since August 28, and on dialysis since September 4. They plan to do tracheotomy in three days. He is a heavy smoker, has atrial fibrillation and lots of problems, but has loads of spitfire and is a decent man. I think the odds are not good, and it hurts to see him so frail and distressed. The ICU team is doing that balancing act -- rolling, suctioning, adjusting oxygen, pressure, medications. Dad really wanted another ten years, and I hope he gets it.


posted 9/25/2006

Sharon and Gerald Mister

On June 23, 2006 my father-in-law John went in for a surgery. He was only supposed to be in the hospital for 4 days, which was to remove the top upper portion of his right lobe, which was scar tissue from emphysema. His admission and surgery day was Friday the 23 of June, 2006; by Monday, he was in intensive care on oxygen, diagnosed with pneumonia and heavily sedated with restraints. He has made it out of the ICU and in a normal room on 2 different occasions, only to turn around and be put back in the ICU on oxygen. He was due to possibly come a little closer to home this past Friday, Sept 15th, only to be told to loved ones by doctors on Saturday, September 16th, that his oxygen level had dropped and he was put back in the ICU. Today is September 19th, and his loved ones were told that he now has a blood infection. I would really like to know if this is part of the ARDS or this is something different. With everything I have researched, I cannot tell if that is part of the ARDS. Just to let you know, he has been diagnosed with pneumonia 3 times, had a staph infection, the good lung collapsed and had to have a drainage tube in, he has had black fungus drain out of the lung that he had surgery with, fluid on the lungs, swelling (severe) on arms & lower extremities, 3 months of feeding tube in stomach & nose, and now he has a blood infection. I would love to hear some response and help. If you can give me anything reassuring or not, I would love to hear from you, due to my husband needing some education on this subject to pass on to the rest of his family. Thank you. Sharon Mister


posted 9/19/2006


My mom's initial hospitalization was for bowel obstruction, which ruptured while she was hospitalized and caused her to become severely septic. Post operatively, the patient appeared to have aspirated and fell into ARDS within
24 hours of emergency surgery. The patient is currently recovering and considered to be out of ARDS from the physician's standpoint. Cistracuriun, Levo and Versed have all been discontinued after 8 days of administration. Fentanyl is also being weaned at this time, but antibiotics are still being administered. The patient is still on the vent. ARDS was a major complication to an already serious intestinal surgery, which the patient is also trying to recover from as well as ARDS.


posted 9/18/2006

Cheryl Wommer

My husband had a heart attack in May of 2006 and had 2 stents put in his heart. He was diagnosed borderline diabetic and had only 50% of his heart function left. He quit smoking right then and there and tried to stay on his diet. He was also prescribed lots of different medications. In July, he got sick and had to go to the hospital and they diagnosed pneumonia, but then he got worse and the antibiotics they were using weren't working. He is now on a ventilator and has been the last 3 weeks and he has developed numerous complications. He's very critical and the next step is tracheotomy. He cant breathe on his own without struggling too much. The doctors feel its going to be a long recovery, or he may not recover. He's in God's hands.


posted 9/13/2006

Ian Boyd

My wife Angie was rushed to hospital two weeks ago with severe abdominal pains. After a CT scan, they found a blockage in her bowel. They operated, and four days later she was in severe pain and a lot of pus/fecal matter was oozing from her wound. Another scan showed the bowel had split, causing severe infection into her stomach. She started having trouble breathing and is now in the ICU on a ventilator in a drug induced coma so her body can fight ARDS and the severe sepsis. The doctors told me it doesn't look hopeful, but we're taking it one day at a time...she's a fighter and a lot stronger than me....


posted 9/10/2006


My friend is 60 and has lung cancer. He just had a surgery to remove a lung and did well during the surgery. A few days later, he seemed to crash and was diagnosed with ARDS. He's been on the vent 2 days so far, and we have no idea what to expect...


posted 9/8/2006

Grayce Cruden

My father had sudden anxiety out of nowhere, passed out, and now needs sedatives and morphine. He is on a vent, cognitively alert though drowsy, and not septic. He has had asthma since birth, and has COPD. He is a retired physician, and his vital signs are stable. He was never sick in life until 2001. The last three months he was OK, then suddenly he couldn't breathe. Now my family is thinking of removing him from the respirator, and bringing him home. I can't agree since his labs are so good and he is mentally aware. Help me...I am having a hard time concentrating on all the medical. He has been in the hospital for three weeks; he was supposed to come home this past Wednesday.


posted 8/31/2006

Dr. Abraham

Alphin is a six year-old female who joined her dad in England from India in April 2006. She was a previously healthy child without any hospital admissions in the past. On June 28, 2006 she came back from school being unwell, she was taken to the hospital and x-rays revealed that she had severe pneumonia. She went downhill in the next 72 hours, and went into respiratory failure. She was ventilated and shifted to the Bristol intensive care unit. Every possible test has been done on Alphin and everything came negative. It is presumed that she may have developed ARDS secondary to EBV or Parvovirus as they had identified the capsid antigen for both on PCR in her BAL. She was on the ventilator and HFO for 3 weeks when she was shifted to Great Ormond street London for ECMO. She has been on ECMO for 5 weeks. It has been extremely frustrating for a dad to watch his child alert and talking while she is on ECMO, and at the same time her lungs are totally not in a state to ventilate on her. This is her second round of ECMO and her last chance of survival. Currently she is on methyl prednisone, and antibiotics. If anybody has any clue to add to her management, please e-mail me back. I'm a pediatrician, and it is hard being a totally helpless dad.


posted 8/25/2006


Many of the observations (anger, frustration, "why don't they know why this is happening") I share. My Dad has been in ICU for close to a month now, and he is possibly improving slowly, but it is not dramatic. I have faith in the caregivers, but fear what they cannot tell me: how will this end?


posted 8/22/2006

Renee Mitchell

My niece was born last Tuesday through c-section and at 3:30 in the morning, she was rushed to the children's hospital and has been on this machine since then. The doctors are still trying to figure out what is wrong with her. My sister and her husband don't know anyone out there with this, and there is no support group for them to talk to. They have no idea who to talk to.


posted 8/22/2006


My 20 year-old brother is in the hospital fighting for his life. He was the passenger of a terrible car accident. It has been 21 days now and the doctor told me he may not make it because he had developed holes all over his lungs from the breathing machine. He also has pneumonia in his lungs. I�m confused...this is all a nightmare. I just don�t understand.


posted 8/19/2006

Leanne Davis

On the 17th of July, my Dad was mowing our yard. There is a pond really close to our house, and part of the bank is really steep. He turned the mower too far, and the mower went over the bank, and into the pond with my dad under it. When it landed, my sister heard a crash, and him calling for help. She called 911, and they got him to a hospital, where they thought he would make a quick recovery, even though he broke a bunch of ribs and his collar bone. They had to do a small surgery on him. After the surgery, he started to go downhill. They put him in the ICU, and he still needs to leave it. We are hoping he will.


posted 8/14/2006

Lee Foreback

My uncle went into the hospital with an infection, and after a week was placed in the ICU on a vent. We were told he had ARDS. That was over 30 days ago. Some days are good and others are bad. This is becoming very frustrating for us. HELP!


posted 8/11/2006


My husband Michael is currently in the CCU with ARDS. He is being given nitric oxide in addition to ventilator support. This is his second time being diagnosed with ARDS. The first time was 2 years ago after bowel surgery. Last time he was on the vent for 56 days.


posted 8/11/2006

JoAnn Grande

My husband Tom was diagnosed with esophageal cancer on March 1, 2006. He was treated with chemotherapy, radiation, had a bypass then cancer surgery. He now has ARDS in the SICU.


posted 8/8/2006


We came to the hospital on July 24th for my Dad's surgery. He was having an esophagectomy to try to remove his cancer. Things seemed to be going well until about 3 days after the surgery; he started becoming short of breath. It kept getting worse and he kept getting more and more panicky, until finally they had no choice but to go to the ventilator. My Mom and I told him we loved him, and he has been unconscious for the last 3 days. He has been suffering for so long with the cancer treatments, and now this. Sometimes it seems like we are fighting fate itself. We hope for a quick recovery, but the doctors offer little hope of that. There *is* hope though, however little, and we have to cling to that.


posted 8/3/2006


My wife developed an abscess on her buttocks that went septic. She was flown flight for life to the hospital and underwent emergency surgery. After surgery, she never really developed lung function back. The critical care doctor informed me she had ARDS and gave me the basics. My wife has had a lot of lung problems along the road of her life: asthma, chronic bronchitis and was told she had early stages of COPD on top of 20+ years smoking. I am fearful for her because of her chronic lung conditions, and hope that someone can give me some hope to her recovery from this.


posted 7/22/2006


My sister Indra went in for surgery on July 11. The surgery was to remove a tumor from her esophagus which was preventing her from eating. She had a spinal tumor when she was 10, but was "cured" only after being confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. While in surgery the doctor discovered another tumor on her left lung, so it was removed along with a piece of her lung. After 4 days she was moved from the ICU to a regular room. But she complained of tightness in her chest. After doing a CT scan (which came out negative) and after she said she could not take the shortness of breath anymore, she was put back in the ICU. She has been put on a ventilator, and has a tube draining her stomach and is using 70% oxygen to breathe. She has been diagnosed with ARDS. She has her senses, but has been drugged a lot to combat the pain and to allow her to sleep. The physicians say that gastric fluids regurgitated from her stomach started this process (along with surgery on her lung I'm sure). The next step is a tracheotomy for her within the next few days. Any help with this from survivors or others going through a similar thing would be appreciated. Thank you.


posted 7/20/2006

Lauri Calandrino

My mom went into the hospital for gall stones four week ago on Father's Day. She's had an infection from day 1, and it took them 12 days to do the surgery?! I guess this infection has gotten worse and worse, and has festered somewhere. Because of DOCUMENTED negligence and an uncaring staff
(understatement, i.e., a nurse who has a business on the side making cell phone business calls while working on her), she has gotten worse and we were told many things today from doctors. One being things are looking up (except for the 106 fever that was not monitored, then keeping her on ice too long almost until hypothermia based on vitals) and next telling us she has ARDS which will 100% kill her. He "is not at liberty to say" whether or not the hospital caused this. She has been intubated for 3 days now. They aren't doing anything that this website suggests. This woman is the glue holding our family together. She would cut off her limbs to help her family, and may be murdered by this hospital. Anyone else in the same situation? ARDS from neglect? How can we get them to listen to us and take us seriously? She doesn't have a DNR and therefore, their job is to keep trying until WE say stop.


posted 7/17/2006

Susan Conners

My best friend Scott is in crisis at this time in July 2006. The shock of this for me, is I lost my mother to ARDS in July 2000. In my whole life I never thought I would have to have ARDS affect my life again. I pray for his recovery every day. Scott has so much to contribute in this world. He has tremendous strength and spirit. I will not lose another person that means the world to me. Please pray for him and his family and friends. There are angels in his life now (Grant), and there are angels in heaven, my mom. Love to everyone involved.



posted 6/30/2006

Kristy Flores

I don't really know were to start. My Dad was admitted to the hospital about two weeks ago. They weren't sure what was wrong with him. On Father's Day was the last time I saw him awake. He was put into coma. Since then we discovered he has ARDS. As of today, our whole family has been on an emotional roller coaster. My sister is a wreck and my mom is a mess. Then there is me. I don't even know what or how to feel. There's nothing positive coming from the nursing staff. This is the only place to go that understands, gives me hope and helps me understand.


posted 6/26/2006


My brother-in-law Arun met with an accident and from that time had breathing problems. The orthopedist did x-rays to rule out any fractures in the rib cage. He had a wound that was left untreated by the doctor, which later got infected and pus formed. After a week, he had a fever, low blood pressure and was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with septicemia. After 2 days of hospitalization in the ICU, he developed ARDS. Today is the sixth day of hospitalization where his ventilator count is reduced by 15 counts. I just want to know his chances of survival. Can anybody help me?


posted 6/19/2006

Helen K. Harvey

My husband Gene has been in the ICU since April 20, 2006. He is on ventilator support through a trach tube. They are keeping him sedated to give his body a rest.


posted 5/31/2006

Kathy Haldiman

My daughter Jamie has been on life support since May 8, 2006. It started out as pneumonia. She is in critical condition.


posted 5/30/2006

Dan Bittle

A mother, wife and loving friend to many now suffers the disease ARDS. She went in May 7th and was diagnosed with pneumonia and immediately was put on a ventilator. She also went in and was very septic. On May 18th, she was diagnosed with ARDS. She now is in a bed that rolls her all the way around because there is so much fluid in her lungs that the gravity is pulling it to the back making it almost impossible to be drained out. She is heavily sedated and now she is on paralysis medication because her heart muscles and lungs are working too hard and she is also fighting the ventilator. We all love Jamie...not only she is in pain but her loved ones also. We pray every day hoping she gets well and we also pray for all those who are suffering as well. We are all going through an emotional roller coaster ride. We have never felt how it is to have a person in the hospital and have always thought that it would never be us. But our time has now come to feel what it is like to have someone so ill in the hospital and be so helpless. We would have never thought that it would be us. We love her so much and are scared and confused.

posted 5/22/2006

Gina Miller

He had non Hodgkin's lymphoma and is in remission. Now he has ARDS and is hanging on to his life!

posted 5/20/2006


My mom came down with ARDS this last Christmas of 2005. She spent weeks in the hospital, three of which in the ICU. Finally she was allowed to come home. Anyway, in our area of California, its spring and allergies are affecting everyone.
Does anyone know if allergies can affect people with ARDS more than others?

posted 5/4/2006

Tammy Proctor

It started with a tear in my brother-in-law's lung. He was in the hospital for two weeks waiting for surgery. They sent him home for a few days while waiting for the surgery. Up until his surgery he looked fine. Then he had his surgery, and they took an x-ray and found a bleeder so they had to go back in. He was fine for a day or two, then he started having trouble. They sent him to the CCU. He was still having problems (he realized he should have never smoked), and they transferred him to the ICU. He has been there ever since. Now he is on an oscillatory ventilator. They can't get him switched back to a regular ventilator.

posted 5/2/2006

Ellen Crockett

My brother Jerry is in the second week of ARDS. He had surgery, had sepsis, then was diagnosed with ARDS . He remains paralyzed and sedated, and I remain in a most hellish situation of his finances, his healthcare and the lingering desperate desire to save him. One day his O2 level drops, and the next day it goes up. Then his heart jumps to 250 and his blood pressure drops to almost nothing. I am going crazy.

posted 4/27/2006

Alan Russell

It started with a tear in my brother's lung. He called for an ambulance and was admitted to the hospital. They put a tube put in his lung to drain fluid and was doing fine for a few weeks. He was sent home for a few days waiting for surgery, then had his surgery. They found a bleeder, so he needed surgery again the next day. He was fine for a while, then started having problems. He was sent to the CCU, was OK for a few days, then had trouble again. He was sent to the ICU and now is in a drug induced coma. He is in stable condition...his organs and blood pressure seem OK, his but lungs don't seem to want to work properly. They have ventilator at 85%.

posted 4/25/2006


My good friend was feeling well and thought she had the flu. Her doctor saw her blood pressure was high and sent her to the hospital. That evening they did an emergency bypass. While it was thought she did ok, within the next 24 hours she went into what they say is ARDS. She had been on a vent now 6 weeks. Early last week they reduced her heavy sedative to see how she would do. They couldn't put the pump below 40 but she seemed to be responding and we had hopes of her coming off the vent. The BP has been a problem and she is on dialysis too. Two days ago she took a turn for the worse and had to be put on heavy sedation again, and all her numbers seem to be bottoming out. Her doctors do not see much hope. I feel so useless but her family seem to be holding it together. I sure would like to hear someone say she could survive.

posted 4/15/2006

Maddie Gundlach

On March 23rd, my fianc�e George was in a terrible car accident. He was taken to the hospital; in the ER I was told he only had a hairline fracture of his C7. Two days later, a physical therapist came in and attempted to move him, when he stood up for the first time, something had happened to his spine, and he could not move his legs. Before long they were rushing him into emergency surgery. When he came out of surgery he had a breathing tube in. I was told this was common with this type of surgery and he would be taken off in a day or two. He was taken off and had a rough time breathing, and the next morning they put the tube back in. Days passed by and they spoke of trying again. He kept getting high fevers, and they mentioned the shock to the spine could be the cause. I kept reassuring him that he would be fine in a few days. The tube came out, and sure enough again he had problems, and it was put back. I watched him become so depressed, I was feeling so helpless but tried to comfort him, reassuring him that we would be OK. soon. Before long he had 104+ fever and they sedated him. I haven't seen him awake in 8 days now. Now I'm told he has ARDS. I have just read through this website for information as the doctors have not told me just how serious this is. I am 41 years old and have lived together with George for 3 years, but we were not yet married, so I think they don't feel the need to speak to me. I am scared for his safety, I don't think I've slept in 23 days. I will stand by his side no matter what the outcome, but could really use some support from others in my position. Thank you.

posted 4/14/2006


In February 2006, my father developed symptoms which were originally diagnosed as flu by his local doctor. Three days later, He was unable to breathe and called paramedics and was taken to the local hospital. It is now April, and he has been on a ventilator in a medically induced coma since. Attempts to take him out of his sedated state have not been successful. The ICU doctor mentioned ARDS early on. As our story resembles that of so many other postings, and as our outlook is not good, I will skip details, but I wanted to thank for setting up this web bulletin.

posted 4/10/2006

Nancy Van

My son was admitted to the ER on February 28, 2006 with pneumonia and developed ARDS a week later. I had never heard of ARDS and am about out of my mind watching him on the ventilator. He was weaning off about 4 hours on Sunday,  about 2 on Monday and 1 hour this morning. He is now in restraints as he is anxious and seems in a panic. This started with sinusitis, then bronchitis and now this.

posted 3/21/2006

Kathy Cooke

Dennis has been critical for 8 weeks. I believe the use of Amiodrone for atrial fibrillation contributed to his problem. He has had 4 heart attacks. The heart problems are now addressed, so now ARDS is his biggest battle.

posted 3/20/2006

Michelle Haswood

My dad is 59 years old and was hospitalized 58 days ago with pneumonia. He was put on a ventilator 2 days after he was diagnosed with pneumonia and now he requires dialysis due to renal failure. Thanks so much to everyone who posted their stories in any of these forums. It comforts me and helps me realize what our family has to do because mom and I decided to let dad go to rest in peace. I'm sorry we allowed him to suffer this long. I just didn't understand this process that ARDS can do to the human body. Dad motioned to us that he does not want to live on machines for the rest of his life. I don't blame him, but I am going to miss him dearly. Any support or contact from anyone right now would comfort me. Thanks again for your stories.

posted 3/18/2006

Debbie Wilkins

My mom suffered from ARDS 4 1/2 years ago and survived. We are now experiencing it for a second time. This time she is more critical with multi-system issues. She was admitted to the hospital on 3/5 experiencing neck and back pain. Her kidneys shut down. On 3/6 she became severely critical and was moved to ICU and placed on a respirator with 100% oxygen, numerous pressers, antibiotics and fluid. Her kidney function came back and it was determined that she had strep pneumonia. On 3/8, she spiked a fever of 106 and her kidneys shut down again. She began dialysis on 3/10. We have seen slight improvements in her kidneys but not anywhere close to normal. The respirator is down to 50% oxygen, she is off all of the "pressers", there is a slight improvement in her chest x-ray and her blood pressure is stable. We're still not sure on the brain function, as she is completely sedated. She is now experiencing discoloration in her toes, which we're being told is from the pressers. Prior to this admission, she has had pneumonia several times over the last year, but none this serious. She has also been experiencing blood loss which can't be explained. Numerous tests has been done, to no avail, which I feel in my gut is what is making her so susceptible to all of the constant infections. Any thoughts??

posted 3/16/2006

Dee Dee

Two weeks ago my sister Donna went to the doctor and they discovered that she had a twisted intestine. They took care of that and sent her home. A couple hours later, she went to the ER because she wasn't feeling well. After several hours, they realized she had a tear in her intestine and her bowel had burst. As they were preparing her for surgery, she had vomited and aspirated the fluid from the CT. She has been on a vent and heavily sedated since March 2nd. This all occurred in Muskegon, Michigan. She seems to get worse every day. On Friday, March 10th, the doctors located an ECMO machine in Cleveland. They reviewed the case and accepted Donna. At this point she does not need it. She has a very high fever so to my understanding they are still looking for the source of her infection. They need to send her for another CT, but are unable to keep her vitals stable when she lies down. When she is upright a little, she does fine. I am trying to be the voice of reason with everyone that has been left back here in Muskegon. It is getting so tough to keep up the front. I know in my heart my sister can beat this, but I don't know if I am strong enough to keep everyone else on board with me. So I am reaching out and looking for support, hope and whatever this road may offer me. I feel so helpless and do not know what to do next or where to turn.

posted 3/16/2006

Holly Grimes

I am Kim's aunt and am helping her family with research on ARDS. Kim went into the hospital with pneumonia and sepsis 2 weeks ago. It is now 3/13/06. As described by others, she went quickly from being active and vibrant to being on a ventilator. Doctors stated it is possible she could end up with ARDS. We're not sure if she is there already. Like others have said, it has been a roller coaster ride, only not fun. I wish to know where some of the best critical care for and knowledge of ARDS patients might be should they choose that route. Please email me if you have good suggestions out west where she lives (Kim lives in Las Vegas). Also is this year normal or is there more of this in 2006 than before? I know several who had this problem going from pneumonia to sepsis this winter. Thanks.

posted 3/13/2006


My mother has a rare form of cancer, called Stromal tumors. They did surgery last Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, she was doing very well, talking, and looked pretty good. On Monday morning we got a phone call saying she was having breathing problems and was moved to ICU. Today was her fourth day there. She has ARDS, and also pneumonia. She's on a ventilator right now. This has been the hardest 4 days of my life. I've never seen my mother on a breathing machine before.

posted 3/9/2006

Barbara Nix

My ex-husband was admitted to ICU with severe pneumonia with sepsis and then ARDS. He is currently sedated with paralysis medication. He has been in ICU now for 5 days and it is very hard for us to visit since we are 60 miles one-way from the hospital. We have 2 children, ages 9 and 12, who don't really understand how sick their daddy is at this time. They are very, very close to their daddy and this is really rough on them.

posted 3/3/2006


In December 2005, my dad was diagnosed with operable lung cancer. He had the cancer in his left lung removed at the end of December. He recovered from the surgery with flying colors and was home with in five days. On February 9th, 2006 he returned to the hospital to have the cancer removed from his right lung. The surgery went fine and we expected him to be home in four or five days, just as he was after the first one. However he quickly got worse instead of better. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and then a severe case of ARDS. He is in the ICU and has been heavily sedated for the past two weeks. He had a really good stretch where it seemed like he was getting better, and then all of a sudden he developed a fever and went right back to where he started. The rollercoaster that my family and I have been going through is very hard to deal with. I just wish we could know that he is going to be okay and how long it will take...

posted 3/2/2006

Angela Maggi

From February 23, 2006 my mother has been a patient in the intensive care department at Popoli Hospital in Italy after a heavy breathing crisis. Medical consultation immediately suggested the possibility of ARDS, even though my mother had never had shock or sepsis before. I'm going to ask the medical staff if they have had previous experience with this disease and I would like to be ready in case their answer will be "No". Reading this site, I understand ARDS patients need a multidisciplinary approach, so can anyone help me discover a clinical place in Italy or Europe where to face ARDS in the most complete way?

posted 2/22/2006


My wife received a liver transplant on January 17, 2006. Everything went well for the first few days, and then she had problems with her lungs. She was placed on a pressurized facemask, and is now on a ventilator via a tracheotomy. She is being given a high dose of steroids, and we are extremely worried for her.

posted 2/12/2006

Shari Kienlen

As friends go, Tamara is the best. We were little girls together and became women, mothers and wives together. We talked about growing old together. And now I can hardly take it to be beside her. To see her in the state she is in. My mind fills with what I want to say to her, but nothing comes. I try to be strong for her, but I am stuck in a whirlwind of emotion knowing the outcome does not look promising. She was diagnosed only a few days ago, and has pneumonia. I am finding it hard to deal with that I might have to let her go. I prayed last night, something I haven't done since I was a little girl. HOW DO I COPE??? I'm so terrified.

posted 2/3/2006


My granddaughter Kaytie has been in the hospital for three weeks now, with us not knowing what was wrong. She went in with flu and was on a ventilator and didn�t seem to be getting better. We were told today after a lung biopsy that it was ARDS and it was going to be a long hard recovery. She has been completely under for three weeks now. She was only 3 pounds, 7 ounces at birth and they seem to think the lungs were already damaged. I am new to this but it is the most heart breaking thing to go in and see a loved one lying helpless and not knowing what the outcome is going to be. She is small for her age, and I tell people not to let that fool them, and she is a typical 2 year old child. I wish she was home right now destroying my house. My name is Jenny and I am her grandmother, and she calls me her Nenny. I have 3 beautiful granddaughters and I hope and pray to God that I never have to see another one of them suffer in this or any other kind of way again. If there is anyone that can give my more information on this and how the after recovery is going to be, please let me know. My thoughts and prayers go out to each and every one of you...Jenny

posted 2/1/2006


In the last 2 weeks, my 14 year-old son with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) had spinal fusion, a portion of his colon removed, stomach infection and damaged lungs; he is now incubated and has ARDS. I'm not sure what to do and I'm worried. I have 2 more sons with DMD four hours away and no van to transport them here if something happens.

posted 1/30/2006

Colleen Goettel

My husband's brother contracted ARDS before Christmas in Florida. We live in New York. Our sister-in-law Lynn is at wit's end after one month. Mark has only been out of a coma for one week. We are looking for suggestions of how to help and support them when we are so far away. Lynn distrusts medical personnel at the local hospital and wants someone to be there with Mark, who suffers from depression normally, for 24 hours. Any help would be appreciated.

posted 1/20/2006

Lois Loar

My daughter-in-law, Kelli, 28 weeks pregnant, had a bad cough last week with a medium fever. Once she went to the doctor, she was diagnosed with pneumonia, and put in the military hospital where my son is currently in training. It looked like she was improving, when she took a sudden turn for the worse early Sunday morning. They nearly lost her, but were able to get her stabilized enough to transport her to a major hospital in Atlanta. We've been told it's ARDS, which we previously knew nothing about. Also, we've been told that she will be in the hospital at least 4 weeks, but not much more. They are trying to keep her baby inside her for as long as possible, but it may become necessary to deliver him early. She is a young, healthy woman....I don't understand how this happens to someone so a disease can wreak havoc so quickly. Her parents and we live nearly 1,000 miles away in Ohio. They have a 1 year old who needs care and we don't want to take him too far from his daddy at this time in his life. Any ideas or words of support would be more than welcome. We are praying for a miracle of healing and will walk in faith, no matter what happens next.

posted 1/9/2006

Stephanie Watkins

On January 2nd, my mom said that she felt pain when she inhaled. She had been suffering from a cold for the past week, but it seemed to be getting better. My father called the doctor and made an appointment. Later that afternoon she started to vomit and physically couldn't make it to the doctor's office. This continued into the evening. My dad called 911 at 4am. When they reached the ER, her blood pressure was dangerously low. She coded in the ER and again when she was moved to the ICU. The doctors said she had pneumonia that turned into septic shock. From that she developed ARDS and multisystem organ failure. On January 3rd, she was on a vent and five pressures to maintain her blood pressure. Her o2 sats were in the 70's but rebounded to 88 that day. The next day her kidney function was fine so we were hopeful. They put her on heavy sedation and her sats remained in the low 90's. Friday was a bad day. Her temp began to rise and reached 106! Her kidneys shut down and her pupils became fixed. After the fever broke, she began to respond again to pain and dialysis was started. Her sats were then in the 90's, fell to the 70's and are now at 88. It has been five days since the onset. She is off all of the pressures, on dialysis, maximum vent support, and is unresponsive.

posted 1/9/2006

Christy Hawkes

My mother is 67. She was admitted to the hospital Christmas Eve, around 7:30 a.m. At the time, we were told she had bacterial pneumonia and she was in septic shock. The day before Christmas Eve she was fine. She worked, and other than her speech being slurred, (we thought she had taken her regular medications too late in the day) she was just very tired. She has since been put on a ventilator. She has had this for almost 8 days. They are telling us by week's end they will most likely trach her. I am scared out of my mind. I have been praying for her...praying she gets better. She developed ARDS before the ventilator. Any information would be appreciated.

posted 1/3/2006


My sister is 24 and has liver failure, kidney failure, and now ARDS. She is on a ventilator and in bad shape. I am so scared. My mom just died on Thanksgiving at 44 and now my sister is in trouble. I'd like to talk to others going through it so we can support each other.

posted 1/3/2006