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Sharon Story storys4@hotmail.com
Dale had a knee replacement then developed blood clots in his right lung. He was then diagnosed with ARDS and put in the ICU on a bi-pap then a vent. After a couple of days, we was no better, so they did a trach. One week and a day after going into the ICU, he was called home to be with God. We still can't believe this has happened and we miss him greatly!

posted 4/22/2013
Krissy kmary13@gmail.com
I lost my beautiful and amazing husband at the age of 29 to ARDS on 11/22/11. Nick had suffered from Ewing's Sarcoma for over 5 years and suddenly developed this acute lung condition. He was hospitalized for 19 days and we eventually had to let him go. I miss him terribly and struggle every day with the guilt associated with having to make that decision. I would greatly appreciate any correspondence from a widow/widower who shares a similar experience.

posted 1/12/2012
Laura D. Wells coastiewife2011@yahoo.com
In February of 2011, my father thought he had the flu. It lasted for about 4 days and his fever got very high. We took him to the emergency room on a Thursday and they told him that he has a typical case of pneumonia and that he would spend about 3 days in the hospital and be fine. The next night my father's temperature spiked up to 105 and he had a seizure and went into a coma. I never saw him awake after that night. He was put in the ICU and two days later the doctor came and told my family that he had ARDS and was septic. He was on life support at this time and it was a very confusing time for my whole family. My father was 53 years old. He never smoke or drank a day in his life and was in better physical shape than most people. After being on life support for a week, his right lung collapsed and I had to sign a resuscitate order. After his lung collapsed, his whole body starting to slowly shut down. First his kidneys, then his pancreas and heart. I had to watch my father slowly die. The doctors tried everything and they couldn't figure out why he wouldn't respond to any medicine or treatments. After 3 weeks of my father being on life support, we were faced with the hardest decision. We decided to take him off life support; my father was gone and there was nothing anyone could do to bring him back. He passed away at 3:41 p.m. on March 3, 2011 I held his hand the whole time until he took his last breath. It has been 8 long months for me and I still haven't been able to cope with his death. I haven't gotten any relief from the constant pain and void that I feel everyday. If anyone can help me, I would greatly appreciate it.

posted 11/13/2011
Lavern dragon1007@aol.com
My husband Tony was admitted to the hospital on July 21, 2011. He had chills, shortness of breath and was in pain. Thereafter he was airlifted to a more suitable hospital with more advanced machines. The doctors diagnosed him as having Congestive Heart Failure which turned into pneumonia. He also developed a bacteria from the pick line in his arm (staph infection). On July 28th, his oxygen level went down and he was on the ventilator 100% for several hours before it returned to normal. The next day his heart rate was 140 beats per minute and he had a fever. Hope was returning when the doctor let us know that the fluid in his lung was gone on August 1st. On August 4th the pneumonia was gone, and he he was taken off the sedative the next day. He did not respond for several days until August 12th when he opened his eyes and seemed to be coming back to us. He was still on the ventilator, but was breathing a little bit on his own. The next day he took a turn for the worst and became unresponsive to the doctor commands. He would open his eyes but look into space and didn�t turn toward me when I spoke to him as he did before and didn�t squeeze my hand. I held his hand and begged him to respond but nothing happened. We prayed every night and relatives and friends prayed at home. We did this every night until the doctor told us that they did all they could; he was not responsive anymore and ARDS took his lungs. On August 23, 2011 in the early morning, my husband drifted into heaven with his family beside him. My husband was a wonderful man; we were never apart for 24 years and had three beautiful children. My life died that day and I�m still trying to come to terms with the pain of losing him. I will never understand why.

posted 10/26/2011
Christine Menges clmenges@yahoo.com
My daughter Katy was diagnosed with systematic lupus about 7 years ago. In Fall of 2010, she developed a case of pneumonia and had repeated cases until she was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease in April 2011. She was vented on her first hospital visit for 7 days in May, then she was vented on May 11th until she died on June 2nd at the age of 27. Her hospital diagnosis was ARDS.

posted 6/22/2011
Tricia Dell tdell814@gmail.com
On May 2, 2011, my father was advised to go to the ER after unsuccessfully battling what was thought to be bronchitis since January 2011. Little did we know, this would in fact, be the last day that he would actually walk on this earth. Once in the ER, he was admitted quickly after it was determined that he had pneumonia. He remained in a regular room for three days, eating, talking and maintaining a seemingly normal daily life. On Thursday, May 5th, he began complaining of complications with breathing and agreed to have a breathing tube placed and then was admitted to the ICU. In the days that followed, he was diagnosed with sepsis, kidney failure and eventually ARDS. He was heavily sedated with Propofol and chemically paralyzed. This was in hopes that his body would relax and the vent could provide his lungs time to heal. They began daily treatments of dialysis to help with the kidney failure. During the next two weeks, there were many ups and downs, several positives and negatives - the ever popular "roller coaster" effect of this horrible syndrome. His oxygen levels varied along with his BP and heart rate, although his heart remained strong to the end. His last day that he wasn't completely sedated was Saturday, May 7th and I am truly happy to have had to see his eyes sparkling and to hold his hand. I showed him pictures of his beautiful grandchildren and told him how much I loved him. Because of the tube, he wasn't able to communicate and when handed a pen, he wasn't able to clearly write what he really wanted to say...later, from the nurses, we found that he was asking "What happened?". We didn't know that this would be the last day that he would spend awake. Throughout the next several days, things never improved, but they never worsened, either - again giving us hope. His chest X-Rays were always the same and unfortunately, the powerful antibiotics had no effect. On Friday, May 20th, 2011, my mother had no choice but to agree to have the trach placed as he could no longer remain on the breathing tube. Although a somewhat successful surgery, they did warn us that his ARDS was extremely severe. My mother and I took great pleasure in being able to see his handsome face again, though. With the tubes removed, he looked very peaceful. It was the morning of Sunday, May 22nd, 2011 that he took a turn for the worse. His BP and heart rate dropped dramatically and we were immediately called to the hospital. My mother and I arrived around 9:30am to find him stable. His doctor suggested that his best chance for survival was to be life flighted to The Cleveland Clinic - a fifteen minute helicopter flight for him and an hour drive for us. We immediately agreed and they contacted the Cleveland Flight team. They did advise us that it could be dangerous, but it was his only hope. The team arrived and they told us that we could begin our drive and meet him at the Clinic. While half-way there, we received a call from the doctor - they said they were unable to stabilize him enough for the flight and we needed to get back to the hospital. On our return drive, we received another call from the doctor - she said that his oxygen was extremely low and she wanted to know if we wanted resuscitation or to simply keep him comfortable until we arrived, Because he was a DNR, we chose for him to be as comfortable as possible. At 1:20pm, we got back to the hospital just in time, His heart rate was down to 20-30%. We are so very grateful that my mother and I were able to spend his last few minutes with him and say goodbye as he journeyed into Heaven. .He passed away at 1:30pm on Sunday, May 22nd, 2011. He was only 60 years old and relatively healthy. This terrible syndrome struck so fast and is extremely vicious. My mom and I are still struggling with the reality that daddy will never be home, but we take great comfort in knowing that he never suffered and traveled peacefully to Heaven.

posted 5/26/2011
Cynthia Bruner cbruner@gemroi.com
Scott Bruner, my precious, brilliant, deeply compassionate, vibrant husband was taken by ARDS on February 16, 2011. He was diagnosed on a Friday with double pneumonia and sent to the ER after 5 days with a bad cold and 2 doctor visits. He was rapidly declining. The doctors started talking about ARDS on Saturday and Monday morning at 5:30 he was code blue, intubated and on full support. His crash came unexpectedly, and doctors and nurses worked very hard to stabilize his oxygen. They told me he had sepsis and total system organ failure. After he stabilized, they fully paralyzed him and tried to rest him and his lungs. He went on CRRT (24 hour dialysis) and that seemed an important and helpful step. His oxygen levels and BP started to improve slowly and slightly. Then, with kidney function not returning, he started to deteriorate again and after 26 days in the ICU, one morning he had no eye responsiveness and I took him off life support and said goodbye to my beloved. This disease is a rapid and intensely efficient killer. It is so shocking, that it defies verbal explanation. I remain behind, with many questions and few answers. Although I watched it unfold, it still seems unbelievable to me that he succumbed to ARDS so completely and quickly. I hate this disease.

posted 4/13/2011
No name provided king803@centurytel.net
My brother Steven was admitted with pneumonia following kidney stone surgery. Pneumonia developed into ARDS. Our family is in shock.

posted 4/7/2011
Tina t_mocci@hotmail.com
It has been six years on February 3rd that my son Gino left us with ARDS. It all started out with him being diagnosed with psoriasis in the summer of 2004. Then after a few months, he started having very severe joint pain. He went to our family doctor and was referred to a Rheumatologist. He was then diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis. It had gotten so painful for him that no matter what treatments the doctor gave him nothing seemed to work. Finally he was admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal in November 2004. The meds they were going to put him on were very strong so they decided to do a liver biopsy. Everything went well. He was released at end of November. I noticed that a week after he was home he started to have shortness of breath and always had the chills. To make him more comfortable I would warm up a cozy blanket in the dryer and that would help his chills for a while. The medication the hospital had given him was not working at all. He was in such pain with his skin and his joints. Gino was normally a very strong young man. He never complained when he was sick, but for him to break down and cry as he would, I knew that he was in so much pain. On December 13 he went for his appointment at the hospital, and never came back home. Gino was first diagnosed with pneumonia. He was treated with antibiotics for 14 days....nothing helped. Finally they preformed a biopsy of his lungs to see what type of infection he had. His oxygen level in his blood was dropping and his breathing was really bad. On December 28, 2004 Gino was put on a ventilator. We were completely devastated not knowing what was going on. Gino tried several times to remove the tube in his mouth, so they put him in a coma state so he would be calm. We went through a nightmare of a roller coaster ride, where one day it seems that he was better and then the next he was worst. They put him on a machine called ECMO (Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation) hoping that his lungs would rest and start to heal, but nothing was working. Gino continue to get worse and passed away on February 3, 2005.

posted 2/6/2011
Matthew Kim matthew.kim97@gmail.com
We found out that my father had stomach cancer two days before Father's day. During recovery, the doctors put in a stomach tube to help feed him. After the surgery, he developed pneumonia which quickly turned to ARDS. Soon after, his kidneys began to fail. My mother, sister, brother, and I had decided to put him on DNR. While his condition did not getting worse, it was not getting better. Everyone told us not to give up hope, but our doctors told us that he wasn't going to survive long. I have accepted my father's fate, but I cannot help but wonder if we did absolutely everything possible. My biggest fear was that he was in terrible pain, but couldn't tell us. I've never been quite this sad or confused in my life. My dad had never been to the hospital for anything, so we all knew that if he did go, it would be for awhile. We just made funeral arrangements, but I kept going back and forth on whether or not we were doing the right thing. I had originally written this post for the "In crisis" section, but unfortunately my father died several hours after I submitted this. My thanks to everyone reading this. And my prayers go out to all the people in the stories that I have read on here, and to all those that I have not.

posted 11/9/2010
Rusty Holder rholder240@aol.com
It has been 10 years since we lost you Dad. Every day we think about you and miss you. We had become best friends since I moved back home. You saw me through my stomach surgery, and I wouldn't have made it without you. Mom was lonely without you, and she was calling for you. She needed you dearly and you left to join her. Your children miss you and Mom every day and we will always be together.

posted 7/11/2010
Bailey Wheeler bailz1987@yahoo.com
My mom was taken to the hospital in early November. Two days later, they life flighted her to Marshfiel, WI to the CCU. She had already been intabated and sedated. She was in the hospital for a full week and we lost her on November 14, 2009. They called me and my sister at the motel at 1:30 am to tell us her oxygen was dropping. We arrived and everything was still dropping; her blood pressure was at 39. We lost her minutes later, almost exactly one month before she turned 50. She was an amazing woman and will be missed greatly.

posted 12/2/2009
Paula Pezzullo katysmom1994@insightbb.com
My 8 year-old son Steven died on October 28, 2009 at Kosair's Children's Hospital in Louisville, KY.

posted 11/18/2009
Traci McDonald kentraci@suddenlink.net
My husband Kenneth McDonald lost his battle with ARDS on October 22, 2009. He had gone to work on September 21st feeling bad and running a little fever. I called his doctor who prescribed medicine without seeing him. Two days later, I demanded he go to the doctor. The next day, the doctor called and told him he had double pnemonia and it looked pretty bad and he might have to be admitted to the hospital for care. Kenneth told him he wanted to wait until the morning. That night he did not sleep; he only sat up in different chairs in the house because he was having trouble breathing. At 6am the next day, I called the doctor at home and told him he needed to be admitted. He spent one day on a regular floor and went straight to the ICU the next morning. The nurse called me and said that they were intibating him. He was diagnosed with ARDS after about 3 full days in the ICU. He was on a ventilator in a medically induced coma for four weeks before he lost his battle with ARDS. He was actually getting better with ARDS, but spiked a fever and it was not controlled until it reached 105.1 with a heart rate of 164 for hours. This caused him to become septic and it shut down his kidneys and liver, and he had a heart attack. My husband's health wasn't too bad. He had high blood pressure and was overweight. We never gave up home for one second. I know he heard every word we said to him and all the prayers said for him at his bedside. I have a 16 year-old daughter that is devastated, as is my 19 year-old son whose wife is due to have our first grandchild on December 15th. He also had a 23 year-old son from his first marriage. We were married 20 years and I thought I would have 20 more. He was an awesome person and touched many lives. I do not understand and my heart has a hole in it the size of Texas. Please pray for our family as we step forward in Christ. God Bless.

posted 11/12/2009
Rajesh Pillai lahayil@gmail.com
My wife was admitted in hospital on June 8th due to viral pneumonia, which caused her ARDS. She passed away on June 18, 2009, leaving me and my two beautiful daughters ages 8 and 3. My kids and I really MISS her!!!!

posted 8/7/2009
Tammy Adams eadams66@netzero.com
I am sad to report that my mother, Mary Lou, lost her third battle with ARDS. She previously battled ARDS after a triple bypass surgery in 1998, pneumonia in 2001, and she recently passed away after a 3 week case of pneumonia. If I can give anyone any hope or support, please contact me.

posted 8/1/2009
Lisa Alvarez lisaalva33@hotmail.com
This is written in loving memory of the love of my life, my friend, my ex husband ... Eddie Alvarez who lost his life tonight to ARDS. He was 42 years old and has left behind 6 children, a granddaughter and another on the way. His fight with ARDS began 19 days ago with double pneumonia. He was admitted to the ICU with PAO2's that fluctuated from 80 to 60. He was immediately intubated and started on Nitric Oxide and still couldn't maintain decent saturations. Within 6 days he was airlifted for a 91 second flight because he couldn't handle the 10 minute ride by ambulance to the neighboring trauma center. He was immediately started on the EMCO, heart and lung bypass, which seemed to momentarily save his life. However, it was the complications of the ECMO that he couldn't overcome, which eventually lead to organ failure. Within 72 hours of placement on the ECMO he was started on dialysis and heparin. An allergy to the heparin resulted in the loss of circulation to his hands and feet leaving them black without a pulse and needing amputation. Yesterday we learned that at some point he suffered a stroke to the occipital and parietal lobe which left him brain dead. He died on his own with a fever of a 110 while his family was mustering up the emotion to remove him from the life support. I am grateful to his doctors and nurses who diligently worked at trying to save his life. I am glad that he is no longer suffering because he was a healthy vibrant athletic man who would have been devastated with what it would have taken him to overcome...should he have survived. His children from his previous marriage are all grown, but I am left with his youngest son who is 8 years old and feeling like he lost his best friend. I am devastated because I don't know how to teach my son to be a man. This has all happened so quickly. Our lives will never be the same without Eddie Alvarez.

posted 7/26/2009
Lauren lillypeu@yahoo.com
My mom passed away from ARDS on March 10, 2005. I went to visit her in the ICU with my brother (who was 16 at the time, and I was 18). We did not know exactly what was going on, so my brother and I started crying. The nurse looked at us basically in confusion and kindly said, "Why are you crying?? Your mom is fine, you have nothing to worry about." This made us feel a little better. But it was hard not to have her respond; she was already sedated. That whole week we visited her, each day she was getting worse. We came to find out she had ARDS, I had know idea what that was, but I knew it wasn't good. I visited her with my sister. The doctors told me my stepdad had already decided to take her off life support, and he was nowhere to be found. I had to call all of my family so they could say goodbye to her...it was the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I went through a downward cycle of hell after this, making horrible life decisions. If I maybe had some support like this website, maybe it wouldn't be as bad. I am happy and healthy now, but a day doesn't pass where I don't think about her. I would like to talk to somebody who has gone through a similar situation. My prayers and support go out to anyone who has lost someone to ARDS.

posted 6/24/2009
Brandalyn Bretzer brandalyn_bretzer@yahoo.com
My mother had been battling a small infection in her nose and mouth. She had tried creams and antibiotics, but it never seemed to fully go away. One day when she was at home, she started to feel shortness of breath and felt there was something wrong. She called my dad at work and he took her straight to the ER. I don't remember the date, but I sure do remember the phone call. My mother was battling several illnesses, liver cancer being the biggest of all. I thought it had something to do with the cancer so I immediately drove there. By the time I got there, they had already sent her to intensive care because her blood oxygen level was so low that she was suffocating. I only got to talk to her for a minute before they put her on life support. At this point, we entered the roller coaster from hell, spending day and night at the hospital for several weeks. At one point they actually had to give her a paralyzing medication so the breathing machine could do the work and her body was trying to fight it. Every day they tried to turn the machine down to see if she could breathe more on her own, but she could not. We stood by her bed side prayed, read the bible, played music for her, sang and just talked. My mother was never able to recover from ARDS, possibly because of the complications from her liver cancer. We later found out that the infection she had been battling is what brought on the ARDS. She is now at home with our savior not suffering and I thank God for that, but I miss her every minute of every day. I wish to encourage every person that is battling ARDS and every family member and friend that is standing by. Do not ever give up hope. Pray and have faith even when you are told that your case may be the worst. God can move mountains.

posted 6/16/2009
Jamie DesRosiers desrosiersjams@aol.com
My son had been having problems with acid reflux and had problems throwing up quite often. We didn't have medical insurance, but thought he'd been feeling sick from anxiety and depression. He stared a cold/cough that lasted about 5 days, but then he started feeling weak and couldn't eat much. I got him some OTC cold medicines and kept bringing him lots of fluids. His bedroom was upstairs and he came downstairs one afternoon. He told me he was starting to feel better earlier that day when I had checked on him, but when he got down the stairs he sat on the couch and he was very pale. His words to me were "Mom I can't breathe" and I told him we had to call 911.He was worried about how much money that would cost us. I told him that was not important, so he told me to call. He was 25 years old but he was scared and didn't want me to leave him. I rode with him in the ambulance, and I honestly thought they'd give him some sort of breathing treatments, or maybe he had developed asthma or something and we'd be home later that night. The ER did a chest x-ray and his left lung was completely filled with fluid ,and he had only about 40% of the other working. I said to the ER doctor, "But he's gonna be okay, isn't he?" The doctor shook his head as if he didn't think so. He also asked me if he should call their chaplain for me. I was in complete shock of what was going on. He ended up in ICU for 18 days and it was a true roller coaster ride. During the time there he coded 5 times. Then there were days when they said he was doing so much better. He had begun with sepsis, malnutrition, no white blood cells, and had to have several blood transfusions. On the 18th day, he didn't have the strength to fight and I had to let him go. I don't know how to go on anymore. I can't handle this and have no one. He was my son and my best friend I am in total crisis.

posted 5/30/2009
Krista Dhruv krista_dhruv@hotmail.com
We lost my mom a week ago after a 4 week battle with ARDS. She was admitted to the community hospital with pneumonia after a chest cold. After a course of IV antibiotics for the pneumonia, she was still struggling to breathe and her CT scans showed what looked like "jagged glass" in her lungs. She was intubated and we had her airlifted to UPenn. While there she was intubated and extubated twice more over the course of her illness and had a lung biopsy to rule out any underlying lung disease. Once the pneumonia was treated, ARDS was the only thing they could find. It never really improved. We had good days, when she cold speak, eat and be completely present. Other times she was sedated to help her relax, but ultimately she never got better. The final time she was intubated she went into septic shock from one of her IV lines, so she technically died of a MRSA infection, but it was because of the ARDS that she never came back off of the ventilator or left the UPenn ICU. It was horrible seeing someone slowly die from struggling to breathe. We were with her every step of the way, but I will never recover from the fact that my mom had to suffer this way and had to be taken from us at such a young age.

posted 5/22/2009
Susan Gress susiegress@comcast.net
On March 7th, my husband had severe chills out of the blue with no fever. It lasted about half an hour, and the next day he felt a little achy. The following week he did his normal routine, but complained of being a little bit short of breath. On March 14th, we were out of town and he had chills again, this time with more shortness of breath. He went to urgent care where his blood O2 was 93. They did a thorough workup, and an x-ray, cat scan and vein study showed a strong heart and lungs only had a small amount of old fibrosis, probably from prior to quitting smoking. On the 17th, we saw his regular doctor, who said it was a touch of the flu, and to go home and lay low for a few days. By the 23rd, it was very hard for him to breathe. The urgent care showed his O2 was 65. He was admitted, but was still talking, walking, and eating. He was given nasal O2, but as the day progressed, breathing became more difficult, and he was given a sedative to calm him. By the next morning, 100% O2 was not enough to keep his blood oxygen up, so he was sedated and intubated. A cat scan showed his lungs were 90% white. After 5 days, sedation was removed, but he did not wake up, and was totally unresponsive. During this time, the doctors tried every culture they could think of, even involving the centers for disease control, but all came back negative. After a biopsy was also negative, they started cortisone. This seemed to help the lungs and kidneys, which were stressed, and it seemed he might come off of the ventilator. After 6 days off of sedative, he could move hands and face somewhat, and would occasionally respond to commands to squeeze a hand, etc. But then his lungs got worse, and 17 days from admit to the hospital he could not maintain blood O2 even with 100% oxygen from the ventilator. We removed the breathing tube and he died about 15 minutes later. The doctors still have no idea what the cause was, other than, "as it wasn't anything else we tested for, it must have been a virus." Prior to ARDS he was very healthy, with no blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes issues and had never been hospitalized.

posted 4/12/2009
Amanda D. Gondick the.tiger@verizon.net
My father went in for quadruple bypass surgery, which was successful. After about 36 hours, he had to be put back on a ventilator because his oxygen saturation was getting dangerously low. Within 2 weeks, he had passed. My father had pneumonia a few months before the surgery and we think they did the surgery too soon after his antibiotics were done. I honestly believe that if the doctors had given my father time to properly heal that he would have pulled through. He was such a strong man and my heart aches every day knowing that he is not here with me. I will see him again, but I am impatient for that day.

posted 3/18/2009
Scotty Charneco scotty_charneco@yahoo.com
My name is Scotty Charneco and I lost my sister Courtney to ARDS at the age of 19. I am in the process of organizing a charity run in the Northern Virginia area to raise money for ARDS Research so that no one has to lose a loved one to ARDS. I have started a group on Facebook called "Courtney's Race." Please join in support of the cause. Hope to see you all at the race in Fall 2009. Please stay tuned for more details of the race. In the meantime, if you have questions, please send me an email at courtneysrace@yahoo.com.

posted 1/18/2009
Paul Spadafora pspadafora2003@yahoo.com
My 4-year old son James passed away from ARDS on December 7, 2008. He was initially diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease (KD), a vascular inflammation, and was being treated for that when his ARDS developed, causally or not. He went on mechanical ventilation, then ECMO was required. But he died from bleeding into his brain while on the ECMO. He was taken from us so quickly -- 3 weeks from perfectly healthy to critically ill. I miss him dearly.

posted 1/7/2009
Deborah Lueth dlueth@verizon.net
Marcus was born with Spina Bifida, had seizures, DDD, and was wheelchair bound. He was the funniest, most loving guy I'd ever known. I was his caregiver for four years. He passed away from ARDS yesterday, December 27, 2008. I will remember him for his positive attitude, strong will, smile and good nature.

posted 12/28/2008
Susan courtneys1nana@alltel.net
My husband Tom had a bone marrow transplant on August 20th 2008 and really seemed to be doing very well. On Nov 12th, 2008 that all changed. I had to call 911 and have him taken to the ER. It really took about a week for the doctors to come to the conclusion that it was ARDS that was causing my husband's problems, probably from the chemo he had prior to the transplant. He was on live support for 4 and a half weeks. He died on December 15, 2008 and I feel like a part of myself died with him. We had only been married 7 years, but I will miss him so very much and will always love him. He is my hero.

posted 12/26/2008
Jeremiah Williams jeremiahw75@hotmail.com
My father was admitted to the ER for emergency surgery on a ruptured ulcer. Surgery went well according to the doctor with no complications. For three days father was in ICU on Oxygen trying to recover. On the fourth day father was placed on a ventilator due to trouble breathing. He spent the next three weeks with the ventilator inserted in his month and on the fourth week, a trach was placed in his neck. Father lived two more weeks and passed away on December 12, 2008 at 2:40pm from his long battle with ARDS. Please contact for detailed information.

posted 12/16/2008
Teri Pittman teri.pittman@gmail.com
I wanted to update and let people know that my husband Jeffrey died on October 13th, 2008. He developed a leak in his lung and they felt he would not survive surgery. I hope that others have a different outcome.

posted 12/10/2008
Cindy ctie529062@yahoo.com
Mom got sick on July 4, 2008. She was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance because she could not breathe. Her oxygen levels were at 40%. Once at the hospital, she was admitted to the intensive care unit and put on life support. She was diagnosed with ARDS. She was heavily sedated in the hopes she would relax and let her lungs heal. The doctors were running every test they could think of to try to find the underlying cause of the sickness. A blood transfusion was given to bring up her hemoglobin. Mom was getting better a little bit every day. They brought her out of sedation and she was able to communicate with us by writing on paper. At first it wasn't legible but day by day her handwriting became clear. Each day her lung x-rays showed improvement. After about three weeks the life support was removed and she was breathing on her own! Mom was transferred to rehabilitation for ten days. She was doing great, walking with a walker, talking, eating and loving her family. The day she was going home we noticed she was easily getting out of breath, but she said she felt fine. She was sent home with oxygen to use when needed. The following night, she was rushed back to the hospital because she was unable to breathe and spiked a fever. At that time, she was put back on life support and ten days later a tracheotomy and feeding tube were put in. The doctor said her lungs were worse then the first time she was admitted and she had full blown ARDS. They were still trying to find the underlying infection. They tried to paralyze her so her body would let the machines take over but each time they tried, she would start to go into cardiac arrest, so they stopped the paralysis medication. She was kept under deep sedation. They did a bronch scope where they went down the tracheotomy tube to withdraw mucus. When they did this procedure she again started to fail. It took an hour to get her sats under control. She was brought out of sedation and was getting a little better every day. A blood clot was found in her left leg. We convinced her to have a filter put in her groin to stop the blood clot from moving to her heart and lungs. Mom was transferred to another rehab facility but only for twelve hours until she was rushed back to the emergency room because of difficulty breathing. They told us she would probably never come off of life support because her lungs were so damaged. A couple of weeks later, she was transferred to a long term acute care facility. She was doing well, off of the ventilator for short times and started rehabilitation, sitting in a chair and able to dangle her feet. She was beginning to drink water. At one point they put a valve on her tracheotomy and she was talking with her own voice! Two days later (ten days after being at this facility) she became unstable, could not breathe and was again rushed by ambulance back to the hospital. This time, Mom's doctors told us that it did not look good. Mom was back on full life support and was still struggling to breathe. Tests indicated she was taking air in but her lungs were so damaged that she was not able to release carbon dioxide. We were told by five doctors that her lungs were 85% permanently damaged and she would never come off of life support. The doctors and nurses were all talking to us about her quality of life and suggesting we remove the life support. We said she was just talking to us, how can we remove the life support?!!? She had been diagnosed with ARDS, COPD, VRE, sepsis and bacterial pneumonia. Her heart was enlarged and the doctors said that she had Pseudomonas and the antibiotics they were trying were not working. She was very swollen and her hands and fingers were turning blue. They still could not find the underlying cause. That night, my sister and daughter stayed with her. They watched Mom suffer all night. For three days, we asked her what we should do. Mom just looked at us with tears in her eyes. We asked her something at one point and she shook her head yes. One time she mouthed "what". But each time we asked her if we should remove the machines so she would stop suffering and she could go and be with God and grandma she just shed tears. She would not respond at any time when asked about removing the life support. Mom was a nurse for thirty years, I honestly believe she knew she was dying but was too worried about us kids to tell us. We could not let mom suffer any longer. Twenty minutes after removing her life support, with all of us surrounding her telling her we love her, she went home to be with God. On September 28, 2008, Mom died at the young age of 70.

posted 10/29/2008
Donna G. Long dglong@comcast.net
My sister developed ARDS after a routine surgery to remove her spleen due to ITP. She left her home on March 16, 2006, for what was to be a routine surgery and 3-4 day stay in the hospital. She never returned home. She developed ARDS around day 4, was sent to the ICU and put on life support. A couple weeks later, EEG tests revealed severe brain damage. We removed my sister from life support on April 4, 2006. Our friends, family, and the community were stunned. My sister was a local police officer known and loved by many.

posted 8/11/2008
Brandi Ward brandi80@netzero.com
My mom was recovering from stomach surgery due to an ulcer. After that, she was sent home, and three days later, back in the hospital with 2 collapsed lungs. She then had a stroke due to high blood pressure, and developed sepsis. She lost her battle with ARDS on October 19, 1995. She was only 36. I miss her so much!!

posted 7/29/2008
Kimberley Wrenn standupkwrenn@aol.com
My mother went to the VA hospital because she thought she had the flu. She was in the hospital for only two nights, and on Christmas Eve the hospital called and let me know they was releasing her. My Dad had just had a stroke, and was in the nursing home for rehabilitation. I went to the hospital to pick my Mother up, and was alarmed that they was releasing her. She looked so sick, and I could tell she was having trouble breathing. I asked the nurse if I had to take her and the answer was yes. I prepared the Christmas dinner and had sent my brother to pick my Dad up just for the night so we could all be together. The whole night my Mother kept dosing off. I finally put her in her bed, and I woke up every 15 minutes to check on her. The last time I woke up, I found her sitting at the kitchen table, and she asked me to take her back to the hospital. This time the doctors told me she now had pneumonia. They put her in the ICU and from there on it would be a long road for all of us. It has been over two years now since she has passed, and I continue to think of her, and feel I could have done more for her. She appeared to get better, but then she would get worse. Eventually her kidneys failed. They put her on dialysis and then she began to have respiratory problems. They provided her with a trach. After that she went into a coma. After being in a coma for three days the doctor pulled us into a private room and told us it would be best to let her go. It had only been three days, and I could not bear the thought. She was everything to me. My Mother, my best friend, the only person I could talk to about anything. I was angry at the thought. I went back to her bedside and cried. I felt her squeeze my hand and she woke up. I just remember crying and hugging her. I am afraid I allowed my hopes to arise a little to soon. She soon fell more ill and from there they decided to transfer her to Good Sam. They nursed her there and she eventually was sent to a nursing home for recovery. She would only last a couple weeks at the nursing home.

posted 7/10/2008
Leisa Jo Simmons leisajo@yahoo.com
Lacey was a healthy energetic 14 year old. She was never sick, and had just finished basketball and was starting track. She played softball year round. I took her to the hospital on Wednesday because she was throwing up and dizzy. They did an x-ray the next morning and sent us to Tulsa. She was on three antibiotics for three days and was getting worse. By the next Thursday, she was on a ventilator because she had burst her air sacs; by that night she was on ECMO. She was on ECMO for 16 days, we had to take her off because she was bleeding. Lacey would get better and then get worse. They tried turning her on her belly, they gave her surfactant. Lacey went home to be with the LORD after a six week battle. She fought so hard. The doctors told us twice she would not last through the day but she did. I don't understand how she got so sick so fast and I am sure I never will. Lacey was the light of my life, my best friend and my running buddy. I miss her so much and find it harder each day. I know she is having the time of her life; she has run her race and finished first. I am so proud of my Lacey Jo. She touched thousands of people and is still touching lives.

posted 7/9/2008
Judy Earp judy.earp@med.navy.mil
My wonderful daughter died of pneumonia and ARDS on February 29, 2008. She was 17 weeks pregnant. She was my best friend and my miracle baby. She was diagnosed on February 11th and never survived all the treatment options. The hospital had problems getting medical requests filled; I feel that this has something to do with her passing. Couldn't get NO, refused ECMO, refused a special ventilator by the hospital. I miss her so much, but such a wonderful journey I traveled with her in 21 short years. She leaves behind a little boy who is 10 months old. Thank you Stephanie for teaching me so much.

posted 6/6/2008
Nancy Karyn Fecske summer0463@yahoo.com
Watching my father look as though he was suffering and helpless on life support was the most horrifying experience I've ever had. When my father Charles was alive, he acquired a cold thinking it would run its course. Just getting over pneumonia myself, I noticed his cold go to his chest on Tuesday April 22, 2008 and he began to talk funny. He refused to go to the doctor. Finally after sleeping day in and day out, on Friday April 26th, I told him I was calling the paramedics. He still said no. Then at 4:00 in the afternoon he told my mother he needed to go to the hospital. She had to change his underwear and fully dress him because he was so weak. When he got to the emergency room his pulse was 200 and was put immediately on life support. He had congestive heart failure. I immediately went to the hospital after work and he was heavily sedated and being intubated. He came out of sedation for 5 minutes and I held his right hand. He knew it was me and he squeezed it so hard as to tell me "take care of yourself Nancy and I love you but I will be going." I was scared for him and being his youngest daughter out of two, I didn't want to lose him. He was put in ICU still on maximum life support in a drug induced coma and the rollercoaster ride began. My father had double pneumonia greatly scarred filled with fluid and couldn't breathe on his own. When his oxygenation level was up to 100% it looked good, like he was improving but then he had renal failure. The doctor's told us right off the bat that he had ARDS and his chances of surviving were slim. We kept him on life support but he needed dialysis since he was only urinating 4 cc a day. He became worse after each dialysis treatment. His oxygenation went down to 30% and he blood pressure became low. I visited him in the hospital everyday a nervous wreck hoping he'll survive and pouring my entire heart out to him full of my love and devotion to my daddy. Even though I know he wasn't suffering, he looked as though he was and he never came out of it.

posted 5/22/2008
Cindy Polk cpolkrn1999@yahoo.com
My father passed away on December 18,2007 after a two week battle with ARDS. He was admitted to the hospital the day after Thanksgiving with pneumonia. We were told that his bloodwork did not look good and the work up for leukemia began and was confirmed the following Tuesday. He was then transferred to another hospital and given oral chemo for two days and other chemo as a continuous drip began. Six days after treatment began he was place on the vent, never to come off. This has been the worse experience I have ever experienced. It was the longest three week roller coaster ride ever. I am a registered nurse (med-surg) but being on the other side of the fence sure is different. My entire family has been traumatized by this experience.

posted 12/26/2007
Sylvia B. sbazteca@aol.com
On 8/20/07, after recovering from stomach surgery, my mother called me from the hospital and said she would be discharged the next day. I was going to pick her up. Her breathing was awful and had been for several days. I did not understand why she was being discharged, but her doctor told her she was fine. The next morning, the hospital staff called and said she went into respiratory distress and was in the ICU. She passed away on 9/27/07 from ARDS.

posted 11/14/2007
Kenneth Bretzer kbretz@comcast.net
On October 12, 2007, my wife was having trouble breathing. I took her to the ER and by that afternoon, she was on ventilator. She passed on October 18, 2007, and never showed any signs of getting better.

posted 11/5/2007
Leslie laporter99@yahoo.com
Michael lost his battle with ARDS on 10/2/2001. He had just turned 21 years old. He broke his femur in an accident and seemed perfectly fine and ready to come home from the hospital and the surgery 2 days later. The night before his hospital release, ARDS set in and you know how the story ends. He was in the hospital in an induced coma for almost 8 weeks with 10 chest tubes at one time. He was my son, my best friend and my confidante and now he's gone. I miss him so much but I do know that life has to go on and that I hold him dearly in my heart. Our memories I shall have forever.

posted 10/17/2007
Tracy tracey.garner@parkview.com
My mom went in to the hospital on July 22, 2007 and died on August 1, 2007. She started out just going to the ER with abdominal pain, then found out she had a mass in her colon. The doctors did a colonoscopy where she aspirated and got put on the ventilator. They took her to another hospital where they performed a surgery to take out her mass, which ended up being colon cancer. She then developed pneumonia from the fluid that was in her lungs when she aspirated. From there she seemed to be doing OK, then on Saturday July 28 she started taking a turn for the worse and they almost had to do CPR on her. She wrote us a note that said "Let Me Go" when I was there. She then agreed she was going to fight and try to win her battle with ARDS. On Sunday they put my mom in a drug induced coma and told us she would be off the ventilator in 3-5 days. On Monday night going into Tuesday her body couldn't take it any more and started to shut down. We were called back late Tuesday night after we had left because of her condition and they had to do CPR but she could not be saved. She died Wednesday August 1, 2007 around 6 am at the age of 47. My mom was my best friend and was getting ready to be a first time grandma for my first child. My daughter was born on August 24, 2007. There are many questions my family still has because there were mistakes made when she was in the hospital. It is a tragic loss to our family and we will never be the same without her.

posted 10/11/2007
Paula Surridge paulasurridge@yahoo.com
My mother fought a short but gallant battle with ARDS. She entered the hospital on July 26, 2007 diagnosed with pneumonia, congestive heart failure and an infection in her lungs. That night she took a turn for the worse and was placed on a forced air oxygen. She refused to be placed on a respirator. The next 4 days were a downhill battle; she got weaker and weaker was not able to eat or talk. Everyday she asked me when was it time to go to heaven. On Monday, July 30, 2007, her kidneys had failed and her system would soon be shutting down. I called the family together along with our pastor and we had the nurses take off the oxygen mask. We were all there with momma when she passed.

posted 8/7/2007
Andrea Evans fatpack68@msn.com
It has been almost 2 years, but I still have such a void in my life. My younger and only sister passed away on 9-29-05 at the tender young age of 32, four days after her birthday. I still today don't really understand how she got ARDS. She was at work and was taken to the emergency room for problems with her breathing; she has been treated in the past for asthma and bronchitis. Upon reaching the emergency room she was being treated as an asthmatic patient, and they were giving her breathing treatments. They decided to keep her overnight for observation, but they transferred her the next morning to the ICU department. I was living in Hawaii at the time, so my mother called me from Michigan (where my sister also resided) to let me know they had put her in an induced coma. She said that was standard procedure so she could be placed on a breathing machine so her lungs wouldn't have to work so hard. I immediately wanted to come home but was told everything is going to be OK, and that she wouldn't be able to see me or talk so to just make arrangements to see her when she gets out the hospital. She had two kids: a daughter age 11 at the time and a son age 8. Things went from bad to horrible in a matter of a couple days. She entered the hospital on 9-27-05 and passed away on 9-29-05. She went into cardiac arrest the morning of the 29th and was revived. My mom called me from the hospital and said I needed to fly home ASAP. Her second phone call was that she had passed and I didn't make it in time. Two years have passed and I still have unanswered questions. My family lost a wonderful person, a great beautiful sister, friend, and an outstanding mother and daughter. She was so full of life, and so suddenly taken from us. Please continue to keep my family and me in your prayers.

posted 7/25/2007
Diane Mulford streamerspartyshop@hotmail.co.uk
My 19 year-old daughter Emma died from ARDS on July 24, 2003. She had glandular fever; this in turn ruptured her spleen. She had a major operation to remove this, but was put on life support. Two weeks later, we had to turn off the machine and Emma died two weeks after that.

posted 7/20/2007
Deborah Bazer bbarbie55@yahoo.com
Bobbi passed away from ARDS on April 24, 2007. She had Hodgkin's and was in visual remission when she developed pneumonia. She ended up in the hospital on a vent for six weeks and she got pneumonia again and two blood infections. The doctors said her immune system by then was almost gone so the vent was turned off. She went quickly and peacefully. She died on April 24th, two months before she was to be twenty-six. She has a five year-old boy and a husband she left behind. It's hard to think she is gone. She always told me (Mom) the cancer wouldn't take her, but an infection would. She also made plans for her death ahead of time. I wish I would have found this website sooner, than I would have responded earlier than I did. Pray for me and my family? I have had a piece of me die with her. I would like to hear from other parents in this situation and learn how to cope and get through this pain.

posted 5/1/2007
Trina tbehlow@yahoo.com
My Mom's name was Grace Troia. She was smart, spunky and full of life. She had her share of health problems, but nothing kept her from doing what she wanted to do. She was the little engine that could. She died on May 5th 2006. I took her to the hospital for high blood pressure. She had a heart catheter 3 or 4 days later. They found no blockage. Two days after that, she suddenly ended up in the ICU and died 2 weeks later. The doctors tried to tell my sisters and I that she had fibroids, but she never had lung problems at all. Everything happened so fast. It's almost 1 year since my best friend died and I feel it's like yesterday. Life has gone on since then, but I still miss her every day.

posted 4/3/2007
Sheri sdailey@itctel.com
My mom passed from a long battle with this. We actually thought she was better after spending over 3 months on a ventilator and chest tubes. Once off that, we learned her kidneys had quit. Trying to get a stint to work without clotting included surgeries and an angiogram (I think). After that last surgery, she died 2 days later in her sleep. We assumed it was from all the complications from ARDS, I believe she may have been suffering from it again. She was first hospitalized at the end of May, out of August, out of hospital in October, home and died on February 19, 1995. There are still so many questions no one ever answered.

posted 2/27/2007
Bridget bridgetwham@hotmail.com
My mother had ARDS and was on the vent for 28 days. It was a horrible experience. She had never really been a sick person. I hope and pray for a cure. My mother had the flu and then things went downhill from there.

posted 1/18/2007
Natasha Singer natashasinger@gmail.com
After reading Michele's note (from 11/30/06), I was touched and it inspired me to write this note. I also lost my mom, my best friend on the planet, to ARDS on October 20, 2005. Up until then, she was extremely healthy. When she came down with ARDS, she was traveling in China with my dad (on vacation). She got pneumonia, and had to be hospitalized. My dad only told me that she was ill after she had been there for 2 weeks - he didn't want to worry me. I immediately flew to China to be by her bedside, and 5 days later, her heart and her blood pressure were not strong enough for her to live. We had to take her off the vent, and as she passed, there was a peaceful smile on her face. She was finally pain-free. I will never forget the image of her in the hospital - she was getting kidney dialysis every day, and she was so ill. It has been difficult, and I know that I will never get over it. I remember looking at this site when I first found out she was ill, and I emailed some folks who ended up giving me great words of wisdom. I know that it is VERY scary to read about how others have lost a loved one when your loved one is still living and coping with ARDS. The entire experience is very confusing. If you read the survivor emails though, you can see that there is hope! There is always hope that someone with ARDS will pull through. I am open to communication from others.

P.S. Michele, I recently got a puppy and we named her MOOMOO, because that was my Mom's nickname. It's nice to say the name while thinking of her.

posted 12/19/2006

Melanie srsar@aol.com
My dad was in the hospital on November 2nd with pneumonia. He was discharged 4 days later, and back in the hospital that Wednesday with congestive heart failure. He was discharged the very next day. On the Sunday before Thanksgiving, we had to call 911 because he wouldn't wake up. He just passed on December 5th. I really need someone to talk to...I miss him soooooooo much. HELP ME!!!

posted 12/11/2006
Michele Hamilton mhamil4765@bellsouth.net
I lost my mom on November 4, 2006. She had been in the hospital for 3 weeks. She went in with pneumonia and was admitted for precautionary reasons. After 3 days, she developed ARDS and was put on the vent and when she was supposed to be waking up from the sedation, she didn't. They did some tests and found she had no brain activity on one side and would never wake up. We had to take her of the vent. She lasted for 30 minutes and passed away. She had never been sick, and after 3 short weeks is gone. She was best friend and my roommate. I wanted her to live with me, and when my boyfriend and I got married, she would be with us. She was an awesome Mom, and as I got older she was my best friend. I miss her so much, it seems so unreal. She is with GOD and I know I will see her again! Her nickname was MOMO...that is what her grandchildren call her. She was and will always be my hero!! I love you MOMO!

posted 11/30/2006
Terri anncrahan@sbcglobal.net
My brother Larry died from ARDS about a year ago. I am still wondering and grieving.

posted 10/24/2006
Mary Savage hay4myhorses@earthlink.com
My mom passed away of ARDS/Pulmonary Fibrosis after 51 days in the hospital, and 48 days on a ventilator. She was a fighter all the way but just gave out. She is now at peace, no machines, no IVs. It was a tough struggle, but stay with your loved one, talk to them, tell them you love them and what they mean to you, very important. My mom acknowledged our presence many times, she is sorely missed. Her soul is with Jesus now. Mama, I love you. Your daughter, Mary Vanessa

posted 10/17/2006
Ann Lorenzi galel@adelphia.net
My 26 year-old niece, Amanda, lost her battle to ARDS after 3 weeks. The doctors had finally diagnosed herpes simplex virus in her lungs and cytomegalovirus in her blood. She was never alert and aware after the first two days in the hospital. Her loving parents permitted a lung autopsy in hope that someone else could be helped. Amanda was a "special needs" young lady and she will be missed.

posted 8/22/2006
John jtd1@bryant.edu
I recently lost my mom to ARDS. She was only 43 and the most complete person I knew. She became sick with what the doctors thought was the flu, then pneumonia. They found out it was ARDS. She was steadily improving in the hospital under an induced coma. For some reason I never wanted to go up and see her like that, hooked up to machines. So I waited downstairs. After a month, I decided I have to go. So I sucked it up and went to see her. That night I stayed with her and spoke to her. I knew she could hear me. The next morning I watched her lose the struggle. Everyone says that she was only waiting for me, so she could let go.

posted 8/10/2006
Trina Behlow trenebeanie@yahoo.com
My mom died suddenly from ARDS after a heart catheter. She was my best friend.

posted 7/6/2006
Michelle Haswood skullstress@yahoo.com
My father is Native American member of the Navajo tribe residing in New Mexico. He lived on the continental divide for 35 years. He lost his battle with ARDS on March 22, 2006. As I sat by my father's side as he took his last breath, I felt like he was so relieved to be free of his pain. The gray hair around his hairline and the stress on his face were gone. He appeared to be youthful once more. I miss my father very much. I wait for him to see me in my dreams. I did once one early morning. I held his wrist and told him I was so happy he wasn't in pain any more that he looked well as he stood upright and handsome. Still, he isn't here with me on earth so I can physically put my arms around him. Dad was a smoker all his life and he was an alcoholic. I think if he did not do those things for so long his body might of let him survive the respiratory bout. However, we learned he had heart failure. There was a tiny slit above his heart in the valve that needed repair. His heart wouldn't allow him to get off the vent like we doctors wanted. He died once from septic shock but he was revived. He had yeast in his blood and plenty of other infections. His body was malnourished and he was just hanging on for dear life. When he was off his pain medicine he could open his eyes and communicate through his facial expressions. He could respond with yes and no, barely move his hands and squeeze. He did not want to live on the vent or dialysis for the rest of his life. So my mom gave the go ahead to take him off of life support. I took care of my dad from the day I took him to the clinic to get his body checked for pneumonia up to the last breath he took. My mom stayed by his side as well, hoping and praying he would get over the "hump" and begin to breathe alone without the vent. It was a long and enduring battle for our family. We miss dad so much and will forever love him. It helps to read and communicate with others who experienced the same situation and it comforts me to talk about this because the more we educate our families, the better.

posted 4/14/2006
Lindsay Brett lindsayannb31@yahoo.com
My mother had never been sick in her entire life, minus the occasional cold. On January 29th, 2006, mom went into the hospital with severe breathing troubles. The doctors drained over 4 liters of fluid off of one lung & said that they were shocked she didn't die before making it to the hospital.
They diagnosed her with severe pneumonia & she spent the first week of her stay in a "regular" hospital room. The following Friday, mom was rushed to the ICU & was quickly diagnosed as having ARDS. My family & I had never heard of it. It scared us, but we never truly believed she would die. My mom started out wearing a bi-pap mask & made excellent progress after only one week. She was going to be discharged from the hospital in a few days when she started having severe troubles breathing again. She was again rushed to the ICU & had a code blue. The doctors immediately put her on a ventilator & told us she had stopped breathing, but that her heart never completely stopped. The cause was a blood vessel that burst into her chest cavity, and she almost bled to death. Mom spent the next 5 weeks fighting for her life with several more close calls. An MRSA staph infection was the final straw. Over her whole time in the hospital, the doctors were amazed that mom never got an infection, and said if she did that it would probably kill her. On March 24, 2006, my beautiful mother lost her battle. She fought so hard to live. The toughest part is that I was 9 months pregnant with my parent's first grandchild (a girl), when my mother went into the hospital. Mom was SO excited about this lil' gal on the way and would have been an AMAZING grandmother. My daughter was born about one month before mom passed and she is our whole family's inspiration to "keep our chins up." My mother was completely sedated and never got to see our daughter, but I know mom sees her now. This whole tragedy has been such a shock for my father, 2 sisters and I...as well as the whole town. Over 1000 people came to my mother's visitation.

posted 3/30/2006
Joanna Elizabeth Cassady jo_virgo2004@yahoo.com
My father was an alcoholic and did not have regular doctor visits. He stopped breathing on December 31, 2005 at his home. He was diagnosed with ARDS three weeks after being admitted in Chapel Hill. From January 2nd to February 1st, his condition was up and down. He passed away on February 2nd from his second major heart attack.

posted 3/29/2006
Ruth Petell rpetell488@msn.com
My husband underwent triple bypass surgery on January 11, 2006. He was taken off the ventilator on January 12th but was having problems with his oxygen saturation levels and had labored breathing requiring an oxygen mask. He was able to talk and joke with the nurses in the CSU. On the 13th, his breathing was still labored and on full oxygen. He was still able to walk up the hallway to see his grandson Benny (whom he always called his "best friend"). On January 14th his breathing became so labored and his oxygen levels had fallen so low, he was placed back on the ventilator with sedation. Because the days became such a blur, I am not quite sure when his pulmonologist advised he was suffering from ARDS and advised that many times patients were able to overcome ARDS. At this point he was transferred to the ICU unit. When I spoke to his surgeon on the 19th, he indicated that my husband was a mystery and they were not sure why he had contracted ARDS but he felt he would be alright. On the 20th I was heartened when I got to the hospital as his oxygen saturation levels and PO2 were much higher than previously and they had been able to decrease the ventilator pressure to allow him to breathe more on his own. I left that evening feeling very optimistic. On January 21st my hopes plummeted. Upon returning to the hospital I found that my husband had taken a critical turn for the worse and his kidneys had shut down. At 9:48 am on January 22nd, 2006 my husband passed away. He was my best friend and constant companion for 21 years. He has left behind 5 children, 12 grandchildren and one great-grandchild, which is expected to be born in May. My one wish was to be able to have him open his eyes and speak to me one more time, and after having read the many other letters on this site I felt his story needed to be here too. If anyone has had a similar circumstance and wishes to communicate with me, please feel free to do so!

posted 2/9/2006
Jamie jmyers35@hotmail.com
My niece, Cayla, was taken to the hospital on January 1st where she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was transferred to another hospital on January 4th and she was placed on a ventilator. The next 18 days were a rollercoaster of emotions and we found out that Cayla had adenovirus, severe pneumonia and ARDS. She fought long and hard for 3 weeks, but in the end, God needed another angel. She was a gorgeous little girl who could light up a room, but now she is lighting up Heaven.

posted 2/7/2006
Teresa Jordan mtjordan613@yahoo.com
My husband of 31 years kept complaining of headaches. He kept going to his doctor. They put him on antibiotics, had CT scans, and MRIs, which all turned out OK. Then on October 27,2005, he had a seizure at home. We rushed him to the local hospital. He was put on all kinds of medications and seemed to be getting better. On November 7, 2005 he had another severe seizure while still in the hospital. He coded. They got him back. His breathing was very labored. I had him transferred to another hospital, where they immediately intubated him. He passed away on December 17, 2005 from ARDS. I miss dearly.

posted 2/6/2006
Sherri Jones sherribeth1@tds.net
My sister noticed that my mom had a fever the Sunday after Thanksgiving and took her to the Emergency room (mom was on chemo for metastasized breast cancer) in our little town and they took x-rays and said she had pneumonia. She was transferred to St. Luke's Hospital in Jax (we live in GA). They admitted her immediately and began giving her antibiotics to fight the infection. Days went by and x-rays were taken everyday and her breathing became labored. On that Thursday, mom was taken down to intensive care and put on a ventilator to see if they could get a sample of the fungus they claim was growing in her lungs. She had agreed to be put on the ventilator until Monday (she had a living will stating otherwise, but the doctors and her family asked to give them the time to see if they could treat this). Unfortunately, Monday came and things were no better, so mom was removed from the ventilator (by my signature as I was her health proxy, but my only sister held my hand while I signed and my father also told me he was holding my hand). They put her on a face mask at that point and Tuesday evening, they removed the mask and mom passed quietly and peacefully away.

posted 12/22/2005
Gregory Williams freeurmind35@aol.com
My mom was admitted into the hospital on September 25, 2005 for pneumonia. On October 1st she was having difficulty breathing and was rushed to the CCU and placed on a ventilator. We were told that she had developed ARDS. After 6 weeks of riding this emotional rollercoaster, the hurt and pain of witnessing "this slow painful death", my mom passed on November 15, 2005. For the first time with the tubes gone, IVs, vent, dialysis machine and BP and heart rate machines gone, she was at peace and a vision of serenity appeared as my mom laid there.

posted 12/21/2005
Carolyn carorobrsn@yahoo.com
Terrance, at 25, is my first born son who was scheduled to graduate from American Intercontinental University (AIU) on January 6, 2006. He had a six year-old daughter name Amara. Terrance first began complaining of high fever, increased blood sugars (due to Type I diabetes) and difficulty with breathing on October 29, 2005. His wife rushed him to the hospital and he was later released because they felt he had the flu. She later returned with him because his breathing was more labored than before. After insisting that they would not leave until they performed other tests, they admitted him to short-stay for two days. Chest x-rays were performed and no indication of any problems on October 30. On November 1, Terrance's condition had not changed and another x-ray was done and the film showed that he had full blown pneumonia. Then we were told he is also suffering from ARDS. He was admitted to the CCU where he was intubated and later transferred to ICU on November 1. The last thing that Terrance told me before his he was intubated was that he loved me. We never expected this outcome because he was so young and strong. At Terrance's memorial, there was so many people that we never knew whose heart Terrance touched. The Dean of Administration will honor Terrance on January 6, 2006 by presenting his diploma in Computer Technology and Network Security. I will miss him so much because Terrance touched so many people in the short time he was here. We lost Terrance on November 20, 2005.

posted 11/28/2005
Diane Stolte dianem36@opt.online.net
My father Arthur Stolte died of ARDS on October 10, 2005 after a six week ICU hospital stay. He was admitted to the hospital with mild pancreatitis. The hospital performed a CAT scan using contrast which caused my dad to go into renal failure. His kidneys were functioning after two rounds of dialysis. I thought we would be okay. However, Dad developed ARDS. Dad was put on a ventilator for the next 5 weeks and was getting weaker every day. Next, he developed cardiac problems and sinus tachycardia. We made the decision to let dad go on Columbus Day. He died 12 hours after being removed from the ventilator.

posted 10/22/2005
Michael Harty oldestby4@netzero.net
I am a 29 year-old man who is the oldest of four brothers. On June 20, 2005 I received a call that has changed my life. My brother Matt, who was a union electrician, was coming home on his motorcycle from work when he lost control and was thrown from his bike head first into a telephone pole. He was wearing his helmet, but suffered severe head trauma to the right side of his brain. He made it through surgery that night but was in a stage 4 coma. They had performed a cranoscopy to allow for the brain to swell. He developed a blood clot on the left side of his brain which required a second surgery within 3 days of the accident. It seemed like we were beating the odds until he developed pneumonia, which turned into ARDS. It was an "emotional roller coaster." He seemed to get better but then would get worse. My brother gave us 35 days of a fight, but he got tired. It has been a little over two months since his passing. I have been keeping my family together, but now I am getting worn down. There is not a moment that goes by without thinking of the reality of everything that happened. My brother was a strong, intelligent, hard working young man who made living life look easy. I need some help with dealing with this tragedy.

posted 10/3/2005
Chris tatosbaby@msn.com
My father started experiencing right-sided numbness in June, 2005. He was told by a physician in Tampa (where they lived) that he had a high-grade giloma and needed a brain biopsy. After the biopsy (done at the Mayo Clinic) he continued getting weaker. We decided that he would benefit from some in-patient rehabilitation before a second biopsy. The first biopsy showed nothing unusual (no cancer). He somehow contracted sepsis and died 10 days later from ARDS. He never had a brain tumor.

posted 9/30/2005
Elizabeth Fertitta efertitta119@aol.com
My father was diagnosed in May with lung cancer, which we were told that he was in the very early stages and with surgery they would be able to remove it. My father went for surgery on July 12, 2005. His mass had grown a little bigger from the time of the biopsy and the surgery, so they had to remove one more lobe than they originally planned. They were able to remove all the cancer. He was able to breathe on his own, only requiring a little help from the oxygen. I remember the doctors saying about a day after the surgery that he was "Amazing". The nurses in the SICU were calling him the "model patient". He was moved out of the SICU 3 days later into a regular room, even though he clearly showed signs that he wasn't breathing too well on his own and was asking for oxygen to help him breathe. I still to this day do not understand why they were allowed to move him out of of the ICU. We left the hospital that night and told my dad we would see him tomorrow, only to have my sister call his room the next day to find out that he was moved back to MICU. We received no phone calls from the hospital...nothing.

Later on that afternoon, we go up for visiting hours only to find out my dad had to be put on a respirator and was sedated. We were informed he developed ARDS and pneumonia, which they said he would require help from the respirator for quite some time to help build his lungs back up. That night he pulled out his breathing tube; they had to keep him heavily sedated and they chemically paralyzed him. It was the hardest thing to see my father go through. My mom and I would go up every day to visit him, and we talked to him all the time. We were told about 5 days later that he was slightly improving, but that was the last time we heard that. We were told my father should have a tracheotomy done by his pulmonary doctor to help try and wean him off his ventilator. The doctor said they normally only do this procedure on patients that have shown signs of improvement and should recover from the ARDS. That never happened. I would say about 2 weeks after his surgery everything just started going downhill for him, my father had to have 2 blood transfusions, he developed MRSA, which we were told was common for people on ventilators for long periods of time. He developed acute renal failure, which is kidney failure. He had dialysis done to try and remove some fluid. My father never got any better after this. Almost 3 weeks after my dad's surgery, my mom got a call on her cell phone from the hospital that my father had taken a turn for the worse. We went up to the hospital and the doctor told us his ARDS had entered into the next stage where the chances of him recovering were not too good. The doctor informed us that the next 24-48 hours were crucial. We stayed up at the hospital all day and night and decided to go home around 11pm that night to get a little rest. My father wouldn't want us to be sitting around like that. I remember waking up at 4:30 that next morning because I couldn't sleep, I watched TV and then around 6am decided to go back to lay down and rest a little more. My phone rang at 6:18 am and it was my mother telling me we needed to get to the hospital right away. My husband and I were the first ones there and it was too late. My father passed away minutes before I got there at 6:40 a.m. I only sit and wonder why they didn't call us sooner so we could have been there for him until the end. The nurse did tell us that they couldn't keep him stable all night and were in his room all night, I will never understand why they didn't call us sooner. My father passed away on August 2, 2005 at the age of 62, 28 days shy of his 63rd birthday. He left behind his wife of what would have been 39 years on September 10th, his 2 daughters, 2 sons and his first granddaughter who will be 2 in November, his daughter-in-law and 2 sons-in-law. No one will ever have the answer how this could have happened to my father. My father is so deeply missed.
posted 9/11/2005
Kathy Crellin bcrellin@sympatico.ca
My mom had a quadruple bypass almost 11 years ago. Things were fine until this year. On February 7, she suffered what was believed to be a mild heart attack. She was told to take time off work and see her cardiologist. About 10 days later, she suffered another, stronger attack which put her in the hospital. She would never leave. From all the tests, it was determined she had 3 completely clogged grafts from her bypass and her 4th graft was 95% blocked. She was then put on a heart pump to open up the arteries to prepare her for her second quad bypass once she got stronger. We were told that she would never leave the hospital until she had that operation. She was doing so well on the pump, that the doctors removed her pump on Friday March 4, and my mother crashed in front of my two brothers on Sunday March 6. One of the drugs they gave her, a side effect can lead to ARDS. That is what happened. From Sunday March 6, she was on a ventilator, and then a trach.
She developed pneumonia, got free from that, an infection, then pneumonia again. The staff at Toronto General said she was no longer a cardiac concern, but now respiratory and moved her back to the first hospital she entered. We were told at Etobicoke General on April 22 that she was full of sepsis, had developed ARDS, and pretty much there was no real hope for her. My brothers who lived in the city (I was 4 hours away) told the doctors to make her as comfortable as possible. On Saturday, April 30, she was given one last dose of morphine to make her comfortable. Either give her the morphine to make her rest easier, or help her blood pressure which would make her breathing worse. On Sunday, May 1, as my brother Joe says, she was "reborn" and free from this terrible disease. May 1 was Joe's birthday.

posted 7/17/2005
Vicky gemini698924@yahoo.com
My mom was hospitalized in the beginning of March. She was sick for about 3 weeks. My sister thought she had just gotten the flu that was going around her house. My sister was supposed to be taking care of her as she has been handicapped for the last 17 years unable to walk or talk. When my sister had realized how sick she really was and took her to the hospital, she was on her death bed. She had pneumonia so bad that she had also gotten sepsis. We were never told about the ARDS until it was too late. She spent a month in the hospital in the ICU unit in McHenry Hospital. She had seemed to have gotten a little better and the hospital was in a big rush to ship her out the door even though my younger sister and I had many concerns about her health. They sent her to a place that specializes on getting her off the vent. They had a family meeting with us and told us all about the ARDS and that she was at advanced state and there is nothing they could do. They told us we had to find someplace for her to die. We were going to have a meeting the final week and let them know what we had decided, but our mom had made the decision herself and passed away from this awful thing on 04/05/05. That was the worst day of my life. She left behind 10 kids, 17 grandkids,  and1 great grandbaby who miss her everyday.

posted 7/6/2005
Jill Crawford legalsec2504@yahoo.com
My dear sweet Anne went in the hospital for pain in her abdomen. Sunday, May 29 she underwent surgery to repair adhesions in her abdomen. Wednesday morning at 5:00 a.m. she started having respiratory distress. She was intubated by 6:00 a.m. and by 10:00 a.m. she had a nasogastric tube inserted and was moved to E.R. because ICU was full. That afternoon about 5:00 p.m. she was moved to the MICU floor. By Friday afternoon, she was diagnosed with ARDS. She suffered a heart attack and stroke over this past weekend. On Sunday they were unable to see any brain activity and were unable to wake her when they stopped her heavy sedation. Sunday night at midnight she was removed from life support and passed away at about 1:00 a.m. this morning. She was a dear friend of about 20 years. I miss her. Godspeed Anne. I love you.

posted 6/6/2005
Julia Dady juliadady@msn.com
My fianc�, Dr. Adrian White, died on March 23, 2001 from ARDS after aspirating vomit while under hospital care. He went into the hospital the night before to be evaluated for pericarditis. He was given several drugs, including coumadin, aspirin, toradol, ibuprofen, morphine and a steroid within a short time period. I believe he had an adverse reaction to the combination of drugs that led to a seizure, vomiting, and aspiration. His pericarditis turned out to be mild and we were just waiting for the discharge when this happened suddenly. He was never treated for aspiration because they ignored my eyewitness report of it and one doctor even asked if he was a 'drug user' (he was African-American and was deeply hurt by that question) - so they never treated him and he died several hours later. The autopsy was unable to determine why he aspirated. I wonder how many ARDS cases and aspiration cases are related to adverse drug reactions? Adrian was my best friend and companion and I still cry sometimes - I felt so helpless watching him die that way, struggling to breathe - the last words I heard him say were "I can't breathe." I still feel deeply betrayed by the medical community and want to do something to improve the way African-Americans are treated - but I do not know quite how or what.

posted 6/1/2005
Gail Robertson brewskymd@aol.com
My husband, Mark (38 years old), was taken by ambulance to the hospital on the early morning of 04/14/05. Six days later he was in the ICU on life support due to ARDS. I elected to remove Mark from the machines 26 days later after blood tests came back with tissue deterioration and he rejected his feedings. He passed on May 14, 2005, and I have lost my best friend, lover, companion, a father of our beautiful 9 month old son, Zane. I miss him terribly and have to wonder if his Interferon treatments for Hepatitis-C took his immune system down so that he was unable to fight the pneumonia. I will continue to grieve and mourn for my handsome husband.

posted 5/26/2005
Tina Shipp tshipp@gulftel.com
My mother was a very outgoing, cheerful, gracious person who did not deserve to die at such a young age (44). She took herself to the ER after experiencing stomach pains after coming home from a dinner date. They gave her a muscle relaxer and sent her home. She was put back in the hospital when she was not better over the weekend. That was on July 21, 1987. She never came home. She died on September 27, 1987, just 4 days after her 44th birthday. She had multiple surgeries on blockages in her intestine, which resulted in pneumonia, and then onto ARDS. I was devastated to lose my mother at such a young age. She was my inspiration and my best friend. I only wish the doctors had been able to figure out what was wrong sooner so they could have treated her. Incidentally, after the autopsy, I was told that her lungs were completely black inside from the smoking she did all her life (she began at age 13). This, of course, did not cause ARDS, but it also did not help the situation any. I feel for those who are going through this.

posted 5/19/2005
Tracy Lee sassy7mama@aol.com
My grandma had been sick for 3 weeks prior to going to the hospital. She was admitted with pneumonia. When we went to visit her, her heart was racing too high. The doctor gave her shots, and then moved her to the ICU. She ended up on a c-pap. They couldn't keep her oxygen levels up and her heart was still racing. They shocked her heart and her heart rate went down to 97/100. Her oxygen levels were still bad and she was on 100% on the ventilator. She was on the ventilator for 4 days and her kidneys started shutting down. They gave her medication for that and it was working. They took her off the ventilator on the 9th day, but 2 days later she had to go back on. They ended up putting her in a deep coma and moved her to the CCU. From there, things got worse. The last four days of her life, my grandfather was by her side every minute. On Sunday, April 24, 2005 at 2:15 am, I got a phone call to go to hospital because my grandma (my mom) was slipping away from us. At 3:34 am she was gone. So now we all live our lives without my gramma. It's so hard because she was like my mother. She's my hero!!!

posted 5/6/2005
Shelly Wason shellyleao@aol.com
I took my mom to the ER on April 3rd. They never did a chest x-ray on her until I insisted they do one. First they said she had a possible PE, then they were not sure. Then her heart rate shot up and they said she had Chronic Heart Failure. Well it turned out to be ARDS. She lost her battle on April 24, 2005.

posted 5/5/2005
Trish and Shirley mawmaw23@bellsouth.net
My father (and Shirley's husband) was up doing around on his own with help walking only on a cane and then the next thing we knew he had to have heart surgery. He had 5 bypasses and 6 bags of platelets on February 8, 2005. He got put into a room and was doing fine. Then all at once, he had to go back to the unit and then it was downhill from there. He stayed in the unit on life support for two weeks, then we had to make the decision to take him off because he developed aspirated pneumonia and fever set in and they could no longer do the trach. After it came off, he passed on after about 30 minutes. We sang to him and talked about old times as children growing up. Mom was holding his hand and then he b-lined. his blood pressure never got above 68 over 18 after it came off. But we know that he was ready to go even though we were not ready to let go.

posted 4/7/2005
Eddie eddie@travelconnectiondirect.com
My mother was 70 years old who went in for an ileostomy surgery on February 23, 2005. She survived the surgery and was up in her chair eating ice chips 2 days later. They moved her out of ICU and up to a regular floor. That night the hospital called my sister and told her that my ma was having complications, and the next thing we knew, she was back in ICU on a respirator and the doctors said that she had developed ARDS and advised us of all of the complications. She was on a respirator for almost a month and on every type of medication from BP medicine to insulin shots. She also tested positive for MRSA. After that, the doctors did an EEG on March 20th and said that she had been deprived of oxygen at one time and her cognition and alert skills would never get better. We had to make the decision to remove her from the vent. My mother passed away on March 23, with all of her organs working properly except her brain. I have so many doubts, guilt, and confusion. If there is anyone out there who can help us, we need it. Thank you and God Bless all of you.

posted 4/7/2005
Lyndsey Jordan lyndsee111@aol.com
I lost my mom on May 1, 2003 after over 5 months of hospitalization. She went into the hospital for a small colon infection. After a few days, she aspirated in her lungs and went on a ventilator. While in a drug induced coma, many surgeries were performed to figure out what had happened. A month or so into it, she started to be totally conscious. Even though she was still on life support, she had a good attitude and we had so much fun watching movies and just being together. She made a lot of progress with her physical therapy and even with her breathing. The doctors tried a new approach with heavy amounts of steroids. She went from the ventilator being on the highest settings, to being on a trach, to not needing the vent at all. We were all so happy and she was so thankful. We even got to hear her whisper a little. We thought for sure she would recover. She was then sent to a nursing home. It was awful. They immediately took out her speaking valve. The first night she was there, she had to pull an emergency cord for someone to pay attention. The only reason they even came to her that night was because the lady next to her went and got someone. She was there only a couple weeks, and they managed to make all her progress disappear. She had gotten pneumonia and was on her way back to LDS hospital. When she arrived so was so happy to be back, even making jokes with the ER nurses. After a week or so, the doctor told us the prognosis. She would be back and forth from hospital to nursing home until she died. My aunt and I mustered up the courage to tell her. The next day she said she was ready to go home. They gave her a morphine drip and turned off her machines. She died in my arms. It was the hardest and most painful experience in my life, but also one of the most beautiful.

posted 4/3/2005
Tracy Lee tlworth@hotmail.com
My mother was a vibrant, loving, devoted, generous 63 year old woman. She went in for surgery on February 14, 2005. She had a femoral/aorta bypass in her groin. After about 48 hours, she had trouble breathing and was placed on a bypap machine. She was on a vent 2 days later and I never spoke with her after that. She was medically paralyzed and had trouble waking up. She had to undergo emergency colon/bowel surgery, had a leak in her ureter, and had countless bouts with sepsis. I don't understand but can't bear to ask why. She was on a vent for 5 weeks, when she had a heart attack and lost function of her kidneys and liver. She also had limited brain activity and I will always wonder if we should have done dialysis. I know it is too late, and the doctors said her heart and body could not take it, but I will always wonder. This is a terrible terrible disease that makes no sense. In today's day we should not be losing loved ones to this type of thing. I miss my best friend, grieve for my father's loss, and struggle to raise my 7 month old son that she loved so much. She had so many plans for him and the rest of her grandchildren. I just don't understand why, and I am angry. Does it get any better?

posted 4/2/2005
Lody Sarkissian lodyss@yahoo.com
On September 22, 2004, on my 42nd birthday, my husband John had a triple bypass at Glendale Memorial Hospital. His surgery, I was told, although took longer than anticipated, went well. He was awaken from surgery later that night, and managed to mumble the "Happy Birthday" words to me. The next day, he was seated on a wheelchair, all lines and machines out, and sent to his private room on the 8th floor. I stayed with him that night. The next morning he showed symptoms of shortness in his breath, and some wheezing. Later that afternoon, he was rushed to ICU, and diagnosed with ARDS. They had him on every medication I can think of, from antibiotics to blood thinner to you name it, all of this while they had him fully sedated. I watched him suffer and witnessed every organ in him failing, and finally, as they decided to wean him off, 18 days later, they, as they stopped his sedating medication, found out that he, at some point, had suffered from a major stroke in his right side of the brain, leaving him half paralyzed. I still prayed hard, and settled for whatever I can have of him...Just let him live, I asked God. Well the stroke was worse than they thought, and 25 days after his surgery, he passed away, at the age of 52, leaving our 25 years of marriage, and two beautiful kids. I only asked his doctors, "Why? Why did he get ARDS?" There was never a straight answer. I was told "Unfortunately, some patients develops complications. Today, I am asking again, "Why? Why did he develop ARDS?"

posted 3/14/2005
Lori Nerbonne nerbofam5@comcast.net
My mom had lung surgery on January 16th, 2004. Three days after surgery, she went into respiratory failure. She developed SEPSIS from MRSA (meticillin-resistant staph infection). She then developed ARDS. She came close to dying that first week and then improved. After getting hit with a second infection, we had her transferred to Mass. General. After 2 months in the ICU, 6 weeks in a respiratory step-down unit, and 4 months in a rehab. facility (where she was once dropped during a transfer back to bed and broke 2 ribs), she finally came home on Sept. 20th, 2004. One week later she was readmitted to a local community hospital with an upper respiratory infection that developed into pneumonia. She was placed back on the ventilator, but was improving to the point where they were going to take her off the vent the next day. She never made it.....she had a massive cerebral hemorrhage from the anticoagulants she was on (heparin, aspirin, Lovonox all at the same time, along with many antibiotics that enhance the effects of the anticoagulants). She died on October 6th, 2004. Our family will never fully recover from what we witnessed her going through over those 8 months. Hospital secrecy regarding infection rates has got to end.
We need more awareness for infections, ARDS, and medical errors. No one should have to go through what my mom or many other patients go through due to infections that are preventable.

posted 3/10/2005
Laurie Brown leb3152000@yahoo.com
My father went into the hospital with pancreatitis, He started having problems with his breathing and they told us he had CHF. The next thing I knew he was in intensive care with full blown ARDS. I was with him every day as they tried to remove the fluid from his lungs. He was on a vent and on meds to paralyze him. He was in the hospital for 4 weeks. He was on a vent for 3 weeks before he finally lost his battle. I lost my best friend, my father.

posted 3/3/2005
Carlos Mercao cmercado@cableone.net
My son was admitted for pneumonia after a couple of days he was diagnosed with ARDS. He was in a hospital for about a month, then he contracted MERSA. He died after a month of been hospitalized.

posted 3/2/2005
Josie Barbato josiebella50@hotmail.com
Last summer in 2004, my cousin was suffering from a bad case of psoriasis, unable to get treatment quickly.  Things worsened to the point that he wasn't able to get up out of bed without being in pain. Finally, the doctors admitted him in December, 2004. Everything worsened from this point on. He was diagnosed with psoriasis, but as time passed complications added biopsy. It has been a month since we lost our pride and joy, and as the days pass it gets harder and harder. Gino was healthy all his life and we can't believe that any person, especially with a disease that is not life threatening like psoriasis, can just be taken away from us without any explanations to how he could of contracted this horrific disease. All our family wants is a little closure by answering the "Why's" and what caused this horrific loss in our lives. There's not a minute that goes by that I don't think of the suffering that he went through and how unfair that this had to happen to such a good, thoughtful loving soul. I will always cherish the times we had, and all the memories he left me to remember forever.

posted 3/1/2005
Rocco D'Addario roccodaddario@videotron.ca
We lost our father to this devastating disease on February 23, 2005. We did not even know what this was...everything happened so fast. He went in on February 14, 2005 and never came out of it, with the ventilator and all those antibiotics. Anyway we are all crying the loss and hopefully we will get through it. Any letters will be appreciated. Thank you.

posted 2/24/2005
Gail bootgirl42@yahoo.com
My sister, Marcia, died two weeks ago after 3 days of hospitalization at the age of 28. She was admitted Sunday evening complaining of a severe backache. It turns out she had sepsis due to gram-positive staph infection, which resulted in ARDS. They induced a coma and put her on a ventilator on 100% O2. On Tuesday she had improved slightly; her fever was down and she was put on a lower O2 concentration. Then, suddenly, one of her lungs collapsed. They were able to stabilize her, but on Wednesday evening her blood pressure dropped severely and she died. I live out of state and reached the hospital about 4 hours before she died. I never got to see her awake. She had an ongoing problem with IV drug use and we are sure that is how she acquired the staph infection. It all really hasn't sunk in yet and I guess I just want to talk with other people who have endured a sudden death of a loved one.

posted 1/21/2005
Carol Mentzer cgmbb@hotmail.com
Our son Eric was taken to the ER on February 10, 1997 for stomach pain. He was diagnosed with a perforated colon; this had resulted from the overuse of steroids to help control his rheumatoid arthritis.  Because of contents in the stomach, the ER doctor ordered an NG tube inserted to clean it out prior to x-rays. The nurse on duty attempted and failed numerous times to insert the tube, resulting in Eric's gagging and vomiting. Finally, another nurse was called in to perform the procedure. He was operated on that evening, a surgery that went smoothly and resulted in a temporary colostomy. However, as a high-risk patient, he was not kept overnight in the ICU. He was sent to a room despite the fact that his oxygen levels were at about 60%. At about 6:00 the following morning, Eric began to have breathing problems and was rushed to the ICU. Shortly thereafter, he went into cardiac arrest; 15 minutes elapsed before his heart was started. The doctors did not inform us that it was likely that he had
suffered permanent brain damage because of the oxygen deprivation. Eric was put on a ventilator, which was all that kept him alive. Several days later, the pulmonologist mentioned ARDS but had no idea how or why it had developed. After 11 days and numerous tests, we and his wife made the earth-shattering to turn off his ventilator. He passed away peacefully seconds later. Eric was almost 29, a loving son, husband, step-father, grandson, and treasured to his family and friends. It was two years after his passing when I found this website and read the details of ARDS. At that point I realized what had precipitated the onset of ARDS --- the nurse's medical mistake in the ER. Having read Eric's medical records from his hospitalization, I recalled that nowhere in the report was the ER mistake noted. I am thankful that this site cleared up my questions, but bitter that the careless actions of an ER nurse cost us our son's life.

posted 1/12/2005
Jennifer jenwroe@mchsi.com
My dad spent 40 days in the hospital with pneumonia and on a vent.  After reading many of the stories here, I see that we went through pretty much everything they did as well.

posted 12/23/2004
Jessica Bell ashicagal@aol.com
My grandmother heard my mom breathing funny in her sleep. She couldn't get her to respond so she called the ambulance. Mom was placed on a ventilator and the doctor told us she had suffered a heart attack and probably had aspirated on some vomit because it is normal for heart attack victims to vomit. They said she had ARDS and was not going to survive. Mom was in the hospital for a week when we decided to let her go. I know all her organs were shutting down and they were pushing all the pressure into her lungs that they could, but I still think maybe if we would have given her more of a chance....then maybe...she would still be here. I miss her and I want her back. I fear now that I have done some research that my mom was unable to respond or breathe on her own due to the drug induced coma.

posted 10/24/2004
Lorraine Hall lol.hall@virgin.net
My son Jake was 11 when he died of ARDS on 16th August 2004. He was diagnosed in February with Neuroblastoma, a rare and very aggressive childhood cancer. He had responded really well to all his treatment; 7 rounds of chemo, 8 hour surgery to remove his tumor and finally the high dose chemo which he needed for his stem cell transplant. It was one of these drugs which led to him developing VOD, liver disease, sepsis and after 10 days in IC on a ventilator, ARDS. He was on 100% oxygen for most of his time there and showed little sign of improvement. He was a truly unique young man who thankfully did not suffer too much. Every day without him is a struggle.

posted 10/15/2004
Trina Steen trinasteens@wmconnect.com
My sister Jamie was admitted to the Olympia Hospital on July 1, 2004 diagnosed with ARDS. She was on life support, and ended up with 14 chest tubes; these tubes were caused from pressure from the vent. Jamie battled for two and half months, but her body finally gave out and she could not take anymore. She passed away on September 6, 2004. Jamie leaves behind a husband and 2 children. I have a website that I did daily to track her progress. It was set up for her to read when she was better if she wished. Maybe her story can help others. ARDS is very hard on the families.

The address is: www.caringbridge.com/wa/jamie

posted 10/1/2004

Connie Siggers csiggers2004@aol.com
I was reading this information on the site: the mortality (death) rate estimates range from 30 percent to 70 percent. Recent data suggests that on average more than 40 percent die from ARDS. My question is how many of the patients were African American? I just lost my childhood best friend to ARDS on September 13, 2004. She was 34, a nonsmoker, nondrinker and in excellent health. It is just all very hard to understand. She was hospitalized for pneumonia and the doctors were getting ready to release her from the hospital. She collapsed while still at the hospital. She was place on life support after doctors discovered that one lung had collapsed. A few days later the second lung collapsed. This went on for about 5 weeks. On September 13th, her kidneys failed. Her parents and husband decided to remove her from support. Why is it that the doctors didn't notice anything wrong with the lungs before they were getting ready to release her? Why couldn't the tell that it was ARDS then? Please help...myself and the family are having difficulty. The site is wonderful. The stories and journals are touching. I am sitting here in tears now.

Please help.

posted 9/19/2004
Jodi Karau karaukasson@aol.com
My mom had come to Minnesota from Wisconsin for her granddaughter's wedding. Three days prior to the wedding, she started to have increased breathing problems and started coughing up blood. She had long time breathing problems. I took her to the Emergency Room and they admitted her that night. Her hemoglobin was extremely low, so she got a blood transfusion. During her hospital stay she received high doses of Prednisone along with numerous breathing treatments. She refused ventilation (she did not want to live like that) and she was DNR/DNI. She was hospitalized on October 1, 2002 and passed away on November 4, 2002. She spent that time on 90% oxygen and unable to get weaned from that amount. I miss her dearly and visit her weekly. She lived for her 5 daughters and adored her 15 grandchildren. She was not able to see her first great grandchild born on June 12, 2003. She did know that he was on the way before she passed. I miss her so dearly. ARDS was not even mentioned until the last 2 weeks, at which time the doctors decided that they need to get pulmonary & thoracic doctors involved in her case. Who knows what might have happened if they were involved earlier.

posted 9/17/2004
Susan Folts scsusaer@yahoo.com
My dad was only 59 years old when he went in to the hospital on August 15, 2004 with wheezing, a 103.5 temperature, and fatigue. They first diagnosed him with congestive heart failure; after an e-ray, they found some pneumonia in his right lung. They did a cat scan and found the pneumonia in both lungs, and he was diagnosed with ARDS. He was put on a ventilator and was sedated. A week later they started him on kidney dialysis; they said it would help lower the potassium in his body and flush out the toxins. By this time, his lungs were hard and stiff and he was on 100% oxygen. He took to the dialysis the first day.  On the second day, his body rejected it and the doctor said his kidneys were failing. His pressure and heart beat dropped. We had a pastor come in and give him his last rites. At this point, he had multiple organ failure and he was on 100% oxygen. The doctors said that there was nothing more they could do for him. My step mom, myself and my sister signed a DNR so he wouldn't be put through any more suffering. They put him under comfort care, and the doctors said that it would be a matter of time before his heart would stop. On August 26, 2004 his heart finally stopped at 6:58 p.m. My father survived 11 days with ARDS. We still can't believe that he is gone. In Dad's obituary, we are asking donations to be sent to the ARDS Support Center so this illness can be understood more and maybe help other people and their families deal with ARDS.

posted 8/28/2004
Barbara Marshall ringer@atcc.net
My husband had an operation on December 3, 2003. The doctor took out scar tissue, but made a mess of it. He had to go back in and do more. This time, my husband got septic shock. He had to be transferred to another hospital. After three months, he was released home. He was home for a few days, and then went back in for two weeks for his lungs. The doctor said he just had a lung infection. He came back home and seemed to be doing well. He was unable to eat, and had TPN going through his veins. He hadn�t eaten for two months. A few days later, he said he had chest pains. I took him back to the hospital, and the doctor said he had septis again. He was doing better within three days, and they were going to send him home. Then he started having trouble breathing. The doctors said he would be fine, he just had bronchitis. I finally told them I wanted him sent to another hospital. He was put on life support and air lifted to a hospital in Lexington. The doctors diagnosed him with septis, but didn�t mention ARDS. They said the septis would keep coming back until they found where the infection was coming from. He also said the operations that my husband had were unnecessary. Two days later, they told me his lungs were bad, and they still didn�t mention ARDS. He was getting weaker and was still on full life support. The operation prevented the feeding tube from going in correctly. By this time, he had been without food for five months. After four weeks in the Lexington hospital, the doctor finally told me he had ARDS. He said my husband wouldn�t be able to come out of it without food. He had about five blood transfusions, 28 x-rays, 18 CT scan and tubes run through him constantly.  My husband passed away on July 17, 2004.

posted 7/25/2004
Julie Sniezek julies@guntlowassociates.com
My brother was hospitalized after an accident that occurred at home. After emergency surgery and a pneumonectomy, we thought we were in the clear until ARDS set in. 18 days later, my brother, who had survived the accident, the transport and surgery was rapidly deteriorating. We went through a series of ventilators and eventually ECMO. Finally Chris, who was a perfectly healthy 28 year old man, with a one year old daughter, died from ARDS, something we had never heard of.

posted 7/23/2004
Yvonne Hayes jhayes06@tampabay.rr.com
My sweet sister Angie went into the hospital for a routine hysterectomy on August 5, 2003. At the time of her surgery, the doctors ran into major complications. She stayed in the hospital until she had her second surgery on August 25th, and had to go back in for a third on August 26th due to internal bleeding. She never regained consciousness from her second surgery. Soon after her third surgery, her kidneys failed. She was diagnosed with ARDS and Sepsis. My sister lost her battle on October 5, 2003. She was my only sister and sibling that I had. She was a school teacher for 30 years and was loved by many people. She never complained about anything and always had a smile. She did for others before they would ask for her help. I miss our long talks on the phone. I miss her dearly. I find comfort in knowing that she is in no more pain and with loved ones in heaven. I too will be with her one day. May God comfort others in the lost of their loved one.

posted 10/12/2003
Anne anne0520@yahoo.com
My Daddy dies on September 21 after 2 weeks on the ventilator. During that two weeks, he suffered multiple system failure, and eventually his heart was overloaded and unable to sustain his life. I was very close to my Dad and feel a loss beyond measure. I am trying not to be angry at the hospital, but for those of you who read my submission on 9/19, you know how I feel. For those of you continuing in crisis with this awful disease, please do not give up or be afraid to approach the health care system with your questions. And, lastly, if kidney failure presents itself, do not wait for an acute "reason" to dialyze. Go ahead and do it, because otherwise your loved one won't have a chance... if you wait for the lab values to reflect renal failure, (as in a high K+), it will probably be too late to do anything about it. My best wishes for all of you.

posted 10/1/2003
Donnie Scott dnshel2325@yahoo.com
We lost a wonderful mother and a best friend. Edith passed on Sept 18th at 11:50am. She fought so courageously for the family that cherished her so. She is now at rest and with her loved ones that passed before her. We find ourselves with a tremendous void in our lives but rejoice in her finding peace. We love you Mom!!!! Until we meet again, Donnie

posted 9/18/2003
Katie Hinkson babybud42@aol.com
My mom started with pneumonia and it led to ARDS. I wish I knew more. It's been 5 months, and I don't understand why my mom had to leave me. The doctors said that all kinds of people make it through ARDS. Why didn't my mother? I'm only 16. Can somebody PLEASE explain this to me? Thank you.

posted 9/15/2003
Gerry Wlodarczyk
My husband Richard had high fevers and severe cellulitis in his leg.

posted 9/3/2003
K. Boyd sealey@zoominternet.net
My mother Audrey fell and broke five ribs. The doctors at first thought she had pneumonia and then suddenly before we knew it she was taken to ICU with ARDS. None of us every heard of this. She is now off the ventilator and dying. This has been such a terrible ordeal for my family. I feel the hospital didn't give us enough information. Would like to hear from others who are suffering and are confused.

posted 9/2/2003
Diane Lindberg  daddysgirl_902@hotmail.com
My dad died Sept 8, 2002. He went in for a triple bypass on August 8,2002. While recovering from heart surgery, he developed "stress complications". He needed emergency surgery 1 week later for a bleeding ulcer. Before they could operate, he needed an entire blood transfusion (due to the blood thinners they give heart patients). He was operated on, and had the lower section of his stomach removed to aid in the recovery of the bleeding ulcer. Four days after the second surgery, he started to develop a slight temperature. We were told 4 days later that it looked like he had ARDS. Within two days, all of his vitals were looking very promising. He was been weaned off of the respirator and ventilator, but crashed two days later. Dad fought hard for the next week but luck just wasn't with him. I made it back to the hospital just in time to say goodbye. He died with his family at his side. I still don't understand, and I am having a very difficult time as his first anniversary in heaven is approaching.

posted 8/27/2003
Susan Smith
My uncle passed away after a bout with pneumonia after pacemaker surgery. This illness is very scary. A healthy normal person just becomes terribly ill very fast and goes too quickly to be helped. We are so sad at his passing.

posted 8/11/2003
Geraldine Pinto cody01801@cs.com
My brother of 35 years left us on June 25, 2003. He had been involved in an auto accident and fought hard for 27 days. ARDS took him like a thief in the night. I watched as they desperately tried to revive him. My life has not been the same without him since. My hopes are that I will find comfort through this site and someone with whom I can share my pain. He left behind his wife and two children (11 and 13). Their emotional well-being is of utmost importance to me, I hope there is someone willing to reach out and guide me.

posted 7/26/2003
Rebecca L. Copes Kuntrygirl2002@aol.com
I lost my father to ARDS and it has affected me greatly.  I just want to understand why it had to be him.

posted 1/20/2002
Randy Coon Coonman72@aol.com       
[She was already listed in the memorial section]  Mama was as tender and gentle as a single hydrangea bloom. She never lost control of her temper. She was our steadying force; the center of our extended and immediate families. She was constantly doing something for someone else, or helping them through a crisis. She always listened, and gave superb, and usually scripture based advice. Not overbearingly, just as something to consider. Her touch was tender, her voice like music, her hugs warm and genuine. Rarely during their 49 year marriage did my parents live alone. Even in the first months, they took in family members and friends who had no where else to go. She considered the household duties as her own [although she was teaching my 10 year old twin girls for their future], and she spent most of her spare time crocheting and tatting gifts for people in need, while listening to her Bible CD's. She was forever finding things to send to Providence House, her favorite charity. We spent a lot of sleepless nights together in the living room, just talking, and I think I miss her more than anyone else. I'm heartbroken.

posted 1/7/2001

Vikki Morter vmfred@peoplepc.com                          
I lost my loving husband very sudden to this horrible disease...he went to the hospital on October 2, because he was having really bad heart burn. It turns out he was having a heart attack. He went thru a quadruple bypass and developed ARDS. He passed away October 7, 1997. I would like to correspond with others that lost a loved one to ARDS.

posted 1/3/2002

Robert Steger rjsteger@yahoo.com
My mother, Pat Steger, was the Society Columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle from 1974 until she died November 14, 1999.  She acquired ARDS while recovering from surgery at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco from a "hospital borne bacteria".  What startled us was how quickly this disorder took her.  This is an absolutely deadly disorder.  The real issue is how quickly it can be identified and how experienced the hospital staff is at treating it. Cal Pacific was lacking in both areas in 1999.  Because of her job and influence in San Francisco she had supposedly the "best" Thoracic surgeon in the area treating her, however the hospital staff was not able to identify and treat ARDS once it became evident that that is what she had.  Her recovery seemed to be going along smoothly until day 4 or 5 after the surgery, that is when her o2 levels started dropping.  I had never heard of ARDS until a friend of the family told me about it (and how deadly it is). The doctors that were caring for her did not seem to be able to recognize it either. The only thing I regret is that she  suffered trying to overcome the condition for 2 days before she was drugged up.  I guess my goal of this post is to inform people that even though you may have the "best" doctors around for a particular disorder it may not make a difference in the outcome.  It is more important to really know how they handle post op emergencies. The doctor in charge of her surgery told us that he "had never lost a patient before doing this type of operation" and then downplayed the recovery process, I think, to this day, he still says to patients going for the same surgery that he has never lost a patient.  The surgeon in charge disappeared after the ARDS diagnosis was made (in an effort to keep his name clean). Once he disappeared I knew the chances that she would survive were next to zero.  It was almost like the hospital was in denial about ARDS because they were completely ineffective at treating it and new it was a death sentence at their hospital.  Then again it could have been that mom worked out deal with God to take her now so she wouldn't have to suffer through Chemo.  There is truth to the statement, if you want to make GOD laugh just tell him/her your plans for tomorrow!! I wish I had found this site 2 years ago!!!!

posted 12/30/2001

Trina Clayton skywaydkk@aol.com
I would like to communicate with anyone else that has had someone die from ARDS that there wasn't a preceding event or illness.  I desperately need some answers as to what may have happened.

posted 12/30/2001

Charlene Lashley AngelLove2472@aol.com
My Beloved Mom Janet Marie who is now my Guardian Angel lost her Life on April 30,1996 to this.  It has been a long 5 yrs with out her.  But We (my family and I) know that she would want us to go on.  I just don't understand anything about the way she died. She was only sick for 2 short weeks.  She was being Treated for a severe Sinus Infection and then we caught her coughing up blood.  She lived for 2 weeks.  I miss her dearly and I always will.  But I know that she is my Guardian Angel and that she takes care of me and my family.  She is sadly missed by me and her family.  I never got to say Goodbye to her or tell her one last time that I LOVED HER.  But I know that she knew that.  I Miss you Mom and I Love You and someday if its Gods will I will have a little girl and she will be named after you.  Sarah Janet-Marie and Sarah means Princess and she will be your princess Mom she will know that you would love her and that you would be proud of her.  She will be my gift from you and God.  Sadly Missed Janet-Marie Barber (Lang)

posted 12/5/2001
Kristy kristyshelton@aol.com 
My father was admitted to the hospital October 9, 2001 with ARDS.  He was 51 years old.  He died November 8, 2001 after a month on the vent.  It was a shock to my whole family.  Why and how did this happen?  I feel like I lost my best friend and my hero.  My dad left behind a wife of 34 years, one son, two daughters, 3 wonderful grandchildren, and one grandchild on the way.  The grandbabies are all 4 and under and don't understand why the prayers and wishing well at the hospital didn't make PawPaw better.  Why was their beliefs so strongly tested?

posted 11/26/2001

Kim Morgan ckjm@earthlink.net
Lost my mother (and my best friend) to this disease, and to this day, I don't understand why she is gone!!!

posted 11/26/2001
Terri Witcher terriwitcher@excite.com
Mavis Edwards, born Sept. 5 1937-died Sept. 20, 2001. She was basically pretty healthy. She had a gall bladder attack and had to have surgery. After surgery, infection caused her to get ARDS. She died one month after her surgery. She was my best friend, I am so devastated without her.  I would like to talk to other people who have lost their mother and know how I feel.

posted 11/4/2001
Tonya Cavanaugh carlcav@olynet.com 
I lost my brother Joey to ARDS in August.  After a month long battle with ARDS.  I appreciate every email that I received from this site.  If not for all of the Pen Pal Circle of friends I don't know if I would have handled Joe's death so gracefully.  I checked my emails regularly throughout the day in hopes of more info and support.  Thanks to this site there were more emails every time, with thoughts, prayers and always a new friend to communicate with.  I believe Joe is now in a better place and that he hasn't gone away just to a new address, in a much better neighborhood!  Thanks again to all of you.  Without you I would not have had such good positive days.

posted 10/28/2001
Mary Rice lucille27r@aol.com
I lost my fianc�e very suddenly to this disease...He fell and broke his rib and it turned into pneumonia and ARDS...I would like to correspond with others who have lost their loved ones to this disease....Hopefully correspond with others who are dealing with their loss... we can make some peace with this.
Alison Walker walkermom@adelphia.net
Wish to correspond with any survivors of family who have faced ARDS due to unexpected medical complications.  Recently lost my mother from a 5 month battle of multiple pneumonia's & multi-system failures, horrible at rehab.

Karen Beres Rascal721@aol.com
My mother passed away in my arms at my home the evening of 7-26-01.  Even though I had brought her home from the hospital through the hospice program (end stage COPD), I was (and still am) quite shocked at how fast she passed away.  Up until the second she passed away, we were kidding each other, laughing, etc.  She was starting to stand up (with my help), when she just sat back down.  She was gone.  Death certificate states: ARDS

Kris Novetzke  knovetzke@mn.rr.com
My sister Julie was having trouble breathing, and went to the doctor on November 2, 1999.  She was hospitalized on November 4th with pneumonia.  Her husband called me that night, saying the doctors told him how serious it was, and that I should get down to Arizona ASAP.  I got there on the 6th, and she died on the 8th.  She was in a drug-induced coma to accommodate the ventilator, so I never really got to say good-bye.  I had never heard of ARDS.  It happened so fast...I'm still in disbelief and denial that she's really gone.  She was 42.

Shirley Harvey customer.support@nics.gov.uk
My precious only child Emma died from this horrible disease on 29/03/01.  Emma was 13 years old and her death has left a big void in our lives.  I still can't believe this has happened to us.  I would like to communicate with other parents who have lost a child to ARDS.

Emily Biermaier  ebiermaier@hotmail.com
My son Ethan was born on March 5th, 2001.  He was alive for 4 hours and 46 minutes.  There was never indication that something was wrong.  I never saw my baby alive or heard him cry.  I held him in my arms after he had passed away.  I need help understanding what happened.

Annette Williams william@mail.wsu.edu
My son, Ian Williams was a delightful, intelligent and loving young man with CP who had breezed through several surgeries and seldom was ill.  When he began feeling ill we knew it was serious because he did not want to spend the entire day on his computer.  We were not worried though because he was seldom ill and always recovered quickly.  We had him checked for strep and it was neg.  Then he began rapid breathing and the doctor admitted him with double pneumonia.  He responded to the IV antibiotics and everyone said he would be home in time for graduation on Sat.  He was never able to sleep and on the third night he was having more trouble with breathing and he stopped breathing at one point.  Then everything started going crazy and each procedure made something else go wrong.  He died early that next morning.  I didn't even know he died of ARDS until I read the death certificate.  I am curious to know if ARDS begins with the early flu symptoms or does it come as the result of pneumonia or how does a person "get" ARDS?  We were also told he may have had heart problems from an earlier incident although he never had heart problems in his surgeries.  Over 300 people attended his memorial at his high school.
Elizabeth Swanay lizybth@sbcglobal.net  
My mother, Judith A. Jaurequi went into the hospital on June 25, 2001 for back surgery (nerve decompression). The pain was not relieved by this surgery, so she underwent surgery again on June 29. The pain was, unfortunately, worse after this second surgery. Two days later, I was told that she had pneumonia, and she was transferred to ICU.  She was placed on a vent the next day and improved greatly within the next 3 days. I was thrilled and relieved. On July 4, she was extubated, however, she declined rapidly over the next 24 hours. She was re-intubated the next day, and soon after I started hearing the unfamiliar terms "shocked lung" and ARDS. I was alone (no brothers or sisters, or other family in the area) and had no idea what any of this meant. For the next 23 days she fought hard, but developed every possible complication, including sepsis (cause unknown), liver failure, renal failure and a pneumothorax. On July 27, 2001, her heart, the best part of her, finally gave out, and she lost her battle with ARDS. I am devastated and heart-broken. She was not only my mother, but also my best friend. I am now faced with planning her memorial service, but I am still in shock over what has happened. I miss her terribly.

Mary loverof83@webtv.net
It has been almost a year since losing my father. I just don't understand this syndrome and want to chat with others who have lost loved ones to this.
Jennifer Strickland gatewayjen@aol.com
To all who contacted me, thank you for your kind words and prayers.  Unfortunately, my Dad Stephen Sahli lost his battle with ARDS and renal failure on July 10th.
Lily Hernandez  LI568@aol.com 
Well at present time I have so many questions.  My Mom was a very healthy person.  She complained of feeling ill, we took her the ER.  We were told my mom was very sick .They took her to ICU.  We the family expected my mom back home in a few weeks. She spent 3 weeks in the hospital.  She left us May 27, 2001. I and my siblings can't bare the pain of losing our mom just like that.  I miss my mom, and cry for her every day how can I cope with the loss of the most precious person in my life.  Please help as the family is devastated.

Tammy Purvis Haynes thaynes@warrior.mgc.peachnet.edu
My mother, Lowanda Purvis, lost her battle with ARDS on December 31, 1999 after a bout with Pneumonia.  We, like so many others, had never heard of ARDS.   It all happened so quickly.  Her last words to me were, "Don't cry, mama will be alright".  I know that she is in a much better place than we are.  She was such a wonderful wife, mother, and friend.  She will be forever loved and missed. Thanks.
Judi Ramsdell Hebb AJHebb1977@aol.com
Lost my brother Kenneth Ramsdell 5/25/01 to ARDS. 

Mary W. Copes jake@visi.net
My husband of 25 years, Bruce W. Copes, died after 17 days in the hospital.  He was on the ventilator for 8 of these days before losing his battle with ARDS.  I am totally lost without him and I feel as though life really has no meaning anymore.  My life will never be the same.  Will I ever be happy again?
Angela Waits radd@grundyec.net 
I am 25 years old and lost my mother to ARDS and have went through the grieving process and this site helped me tremendously with questions I had and I want to be able to give back what I have to others that need a listening ear.
Paulette Mettille pjmndogs@aol.com 
ARDS ensued after Paulette's mom underwent a coronary bypass and aortic valve replacement.  She is interested in hearing people's stories at the very beginning of ARDS. 
Laurie mamabia@aol.com 
My husband of 23 years passed away from Pneumonia and ARDS. He was 47 years old. Eight days in the hospital and he was gone.  I miss him so much.  I wish more people KNEW about ARDS and what this disorder is.  Why didn't I hear about it before it took my husband?
Wendy EAGLEJPT@aol.com
Hello, my name is Wendy and my mother died in October of ARDS.  At the time of her death I was 8 months pregnant and she never got to see her grandson.  We thought her illness was nothing serious, just the flu, but 6 days later she was gone.  It happened so quickly and I feel guilty and I never really got to say good-bye.  I would like to hear from any one who has lost someone to ARDS. Thanks.
Paul Wheeler wheelerp@tce.com
"I lost my 20 year old daughter to ARDS in April of 1997. I wish this website would have been running then. After delivering my second grandchild my daughter was put on high powered steroids to try and help fight a colon problem (Crons). From what the doctors told us the steroids caused the lining of the bowel to rupture. From this she developed Sids and peritonitis, and ARDS soon followed. When she passed away seven weeks later she was on a high powered vent with 10 chest tubes. In 1997 there was not much to read on ARDS and even littler support. I am still learning to deal with the loss but was so very fortunate that she was able to leave me two healthy grandsons. I don't know how much help I would be to someone going through this with a family member since mine did not turn out the way I was praying for. From the looks of your site it could really be a helping hand in the storm."  Paul would like to communicate with other families who have gone through this themselves.
Chris  ireland60@aol.com  
Chris has lost her mother, Lynne Gilmore, to ARDS on May 13, 2000. Lynne had a splenectomy on March 31, 2000 and developed ARDS on May 7, 2000. Chris would like to communicate with others that have gone through a similar situation.
Corinne  Unlikerest@aol.com
My Mom ended up on a respirator in a drug-induced coma before I knew what happened. Prior to that I was angry at her for undergoing such a slow recovery (prior to the time ARDS was ever mentioned). I wasn't even certain that she wanted to get well, since she was always having some medical problem or another - I thought she just needed a lot of attention, and I never gave it to her. I just didn't realize that she was really so sick. Almost a month went by with no improvement until my sisters and I finally made a decision to honor the wishes in her living will and withdraw the life support that was sustaining her. She died in the NC hospital twenty minutes after I left for the airport to go home to NJ. I am open to the healing that may come from communicating with others who have taken their loved ones off of the respirator and let them go. I really knew that it was the right thing at the time, but I still can't believe that she is gone. I feel guilty about not fighting for her to live, and about not being better to her when she was living. I didn't know how sick she was. ARDS took my Mom, and she didn't deserve to die that way.