When Dave came home for Christmas on leave for 12 days, he came home with a really nasty dry cough. He told us there were no other symptoms, but this cough was horrible and at times he coughed up blood. Doug and I both got after him to see the medic before leaving out to sea on the 9th of January. He said that he would, actually promised me, mainly because I think we all knew he just didn't feel all that great.
He went to the medic, and by the looks of him he just looked and at that point sounded like just having an upper respiratory infection, so they treated him with some meds and sent him on his way. Later that evening he started vomiting and that continued for 2 days until they finally sent him to the ship hospital. At this point his ship had already left port and was out to sea.
In the ship's hospital they hooked him up to IV fluids because he was so dehydrated, and at the same time upon the initial exam he appeared to have pneumonia. They began treating him for this, and spent the next 5 days in the ships hospital trying to get over what they thought was just a bad case of pneumonia. Then on the 15th of January the ships doctor finally heard a "weird" sound in his chest and at this time he had become very swollen and puffy, full of fluids. This is when they decided he needed to be moved to an actual hospital where he could be monitored and have the sound checked out.
We had NO idea any of this was going on until the late evening on January 16th when we received a voice mail from a very weak sounding David. On the message he told us he had bad pneumonia and that they were taking him to the hospital. Yes, you can imagine what the next 12 hours were like for us until we got to actually talk to him. Then late in the afternoon on January 17th the cardiologist from the Hawaii hospital called and talked to Doug and told him that the prognosis was not good and that we needed to get to Hawaii as soon as possible.
When they admitted David, he had 32 pounds of just water weight on him and his heart was beating at over 200 beats a minute. He was not doing well at all. What the doctors believe happened is this, when his cough first started that was the signal that he was going into Heart Failure. Because he then went into Congestive Heart Failure is heart stopped pumping the fluids in his body out, so his lungs filled with fluid causing it to look like pneumonia and sound like pneumonia. As well as his bowels and stomach were swollen with fluid and that was why he started vomiting. Then because the ship doctors had no idea that this was going on they treated the dehydration with more fluid, which could not be pumped out, so he just literally "blew" up with fluid.
At this point they are diagnosing David as having Idiopathic Cardiomyopathy, basically that means this type of heart failure has no cause, it happens without reason to some people and our Dave is one of these people.
After spending 6 days at Tripler Medical Center in Hawaii he was flown out on a Lear Jet with a medical team of 15 to Stanford University. He has now at Stanford and has been since Friday the 23rd of January.