Update on Alex from George Flew
Dear Fellow Beatonites,
I received a phone call from Linda on Saturday and am glad to report that Alex’s condition is looking much better. On Friday they moved him from John Cochran VA hospital to Kindred-Mercy Hospital. Kindred is a transitional care hospital that specializes in providing long term care. They also specialize in Pulmonary and Complex Wound Care and are a hospital within a hospital. Linda is delighted that Kindred is at least 15 minutes closer to home and only 5 minutes from her office. This will cut her travel time down considerably.
Prior to moving him on Friday, they removed his ventilator in hopes of weaning him from its need. Their expectation for this first trial was that he would be able to stay off of the vent for 15 minutes; he’s been successfully off of it since 10:30 am Friday and going strong!!
His trach was fitted with a Passy-Muir valve which allows Alex to speak around the trach. Linda says his voice is strong but can quickly weaken. His pneumonia has cleared up though they still have him on antibiotics for a secondary infection. As well, his lungs need to be cleared of all secretions which is what they are currently working on. It will take a while for his lungs to get stronger and during this time (2-3 months), the doctor recommends that Alex keep the trach in.
Unfortunately, Alex developed a sore on his posterior while at the VA and will have to stay in bed until it clears up. Fortunately, Wound Care is one of Kindred’s specialties so he should be in good hands. This will limit the OT/PT he’ll be able to receive during this time
Linda expects him to stay at Kindred for two to three weeks. Afterward, and depending on how much more physical and occupational therapy he needs in order to return to his pre-September baseline, he will either go directly to the VA at Jefferson Barracks or return home.
Alex is back to his entertaining and engaging personality and has charmed the pants off all the medical staff; his pulmonary doctor, nurse practitioner and spinal cord doctor have all asked if they can stop by Kindred to visit him. He’s also had several orders for his CDs from staff at the VA.
For the time being, Alex is in room 7503. He may move to a larger room, but if you send a card, I’m confident it will find its way to him. If you would like to write him, the address is:
Alex Beaton Room 7503
Kindred Hospital St. Louis at Mercy
615 South New Ballas Road, 7th floor
St Louis, MO 63141