Donna Sullivan

Editors note: The original link to this story at http://members.aol.com/jpnge/donna/illness.html is no longer valid. Please contact us if you have the new website address. Saturday, March 3, 2001 Donna did her exercises in the morning like she had been doing regularly for awhile. Afterwards she felt a little achy and feverish, like she was either coming down with the flu or sore from the workout. By 8:00pm that evening her left arm was so painful she decided to go to the emergency room with her husband, Jed. Once at the hospital, they asked her on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, what was her pain? She said it was a 10. They gave her a shot of morphine for the pain. It brought her pain down to a 7. They took a chest x-ray and treated her for sore muscles, sending her home at 3:00am with prescriptions for Valium and Percocet. Sunday, March 4, 2001 Around 9:30am, Jed brought Donna back to the hospital because the pain had become excruciatingly unbearable (normally Donna has a high tolerance to pain and doesn't like going to the hospital for anything). She was in the emergency room for about an hour as they tried to figure out what was causing her pain. At first they thought it might be her spleen. They had a hard time drawing blood from her veins but eventually they were able to. They were giving her oxygen and had her hooked up to machines to monitor her vital signs. She is asthmatic and had to use her inhaler once while there but was later given a nebulizer treatment. At this point she was experiencing an enormous amount of pain in her arm, lower back, and chest. A redness that looked like a rash was spreading to all of the areas of pain, as they literally stood there and watched with amazement. At about 1:45pm she was taken for a CT scan and then brought up to ICU. Around 2:30pm the doctors realized she was having trouble breathing and informed her they were going to put her on a ventilator for a couple of days (48hrs.) and that she would be put to sleep for 2 days. At this time, Jed, her family and friends were told that the doctors believed she had Group A Streptococcal infection. Dr. Treadwell, the infectious disease doctor, explained that this is what they thought she had, which is a very serious infection. He told everyone this was the infection that killed Jim Hensen in a matter of 24hrs. We were told everyone who had been in contact with Donna within the last week should be given a strep test as soon as possible. Donna was worked on constantly from the time she was brought up to ICU. She was given all sorts of fluids and medication, blood pressure medication because her blood pressure was drastically going down, a few different antibiotics to fight the infection. At about 10:30pm, the hospital staff was losing all hope for her survival. They told the family that if there were any family members that weren't already at the hospital then they should be contacted, because they feared she wasn't going to survive the night. We were able to go in periodically to visit her with sterile gloves and masks for her protection. There was always somebody outside her ICU room keeping vigil. The nursing staff and doctors were constantly keeping us informed of how she was and what they were doing. Over the next couple of hours all of her major organs began shutting down as family and friends were frantically trying to get in touch with her three oldest daughters and her father in Florida. There was a huge snowstorm bearing down on New England with 2-2½ feet expected to accumulate. Airports were shutting down but her father found a flight and arrived at the hospital around 3:00am. A priest was brought in to do the anointing of the sick. Monday, March 5, 2001 To the amazement of the hospital staff she had survived the night. By morning she had begun swelling up due to all the fluids that were going into her body. A catheter was put in her heart to monitor its functions because it wasn't pumping properly. Her lungs were filling with fluid and her white blood cell count had plummeted to a count of 1. They were giving her transfusions of frozen plasma because her blood was not clotting. They had her on 4 different blood pressure medications, one was to help keep her kidneys from failing. Her fingers and toes were turning blue due to the blood pressure medications they were giving her to keep her major organs from completely shutting down. They had been trying to get her stable enough to be transported to a Boston hospital, but couldn't. Her body had gone into toxic shock and had become septic. The bacteria was destroying the majority of skin on her left side from under her arm down her left chest wall onto her thigh. Her blood pressure had gone down to 30 but was brought up to around 60. Tuesday, March 6, 2001 She made it through another night with little to no improvement. Her kidneys were beginning to fail and they were talking about putting her on dialysis in the morning. The doctors told us that if she survived this she wouldn't walk out of the hospital on her own because her lungs and heart are so damaged from all of this. Her lungs were so full of fluid they were going to put a tube in each side to drain them in the morning. They spent the day and night trying to keep her organs functioning and her blood pressure from dropping. Wednesday, March 7, 2001 Success again! She made it through another night with little to no improvement. Her fingers and toes kept getting darker in color and her kidneys were functioning on their own again. They held off putting her on dialysis. They decided to put a drain in only her left lung for the time being and found bacteria was draining from that lung. They were giving her protein and platelets intravenously, actually there was roughly 10 bags of fluids being given to her at the same time all of the time. Her blood pressure had gone up to level of in between 80 and 90. Around noontime the doctors were finally starting to feel that there was hope and said she wasn't going backwards but was heading in the right direction. They were going to do an ultrasound on her feet because they were concerned with the lack of circulation to the toes and fingers due to the blood pressure medication. The bacterium was rapidly destroying her skin and sores had begun to ooze and drain. They called in a skin specialist to make sure they were treating the sores correctly. The bacterium was spreading and was contributing to her septic state. The infection was in her blood and was the cause of her body shutting down. Dr. Treadwell felt that surgery would possibly help and was trying to get in touch with Mass General in Boston or UMass Memorial in Worcester. He said, if a doctor thought they could help her then they would MedFlight her there, provided she was deemed stable enough for the flight. Her immune system was still reacting to something foreign in her body and if they removed the infected areas it could possibly help her fight against the infection. There wasn't anymore that the hospital could do at this point. She needed to be transferred into a burn unit because the infection was like having 3rd degree burns. Around 5pm Dr. Pfeifer at UMass Memorial accepted her and MedFlight was notified. We waited for MedFlight to arrive and confirm if she was stable enough for the transfer. They confirmed she was and they transported her to UMass by LifeFlight around 6:30pm. Once at UMass she was being assessed by a team of doctors. She was given more platelets and frozen plasma to help her ability to clot blood. The doctor informed us that he would be removing a considerable amount of tissue and he was not optimistic at all. Surgery was a high risk and was given a 1 in 4 chance she wasn't going to survive it but without it she would surely die. She was taken into surgery around 10:00pm. Success again!!!! She made it through surgery. Dr. Pfeifer talked to us once surgery was over and informed us he removed a significant amount of tissue. He removed about 15% dead tissue and was disappointed he didn't encounter any bleeding because that would have meant healthy tissue. He did encounter bleeding when he reached the muscle. He explained to us that removing the dead tissue was called debridement and it needs to be done because otherwise it becomes a breeding ground for the bacteria. He also told us they were going to put a tube into her right lung because it had become full of fluid, but that the lungs looked good. Skin grafts would be needed to cover were he had done the debridement in the weeks to follow, but she was still in grave condition and he wanted to see how she was in the morning. He explained to us that she was really puffy and swollen and would continue to swell before getting better. She was really puffy; someone compared her to the girl in the Willy Wonka movie who blew up like a blueberry. Thursday, March 8, 2001 She made it through another night!!! The swelling had gone down and she looked better than the night before. Her blood pressure was still too low. She still had no change and was in grave condition. She was being monitored continuously and was given open toe boots for her feet. Doctors told us she had a significant amount of damage from the infection and her immune system had been stimulated against her body. She had many specialists checking in on her and several teams of doctors tending to her. She was given another CT scan because she had fluid in her abdomen. Dr. Pfeifer tells us that she's not any worse than when she first came in. Friday, March 9, 2001 The antibiotics seem to be killing the infection even though its still there, but surgery definitely helped. They are trying to wean her off the blood pressure medicine because her fingers and toes are almost black at this point. They have taken her off the sedation medication and cut back on her oxygen intake from the machine. She is being given morphine shots for the pain. She is responding now when poked at by the staff. Things are looking up but they tell us she's still not out of the woods yet. Saturday, March 10, 2001 She was brought into surgery for more debridement from her upper arm and a little bit on her chest under her left breast. The surgery went well, they didn't remove too much tissue and the doctor said she looks to be getting better. Her pupils are normal now but they told us there are metabolic problems going on. Her blood pressure has been good lately so they are taking away her blood pressure medicine. The nursing staff said she's bottomed out and she's definitely getting better. Her blood pressure went down when they took away her medication, so they gave it back to her again. Blood pressure has been a roller coaster from day one. She's still on antibiotics. Sunday, March 11, 2001 Doctors said her kidneys are improving and most parameters are better. Blood pressure is remaining at a good level and she's off the blood pressure medication. Her use of oxygen has come down gradually and she's being fed through a tube. The doctor said he's very positive although she's still very ill. She's opening her eyes a little bit, although they tell us she probably can't focus yet. They told us she's still not out of the woods, but her lungs and kidneys are much better. They can feel pulses in a lot of places now. She is starting to look like herself again. The doctors aren't too sure if she will lose all her fingers and toes due to lack of circulation, but we will have to wait and see if they improve. She is in a special bed that has air control. She's been turning her head when she hears someone talk loud; it seems she knows when someone is there. She's still receiving morphine shots for the pain. Monday, March 12, 2001 They switched her to a morphine drip because she seemed to be agitated from the pain when the morphine shots were wearing off. She has been squeezing people's hands very lightly. Again, seems to know when someone is visiting her. They took the catheter out of her heart, and they said her heart looks much better. They have begun taking her off the ventilator for ten minutes at a time, but she could only last 5 minutes today. Tuesday, March 13, 2001 She was a little more awake today. She was given a bath, but it was very painful for her even with the morphine. Her lungs have a little bit of fluid in them again. Her debriding from Saturday looks good. The doctor told us she will lose part of her fingers and toes and they are very concerned about her right foot. She is very close to being out of the woods. They took her off the ventilator, but again she only lasted for 5 minutes. Wednesday, March 14, 2001 She's moving around a lot today, arms and legs. She's awake a lot but not answering any commands. Still moves her head when she hears people talking. She's been sleeping well. Her heart rate and blood pressure have gone up. Things are looking better and they say she's getting better everyday, but she still hasn't been upgraded from grave condition. She breathed on her own for almost 2 hours!! Today was a good day!! Thursday, March 15, 2001 Today they started doing physical therapy to move her arms and legs. Dr. Pfeifer is very encouraged by her condition lately. Her oxygen level has been lowered to 25%. The doctor said they would hopefully start skin grafting in 2 weeks. She seems to be going in the right direction. Dr. Pfeifer said he sees her being in the hospital for at least another month. Friday, March 16, 2001 She's still at 25 % oxygen and a cuff is monitoring her blood pressure every hour. She had new dressings put on today, so she's in a lot of pain even with the morphine drip. Dr. Pfeifer said they are going to take her into surgery on Monday to do some temporary skin grafting, they are going to use plastic skin for 2 weeks. They are still very concerned about her right foot, she may lose it along with the majority of her fingers and toes. Saturday, March 17, 2001 She's breathing on her own now!! Otherwise not much change from yesterday. They are putting in a new, slimmer feeding tube in her nose. Sunday, March 18, 2001 Her blood pressure dropped overnight so she was put back on blood pressure medicine. She was breathing on her own until 7:00pm last night but needed to be put back on the machine. She did breathe on her own for almost 7 hours. They turned her and redid her dressing so she's tired and uncomfortable. Therefore they are not going to try to have her breathe on her own today. They are back to monitoring her blood pressure on the machine again. They are waiting to do demarcation on her fingers and toes, she will most likely lose her right thumb but her left thumb looks okay. They said they don't think they'll be able to save any of her right foot. The doctors have come to the conclusion that her fingers and toes have been damaged due to the septic state her body was in, not from the blood pressure medicine. They are giving something for her asthma through the ventilator. She is not following commands today, but she is feeling pain and can hear. She's on sedation medication especially when changing the dressings. Her wounds look clean and improving. Kidneys are good and lungs are okay but she has a slight case of pneumonia, which is normal for someone on a ventilator. Monday, March 19, 2001 Instead of doing temporary skin grafts, they had to do more debridement on her upper arm. They took some skin samples and looked under a microscope, they found the samples to be healthy tissue that bled well. She had spiked a fever and her blood pressure was down again. They did a CT scan and some x-rays. Her nurse said she was a little worse then when he saw her last on Friday. They decided to take the tube out of her mouth and put in a tracheal tube instead, because they're afraid leaving the tube in her throat might damage her vocal chords. Dr. Pfeifer also thinks it's time to do something about her right foot. She's still not out of the woods yet. Tuesday, March 20, 2001 She's still pretty much the same as yesterday. They have scheduled surgery for tomorrow to insert the tracheal tube and amputate her right foot. Wednesday, March 21, 2001 Today she is very awake! They decided not to do the surgery on her foot or the tube yet because she is doing better. The infection looks to be gone and she is taken off the antibiotic medication. She's also back on the blood pressure cuff. They took x-rays of her chest and the pneumonia had improved. They are changing her dressing twice a day and giving her versaid medication when doing so. Thursday, March 22, 2001 Today was an awesome day!!! They took the ventilator tube out completely. She actually said, "Can I go home now"? She is using an oxygen mask but will switch her to a nasal line. She was moving around and scratching her arm, she doesn't know the damage to herself yet. They tried sitting her in a chair for about an hour but she didn't like it. What a complete turnaround from a couple of days ago! Her daughters went to visit her and she lit up when she saw them. They said "I love you, Mom" and she mumbled "I love you, too". Friday, March 23, 2001 She's getting better just as rapidly as the infection overtook her body. She lit up when Jed walked in the room today. She sat in the chair for a few hours today and they washed her hair. She had thought only a week had passed while she was asleep but Jed informed her it had been 3 weeks. Her right foot looks like it has more healthy tissue than they thought and they think they might be able to save a lot of it. Saturday, March 24, 2001 She was pretty much the same as yesterday, but more awake and she sat in the chair a little longer. She was talking a lot and much clearer. She has her sense of humor intact and wanted to make sure that the kids were all set. She looks really good and is trying to be the best patient because she wants to go home. She knows now a little bit of what is going on. The doctors are filling her in and telling her what they are planning on doing. They told her they were going to start skin grafting next week, probably taking skin from her back to put on her chest and arm. It seems they have told her that her fingers and toes are damaged. She kept looking at her fingers and saying how heavy her hands were to lift. All in all it was great to see her sitting up and talking to everyone. What a great day today was!!! Sunday, March 25, 2001 This was another good day!! She was talking a little more than yesterday but sometimes incoherently. The feeding tube was removed and she actually had soup and a diet sprite for lunch. Every day seems to be better than the last, finally. Monday, March 26, 2001 She talked on the phone today a couple of times. They allowed her to talk on the phone for 5 minutes and she spoke to her two youngest children. She has some flexibility in her fingers to hold things or to scratch an itch. She still gets oxygen with something for her asthma through a nose line. Today she had solids for lunch. They have told her that she is scheduled to begin skin grafting on Friday. They will be removing skin from her back to replace the skin on her chest. Tuesday, March 27, 2001 Major hurdle today!! She was moved out of ICU, she's still in the burn unit, but in a regular room. She is no longer requires oxygen or morphine drips and says she's really not experiencing any pain. She is doing exercises with her hands by flexing them to open and close. They have a bar across her bed so she can practice trying to lift herself up and strengthen her arms. She's eating regularly now; she had pot roast for lunch and says the Hospital food's not all that bad (!). Wednesday, March 28, 2001 She's doing great again today, each day forward is better than the day before. Her exercises are doing wonders on her hands; she held a fork and a spoon herself. She sat up in bed and hung her feet off the side of the bed and pulled them back up onto the bed on her own. This is a tremendous feat!! They are removing dead skin from her hands daily, a little at a time, and they look so smooth and healthy underneath. Thursday, March 29, 2001 Today is her oldest daughter Amber's 20th birthday and she was actually able to call her to wish her a "happy birthday." She had a lot of visitors today and enjoyed the company. She sat in a chair today for a little while. They changed her dressing and gave her percocet for the pain it caused. She's trying to prepare herself for surgery tomorrow, she's a little nervous but that's understandable. They are planning to remove skin from her thigh to replace skin on her chest and cleaning up her hands by removing as much dead skin as possible. Today the Local Framingham paper, The MetrowestNews, ran an article on Donna and her battle with NF. Friday, March 30, 2001 She was very anxious about today's surgery and didn't get much sleep last night. She was taken down to surgery at 6:30am and it was completed by 10:30am. She came through surgery absolutely wonderfully. They did some skin grafting and actually had to do a little bit more debridement. As for her hands, they decided to postpone any surgery on them until later. FOX25-TV News contacted the family to do an interview, which was broadcast on the 10:00pm news. Newscaster Bob Ward interviewed her brother Joe, her father Joe and myself. They used a lot of pictures that we provided, the majority of them were old but served their purpose. We are grateful to Fox for posting the address of the trust fund on their broadcast. Saturday, March 31, 2001 WCVB-TV called this morning and also asked for an interview. Newscaster David Muir interviewed her brother Joe, her daughter Amber, and myself. Again, we are grateful for the assistance in making people aware of the trust fund. She watched the Channel 5 broadcast from her hospital room with Jed, Amber and Ashley. She's recovering from yesterday's surgery and in a little bit of pain, which is understandable. Her left arm is swollen and in a gauze sleeve that hangs from an IV stand. Sunday, April 1, 2001 April Fool's Day!! Four weeks have passed since Donna walked into the emergency room of Metrowest in Framingham. She has amazed everyone with her recovery and will to survive. She feels better today and the swelling in her left arm has gone down and she no longer requires the gauze sleeve. She enjoyed a visit with her two youngest children Dewey and Taylor. Monday, April 2, 2001 There is discussion of moving her to a rehabilitation center by the end of the week, either Leonard Morse in Natick or Fairlawn in Worcester. She's nervous about the transfer but looking forward to getting one step closer to getting home. She is still continuing physical therapy on her hands. Tuesday, April 3, 2001 Another day of visitors and exercises with her hands. Her father Joe was experiencing minor chest pains and as a precaution was admitted to Metrowest overnight for observation. He was given a number of tests, all of which he passed with ease and released the next day. Donna was frantic with worry but was calmed by the confirmation that he was okay. Wednesday, April 4, 2001 She actually got out of bed and into a wheelchair today. She was excited to be able to leave the confines of her hospital room. She wheeled herself down the hall a little bit, but quickly got tired out and was experiencing some lightheadedness and asked to be returned to her room. But nonetheless she was thrilled to be able to continue making strides towards recovery and so was everyone else. They discussed with her the injuries to her hands and how they plan on handling them. They also discussed that they still think they will be able to save the majority of her right foot. Thursday, April 5, 2001 She will be going to the Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center, sometime over the weekend. Leonard Morse was ruled out because of their lack of a burn unit Friday, April 6, 2001 It's been finalized that she will be transferred to Fairlawn tomorrow morning. She's anxious about the move and was given medication to help calm her. She was disappointed she wasn't able to attend the annual Spring Fling held tonight by her friends from Stapleton School. All the proceeds from tonight's party were donated to Donna and her family and there was a tremendous turnout. The catering was donated by Lloyd's Dinner and her brother Joe was the DJ. Saturday, April 7, 2001 This afternoon Donna was transferred to Fairlawn. She will be there for three weeks for physical therapy and to gain her strength in both muscle and diet. She will be in a wheelchair for awhile, and one of the first steps will be to teach her how to get in and out of one. After three weeks she will again return to UMass Memorial for more surgery, skin grafts and the amputation of areas of her fingers and feet. Once recovered from surgery, Donna will go back to the center for more rehabilitation. She still has the dressings changed twice a day, which they say will take place for quite some time. The areas of her skin grafts and wounds have been very itchy, a sign that they're healing. She's waiting to be given an air mattress as she had in UMass because the new bed at Fairlawn is very uncomfortable. They also plan to put the circulation boots back on her legs to help circulation. She is starting to come to terms with what has happened to her and knows just how lucky she is to have survived. Week of 4/8/01-4/14/01 She has adapted quite well to the use of her wheelchair and can maneuver herself in tight spaces. She can also now get out of bed and into the wheelchair by herself. She attends physical and occupational therapy almost daily, working on strengthening her arms and legs. She has hand and leg weights that she keeps in her room to exercise with at her convenience. The swelling in her left arm has gone down considerably and is being strengthened by the exercises, but periodically she experiences cramping in that arm. Her donor sites on her right leg are healing remarkably well. The gauze applied to aid the healing has peeled away and the skin is growing back. Her injuries from the bacteria are also healing quite well. She has been using her hands quite a bit, but they rather she didn't for fear she may injure them further. They will clean up her hands in a couple of weeks when she goes back to the hospital for surgery. Her feet are still a concern. They are kept wrapped with gauze for comfort and protection. One of her hospital aides had fun drawing on the gauze with a pen to give the appearance of shoelaces, which Donna got a laugh out of. She is not yet able to stand on her feet and will probably not be allowed to until sometime after the surgery. They are still trying to get her to eat more calories to maintain her weight but most of the time she doesn't seem to have much of an appetite. She has been drinking a lot of Boost and Ensure. She is overwhelmed by the amount of supporters and is so grateful to everyone. The general manager of Applebee's in Framingham, Frank Conway, did his own fund-raiser for Donna and the trust fund on Thursday night April 12th. Mr. Conway asked his employees if they would like to volunteer their services for the night and agree to donate 100% of their tips to the fund. They were so busy, the Managers, including Mr. Conway, were waiting on tables themselves. This was advertised a few days before on Fox25 news at 10:00pm and again the night it took place. We extend our sincere gratitude to Frank and the staff at Framingham Applebee's for their remarkable act of generosity. There was also an article in the Metrowest Daily News on Wednesday 4/11. Unfortunately the article inaccurately reported that she had fingers and toes removed. Those of you that have read her story know that is not the case as of yet. Her birthday party that was scheduled for April 28th has been postponed for a month or so because she hopes to be able to attend -- therefore we're hoping she'll be home by the end of May. Week of 4/15/01-4/21/01 Donna continues with another week of occupational and physical therapy at Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center. She has a therapy session in the morning and again in the afternoon. It appears to be helping because she is gaining back a lot of strength in her arms and legs. She is also eating a lot better than when she first got to the rehabilitation center, in part due to friends calling her before visits to ask what food she would like them to bring. She had lasagna for Easter and has had KFC for lunch once this week. Her fingers have been a little sore this week but not enough for her to request pain medication. She has been told that she will be moved back to UMass Memorial on Friday to have the surgery performed on them. She will be transferred early in the morning with surgery scheduled for mid-morning. They are expecting the surgery to take only a couple of hours. After surgery she will remain at UMass for about a week before she again transfers back for a couple more weeks at the rehabilitation center. The surgery she is having is to remove the damaged portions of all the fingers on both hands with the exception of her left thumb. The majority of fingers are only losing very small portions at the top. They will also be amputating approximately half of her right foot and just the toes from her left foot. Also to be removed are a couple of layers of skin from the bottoms of her feet. Obviously she will not be able to put weight on her feet for sometime, at least until they have begun the healing process. She is understandably nervous of the upcoming surgery, but at the same time looking forward to putting this all behind her and making one more step to returning home. Week of 4/22/01-4/28/01 Yet another week of occupational and physical therapy to ensure a strong body to eventually go home with. She had a trip to the hospital on Wednesday to be evaluated for Friday's upcoming surgery. The evaluation went well and she is in great health. They explained to her that they will be removing portions of eight fingers and have decided to postpone the surgery on her feet. They've noticed that the skin on her right foot still shows signs of rejuvenation, therefore they don't want to perform the surgery too soon if there's a chance to save more of it than originally planned. They will evaluate her again in three weeks before performing surgery on both feet. Since they will now be operating only on her hands Friday, she will be in the hospital for only a few days. On Friday, she was transported to UMass Memorial at 6:00 in the morning and surgery was performed soon after her arrival. They operated on nine fingers instead of eight and they removed a little more from some of the fingers than originally planned, but otherwise the surgery went extremely well. Expectedly, she is experiencing some minor soreness from the operation. While at UMass, a vacuum was inserted into the wound on the left side of her chest to promote healing to the area. They are trying to close up the wound, which they have kept open until now. This is a little bit painful for her especially when she laughs, which she appears to do with more frequency. Her hands will be kept completing bandaged until Monday, when they will remove the bandages and transfer her back to the rehabilitation center at Fairlawn. Week of 4/29/01-5/5/01 Bandages or not, she's adapting remarkably well with her hands. On Monday they removed the bandages covering her hands and individually wrapped each finger. This affords her freedom to change the TV channels; answer the phone, and most importantly, to feed herself. She lost some weight this week due to the fact that she didn't eat very much, primarily because she disliked being fed. She was transferred back to Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center on Wednesday. Unfortunately they were not able to hold her original room as requested, but she is right next-door. At the Center she will be treated as a first time patient again and is on precautions and will be requiring an assessment before starting therapy. Also, they removed he drainage tube from her chest, but the small one in her arm was left in. Week of 5/6/01-5/12/01 She has begun therapy again, starting with in-bed sessions. Her fingers were re-wrapped with a flesh colored, more flexible bandage. A doctor visited with her at the beginning of the week to go over the possibility of obtaining prosthetic fingers, which she is looking forward to. The drain that was in her left arm had come out on it's own. They were going to re-insert it but it was a bit bothersome to her and they decided it wasn't really that necessary. She is healing remarkably well on the left side that they have allowed her to dress in a housecoat. Her precautions were lifted midweek and she was able to have her hair cut for the first time. She is being transferred back to UMass Memorial on Thursday morning of next week for surgery on her feet. They will be amputating the toes on her left foot and the top portion (a few inches below her toes) of her right foot. They will also be removing a couple layers of skin from the bottom of both her feet. She will remain in the hospital for a week of recovery before being transferred back to Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center. Week of 5/13-5/19 She was transferred back to UMass Memorial as scheduled on Thursday morning for surgery on her feet. Surgery went well and was certainly worth the waiting period of three weeks. By waiting, they were able to save the majority of her left foot, which only required the removal of the big toe and small portions of the other toes. Unfortunately her right foot was not as lucky. This foot required the removal of the top portion and approximately an inch or two below the toes. They also removed a couple layers of skin from the bottom of the right foot and attached temporary skin grafts to those areas. She will require another skin graft surgery in about four weeks. Whereas they did not have to remove any layers from the bottom of her left foot, she has been told that she could be up and around on crutches as early as next Tuesday. It's been really exciting for her to actually be able to stand on her own, so to speak, for the first time in three months. She was transferred back to Fairlawn Rehabilitation Center the next day, Friday, and has been resting comfortably with minimal pain. She will begin therapy once again as soon as she is assessed.