This is a question for my father. He is 69 and up until chest pains when he pushed a mower, rode his bike or heaved a bale of hay, he was the picture of health. He had 4 blockages at 95%, so bypass was our only option. Here is a short of it:
July 11: Quadruple bypass. Difficult surgery due to his extraordinarily thick sternum, but good graphs.
July 27: Rush to the hospital with fever, vomiting. Discover infection in his chest.
July 30: Chest cavity and sternum infected. Doc cleans but leaves the cavity open so he can go back in to clean out again later.
July 31: In the wee hours, Dad as being moved, or coughed, or sat up (we are unclear as to the exact circumstance). His heart had already healed from the bypass and connected to the chest wall. Due to the mobility of the ribs (no sternum), his right ventricle tore 4 1/2 inches. The nurse reached in (it was open) grabbed his heart and off they went to the heart/lung machine. Nine hours of surgery and 2 patches later, he came out of surgery. The doc said this trauma had never been survived.
Since he was in induced coma for 3 weeks, he is having to have physical rehab now but will be home in the next week or two.
He has nothing in the place of the sternum. The doc was able to pull up the omentum and flap muscles, but that is it. I am curious as to how others have gotten along. Do you need a protective vest? Will his heart be in danger of tearing again since there is mobility? Will he have restrictions that will prevent him from lifting, riding or pushing?
Thank you to anyone who can help me.