But for one IV line, Nancy has ALL her assorted lines and medical equipment removed now and will be moving out of the ICU today and on to a regular cardiac wing once a bed opens up. No doubt you’ll hear from her directly some time later today or tomorrow. Another miraculous recovery. I still say, as I have said all along, Nancy has a sheer will to live.
My sister Elaine heads home this morning. She’s been staying with me at the hotel and has been a huge comfort to both Nancy and me. Our niece Tonya will arrive from the east coast later in the week to once again help us with the days following Nancy’s discharge. And a few others are looking at small windows for visits to us — tis a rather busy time of the year!!
As far as we know, the new Fiona install is scheduled for Tuesday. And, best case, Nancy could be discharged Wednesday or Thursday. The EP doctor said no flying for at least a week after discharge, putting us right smack in the middle of holiday travel. So Nancy and I decided to just stay put in Seattle thru New Year’s Day. We’ve rented a house just a mile and a half north of the hospital beginning tomorrow. We’re hoping it will be an inviting and comfortable place for Nancy to begin her recovery. Also, plenty of space for visiting family and friends to stay, too. And, for me, it’s a relief to have a plan and not too many things up in the air. Plus we love Seattle and, of course, Tina and Jessica are here, too. And other PNW family and friends nearby, too. So, like N’s Scottsdale ICU stay, we’ve been exceedingly fortunate location-wise when Fiona has fired.
Much love to all near here and out there in the world! And Happy Holidays!
Nancy & Stephanie
Shelley C. | Dec 17, 2019 So thankful you have so much love and support. So grateful for wonderful talented smart doctors! Heal and enjoy your time in Seattle. So cool you found a house to be your home through the holidays. Sending hugs and healing.
Ingrid U. | Dec 16, 2019 So glad to hear that Nancy’s recovery is going well. God bedring Nancy and GOD JUL to you both, Nancy and Stephanie. Sending lots of good wishes from Canada. klem fra Ingrid’
Martha M. | Dec 16, 2019 I am so happy to hear that my pal Nancy is doing better! Steph, I am glad that you are also caring for yourself. Please give extra hugs to Tina from me. Martha
Karla M. | Dec 16, 2019 Sending you both love and light. So happy that Nancy’s recovery is going well, and that you have a plan to stay put until after New Year’s. Thinking of you!
Monica S. | Dec 16, 2019 Just saw this message this morning.as our internet is spotty. I am so glad you two were someplace you could get attention quickly! Having so many folks available must be a huge comfort as well Please know we are sending the most positive of thoughts your way, and we love you both very much. Focus on that job of getting better and 💪 stronger, Nancy!
Janet S. | Dec 16, 2019 I’ve been following these loving posts, and am delighted to hear how well Nancy is doing. Wishing you all my best. -Janet
Carole V. | Dec 16, 2019 So happy to hear things are going so well . I have been sharing caring bridge information with aunt Lynn
Terry K. | Dec 15, 2019 Nancy and Stephanie:!Thia sounds like much good news .!Hope you feel better and better. We missed you at lefse last night of course. I really enjoyed a talk with your very dear dad. The baptism of Reese was quite moving . What a doll of a baby girl she is and my dad managed to do the service , which isn’t easy for him anymore. And the lefse was good and maybe someone saved some for you! Lots of people praying for you. You are so loved. Keep getting better.
Heidi D. | Dec 15, 2019 Praying for you, and sending lots of love!
Joan H. | Dec 15, 2019 So happy to read and know you are surrounded by love. May your holidays shine forth with love and laughter in Seattle!
Marsha F. | Dec 15, 2019 Nancy and Stephanie, So glad to hear your positive reports. Our hearts will be with yours as you (both) heal and recover. We were thinking of you all afternoon as we watched our Minnesota women defeat UC Davis at Williams Arena. We got to see the celebration for Janel McCarville as they retired her #4 jersey and revealed her banner hanging right next to #13 Lindsay’s. I was really wishing you were sitting in the stands with me! There were others at the game who were thinking of you as we. Love, Marsha and Larry
Jeanne E. | Dec 15, 2019 Sounds like a plan! This is all wonderful news. Two of my sisters have lived in Seattle for all their adult lives (one for 25 years, one for almost 40!). Such a great city❤️❤️
Mary Beth L. | Dec 15, 2019 Nancy, we think about you very often, and we are glad you have Steph and family as a warm blanket always surrounding you. We hope to hear from you as you spend your winter months in moderate climates, resting, exercising, and doing fun activities. Chin up and charge ahead as always♥️♥️ Mary Beth and Leo
Felicity E. | Dec 15, 2019 Amazing recovery Nancy! Happy Christmas to you both!
Dolores P. | Dec 15, 2019 Nancy & Stephanie, you are remarkable. I’m rejoicing with all the others in your support network at the good news about Nancy’s condition. Here’s to continued good news!
Sigrun S. | Dec 15, 2019 Good news-Have a happy holiday you too!
Kathy O | Dec 15, 2019 This is good news! And Nancy will have a new defibrillator. Seattle has excellent medical care, so if Fiona had to act up, its near good care and family! I’m thinking Dory is a name suggestion for the new one. She always finds her way in the end, and I like Ellen D. I’m glad Maureen and Bill were in town to visit also. Love 💕 to you both. Kathy
Susan D. | Dec 15, 2019 So many blessings on you both. I like the new plan. Smart, cozy and the perfect place to recover. The future is so bright. Thank you for your updates, Stephanie. Our hearts are with you.
Patricia S. | Dec 15, 2019 In a couple words…WOW! and YAY!! I wish we lived closer. I’d come to serve as your maid when Nancy’s released. Love to both of you as this miracle woman continues to move to full recovery!
Elizabeth M.-A. | Dec 15, 2019 We continue to shout our Alleluia’s and Praise for your Healing and now your road to recovery. – So grateful for those who surround you, both in person and in spirit. With our love, Jay, Elizabeth and Kent
Jeb M. | Dec 15, 2019 YAY for the excellent progress in Nancy’s healing and for the holiday plans. I would say that your good fortune location-wise is very much due to the fact that you have loving family and friends in many places because of the love you give.
Patti P. | Dec 15, 2019 So relieved to hear the great news of Nancy’s recovery. Life sure is a roller coaster ride, isn’t it! Thank you, Stephanie, for being such an incredible lifemate for Nancy!
Anna R. | Dec 15, 2019 This is fantastic news! You both will continue to be in my thoughts. I appreciate your positivity and thoughtful writing, Stephanie, through all of the hard and scary stuff. Sending love and hope for a healthy recovery and peaceful holiday stay in a new place. ❤️
Kathy T.-P. | Dec 15, 2019 Hip hip hooray for good news! Best wishes for peaceful healing amidst family and friends.
Liv D. | Dec 15, 2019 Thank you, Stephanie, for keeping Nancy’s friends informed, I am so happy for her quick recovery. You are two strong women!. Enjoy the holidays with family and friends. All the best to the two of you.
Pat H. | Dec 15, 2019 Great News and great job healing Nancy!
Paris K. | Dec 15, 2019 Glad to hear good things. ❤️
Ann D. | Dec 15, 2019 It’s truly a miracle that she has recovered so quickly! Such great news! ♥️
Liz H. | Dec 15, 2019 Wonderful news! It’s a good day. Merry Christmas to you all.
Gloria B. | Dec 15, 2019 Such good news! I hope you two are able to settle in and that Nancy continues on the road to full recovery. Happy holidays, indeed!
Roberta S. | Dec 15, 2019 Excellent news! Have a very Merry Seattle Christmas!
Sandi P. | Dec 15, 2019 Great news! Happy Holidays to both of you.
Nancy came off the ventilator by mid-afternoon. She’s doing great with that — and her voice is nearly back to normal already. About an hour ago they removed the balloon pump supporting her heart. Also flying colors with that! She’ll need to rest motionless and easy on her back for 6 hours while the insertion site heals. Tomorrow morning, she’ll be able to get out of bed. Yay! Due to her remarkable recovery, she only spent around 60 hours on the ventilator — her shortest stint ever with that ol’ machine, as best I recall.
From what I’ve gleaned from the doctors so far today, she will likely remain in the cardiac ICU until at least Tuesday. The Monday ablation is now up in the air. The electrophysiologists are concerned they won’t be able to locate the area where the PVC originates because, yet again, it has completely disappeared. And there are risks in trying to induce the PVCs, they say, including inadvertently starting another “storm.” Ablation or otherwise, Nancy will get a NEW Fiona, most likely on Tuesday. The battery life on Fiona the Defibrillator is under 6 months now. High time for a new one! And she will upgrade to one with two leads into the heart instead of the single lead she has now. Both Nancy and I are relieved the new ICD will have several fresh years of battery life. But will this one have a NEW name??? How about some suggestions, all you clever folks out there? 🙂
That’s it from here at the hospital this evening. Nancy is just winding up a sweet phone conversation with her sweet Dad. She’s off all pain medications now and having a few vivid though happy dreams when she dozes off. I’m asking the universe and all interested parties for a calm and restful night of sleep for my sweet bride tonight.
And the same to all of you out there following along. Nancy wants me to read to her from these Caring Bridge posts now. A fine and fun way to bring this astounding day to a calm close.
Much love from Nancy and Stephanie
Nancy M. | Dec 15, 2019 So happy to hear that Nancy is doing so well! What a time she has had. She has a great support system with you and all of her family surrounding her with love. What an important part of recovery: Being surrounded by loved ones. Know that Chris and I are keeping you in our hearts.
Su S. | Dec 15, 2019 Here’s a name suggestion: Cordelia. Cordelia is a feminine given name. … The name is of uncertain origin. It is popularly associated with Latin cor (genitive cordis) “heart”, and has also been linked with the Welsh name Creiddylad, allegedly meaning “jewel of the sea”, but it may derive from the French coeur de lion “heart of a lion”.
Michelle F. |Dec 15, 2019 So glad to hear she is off the ventilator; those look scary, but of course we are grateful for such equipment. A name that comes to mind for the new one is Frida.
José M. | Dec 14, 2019 So happy to hear that progress is being made. My thoughts are with you both everyday for a speedy, healthy recovery. Sending you both virtual, energy-filled hugs!
Colleen A. | Dec 14, 2019 Fabulous news!!!
Hanna E. | Dec 14, 2019 P.S. Regarding the new name: Panacea, goddess of the cure by medicines and salves. Love,Hanna
Amy B. | Dec 14, 2019 Thanks for these updates. I’m so glad Nancy’s situation continues to improve. Thinking of you both and sending love from Northfield. Regarding the new name: Maybe something Norse this time around…How about Frigg?
Patricia S. | Dec 14, 2019 Such good news, you two!! The prayers and good vibes are still coming your way. They’re sent with bunches of love and hugs from us!! 💕💕💕
Susan D. | Dec 14, 2019 So relieved and thrilled to hear this good news. Very happy for you both. Every day I ask the Universe to guide you and keep you both safe. I am kind of liking Scarlett for a name. Some fierce beauties did that name proud. Sending all love to you both, always.
Barbara T. | Dec 14, 2019 Nancy you are one strong woman with a legion of followers. You are missing another arctic blast. Hope they find the spot Fiona doesn’t like. I vote for Charlotte, one determined heroine.
Debra T. | Dec 14, 2019 I’m glad Nancy is improving. And much faster than anticipated? How great! Thanks for the updates. As far as a name for the new Fiona, in keeping with the hard F sound, perhaps Pheobe. Or, some dictionaries say a meaning of Cora is “heart”. Greetings to you & Nancy. 🧡💜💛💚💙
Kari O | Dec 14, 2019 Sean let me know what was going on, so I read up on the latest and greatest adventures. I am so sorry that you are going through this. It sounds like things are heading exactly where they need to go, which is back to a normal and healthy Nancy with a device that is doing its job calmly and quietly in the background. As you well know, Greg and I are also members of the club. It sucks. You never know when it will happen or even if it will happen. And in your case, in what state or country it will happen! Reading your posts, Steph, it reminded me so much of all the positives. It reminded me that you can find joy anywhere if you have the right people with you. And that you can have joy in life despite not knowing what happens next. Thank you so much for that! Much love and hugs from Kari, Greg, and twins PS, Greg will no doubt be formulating a sassy comment once he gets up to speed on the latest posts, stay tuned!
Vicki O. | Dec 14, 2019 Good Morning, Great to hear of Nancy’s progress. You’re both in my thoughts and prayers.
Deborah P. | Dec 14, 2019 Good Morning you two! Such impressive progress. I’m grateful for your spunk and resilience. I’m thinking the name RITA MAE might fit. As in Rita Mae Brown (strong, smart, funny, tough and won’t take any crap. ) I’m retreating in silence today at Shambala Center. You can bet I will hold you as my dear one. 🙏💕
Jeanne E. | Dec 14, 2019 We are so glad to hear things are progressing so well and so quickly. How nice that “Fiona” gets to retire after time well-served. Jeanne and Jerry
Pamela I. | Dec 14, 2019 My dear Nancy, you really are a Wonder Woman and I couldn’t think of a better name than Xena for your new device. But it will be fun to hear other suggestions and final answer. Keep moving forward; won’t walking feel marvelous!! Stephanie thanks for the prompt updates, I eagerly anticipate reading these and wrapping prayers around your words. Sending my love to you both.
Kari D. | Dec 14, 2019 Yay! Thanks for the update!
Betsy E. | Dec 14, 2019 For the new defibrillator, how about Xena, as in Xena, Warrior Princess? Because that is the first thing that came to mind when I thought of Nancy and her journey with her heart issues. Love to you both, Betsy
Mary C. | Dec 14, 2019 So happy to hear the good news!
Ann D. | Dec 14, 2019 Atta way, Nancy!! Show ’em how it’s done! So happy that you are making great progress. You’ll feel so good when you can get up and walk around again! No running! ♥️😊🤗
Maria K. | Dec 14, 2019 Way to go, Nancy! Team KellyLargenKelvakis is rooting for you!
Lynn K. | Dec 14, 2019 Great news. Thank you.
Liv D. | Dec 14, 2019 So happy to read the good news! How about Flo as the new name?
Denise S. | Dec 14, 2019 Yay, all this news sounds good. Will keep up the prayers for a smooth ICD update. Rest and get stronger.
Terry K. | Dec 13, 2019 Hi Nancy and Stephanie. So happy you are improving! You are so brave ! You are so often in our thoughts and prayers and conversations and you have many cousins cheering you on! You are very much loved! ❤️Terry
Sandi P. | Dec 13, 2019 She’s a tough nut alright! So glad things are going well and she is on the road to recovery. We’ll continue to keep you both in our thoughts and prayers.
They moved Nancy (and ALL of her equipment!) last night around midnight. She’s even more alert this morning. And in great spirits. Says she feels a little giddy even. She’s ready to have the vent out. Naturally! Waiting here for rounds to begin. Will update again later today some time.
Love from us to you all!!
Mary C. | Dec 14, 2019 Hi, friends – you’ve been in my prayers as Nancy-the-miracle-gal recovers ! Of course I think you’re in the BEST place – not the hospital maybe, but Seattle. Actually, I went to UW for my MSW…if you run into any social workers, I hope they are well trained (the other providers, too…). Stay hopeful – I am!
Sharon H. | Dec 13, 2019 Nancy, you know how to come into a town with panache and flair!! 🙂 Sending you and Stephanie lots of love, many prayers for a robust and speedy recovery. Keep getting stronger my dear friend. Many hugs!!
Terry A. | Dec 13, 2019 Love you !!!! Prayers are with you and.Stephanie
Shelley C. | Dec 13, 2019 So fun that you come into our life through Andreas and Greta. We are sending hugs, kitties and prayers!
Nonny S. | Dec 13, 2019 Nancy. Just so you know, there is an agency called the Joint Commission (formerly the Joint Commission of accreditation of Health Care Organizations). They take care of making sure that hospitals know what they are doing. You do not have to visit each one yourself to carry out these inspections as a patient!!!! Enough already! That said, Murray and I are very glad to hear that your recovery seems to be going well !!!! We are pulling for you and praying for you. Sending love.
Marguretta Y | Dec 13, 2019 Dear Nancy, Our prayers are with you. May each day be better than the day before! Christmas is near and our savior came to be with each of us. He is there with you. May you feel his presence.
Shirley F. | Dec 13, 2019 Nancy, Nancy, Nancy — Pfew! Glad to hear to are healing. You are one remarkable, resilient woman!!!
Patty S. | Dec 13, 2019 Hugs to you Aunt Nancy and Aunt Stephanie
Kathy S. | Dec 13, 2019 I was so sorry to hear that Nancy’s had another episode with Fiona. But, it sounds like she is getting great medical care and support, and I’m so glad that she is improving. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Nancy and Stephanie, and with all your family and friends. Love, Kath
Su S. | Dec 13, 2019 You sure get around! But maybe talk to your travel agent about getting more comfortable accommodations.
Kathy O. | Dec 13, 2019 Great news👍. Thanks for the updates.
Joan H. | Dec 13, 2019 Yay! Early Christmas:)
Elaine K. | Dec 13, 2019 Nancy is amazing! It’s good to be here with her and Steph! Hoping she gets her vent out today.
Gail M. | Dec 13, 2019 Whoa. I was just thinking about the two of you earlier this morning and up pops this email. My love to you both, and best wishes for a speedy recovery to Nancy.
Susan D. | Dec 13, 2019 Such wonderful news. I am sure she will soon put this behind her. The beach is waiting. Both of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Barbara T. | Dec 13, 2019 I can imagine the caravan of people following her. Time to get matching t shirts!
Martha M. | Dec 13, 2019 Go Nancy! Go Huskies!
Ann D. | Dec 13, 2019 Good to hear the transport went well with all her equipment! I’m so encouraged to hear that she is more alert and in good spirits. GOOD WORK NANCY!
Connie F. | Dec 13, 2019 Such great news. Only Nancy would be giddy with a vent and preparing for a procedure. I’m holding all of you in prayer.
Sheila H. | Dec 13, 2019 Oh, that is SUCH good news. Makes me so happy to think of her smiling there! I bet your smile is big, too, dear Stephanie! Love love love to you both!
Mary C. | Dec 13, 2019 That’s great news! We are keeping both of you in our thoughts. Nancy is a strong woman. Fingers crossed that she continues to improve quickly.
Eileen K. | Dec 13, 2019 Wonderful. Thanks for keeping us updated. Thinking of you all.
Nancy’s tour of large American city Cardiac ICUs continues… and she, once again, is on the her remarkable road to recovery. Although she is still supported by the balloon pump in her heart and the ventilator, her trajectory today, according to the various doctors rounding on her and her main nurse (Erin), has been only positive.
She’s been busy writing to all of us here on a small whiteboard, her clever sense of humor and pure joy in life visibly intact. It’s a sight to behold!
Here’s the current plan. The electrophysiocardiologist (EP doc) wants to do an ablation on Monday to eliminate the PVC that is the precursor to Nancy’s device storms. His lab is over at the main hospital at the University of WASHINGTON, and so the plan is to move her from Harborview over to that hospital later today or tomorrow. Meanwhile, Nancy’s main job is to continue her recovery. So one step at a time here. But things are looking up, and I’m feeling quite positive and hopeful.
Thanks for all of your sweet and supportive replies! Once she’s more alert, we will enjoy reading your responses together. Nancy will so enjoy reading them (and replying!) when she’s able to use her computer again.
Tina and Jess are here again today, of course. Nancy’s brother Jeff drove up from southern Washington and stayed with Nancy at the hospital overnight last night. My sister Elaine and brother Bradley flew in from Arizona last night as well. And Andreas and Greta (the newlyweds!) flew in this morning. And Nancy’s longtime friend Kari Lipke paid an afternoon visit as well. All such wonderful people who show up for us over and over again. We are grateful!!!
Much love to all! Nancy & Stephanie
Joan L. | Dec 13, 2019 We met at the wedding last weekend (I am Chrissie’s high school friend from So CA), and are all on the Nancy team! Lots of prayers and good wishes for restored health and good healing are being sent toward Seattle, Nancy, and hugs all around for your family and loved ones there supporting you. ❤️
Mark & Barb E. | Dec 13, 2019 Sorry to hear the trouble you’re having but glad things are improving. Sounds like you’ll be out of the hospital soon. Hugs!
Denise S. | Dec 13, 2019 Sending prayers and thinking of you. Much love to you both.
Kelly K. | Dec 13, 2019 So glad to her your on your way to recovery Nancy! Keep up the good work and I will continue to send you healing thoughts, prayers, and hugs.
Susan H. | Dec 13, 2019 Much relieved about Nancy’s progress. Love and prayers to you both.
Kim H. | Dec 13, 2019 Great news! You all will remain in my thoughts and prayers for a great recovery!
Jonathan O | Dec 13, 2019 So glad that Nancy is recovering, that you are surrounded by love, and that you are in the care of excellent professionals. Sending love and thoughts of healing. May the procedure go smoothly and effectively. Much love!
Nancy H. | Dec 13, 2019 Tremendous news! Continue to heal and be well. Hugs to both of you – love Nancy and Jody
Judith T. | Dec 13, 2019 So glad to hear that you have so much love and support there for you both! Sending virtual hugs and prayers!
Jeanne E. | Dec 13, 2019 Thank you so much for the beautifully written update. Everything is so well-explained, with warmth and gratefulness in every word. How can I will Nancy strength, patience and humor when she has so much of her own?
I met Nancy in the 1980s and early ‘90s at St. Olaf College. My sons, Jacob and Noah, were born at about the same time as Andreas and Tina. I remember what they felt like in my arms. Though we moved to Philadelphia (Go Eagles!) and now Boston, we cherished Nancy’s Xmas letters and admired her pioneering work on Norwegian language textbooks. Through the years, we enjoyed reading FB updates too. Her humor, gentle wisdom, kindness, and love of family were always evident.
In a kind of coincidence, Nancy had her first heart incident a few months after I had one. (A sudden and traumatic—to me—need for an aortal valve replacement.) When I read those 2016 CaringBridge reports of her recovery, as beautifully written as these, I knew it was the same Nancy I had known. You are blessed to have her and she, to have all of you.
Right now, I can hear the happy and kindly laugh, which made our every Northfield, MN gathering a better one, just as I see her beating every last one of us at Scrabble. These sometimes happened concurrently. Did I mention we also admired her brains?
Love, Jeanne (and Jerry), Jacob & Noah
Kari L. | Dec 12, 2019 So loved seeing you today, Nancy — especially the twinkle in your eye. ❤️
Eric S. | Dec 12, 2019 Awesome news. Thanks for keeping us updated!
Liz H. | Dec 12, 2019 Good, good news. Nancy, you are resilient! You are loved. ♥️
Ann D. | Dec 12, 2019 Very encouraging news 😊. Sending love and healing thoughts.
Stephanie F. | Dec 12, 2019 U of Washington is where she is moving, NOT Minnesota.
Su S. | Dec 12, 2019 Hi Steph- thanks for the good news! I’m really glad you and Nancy are surrounded by family and friends. More prayers and healing thoughts on the wing.
Andrea G. | Dec 12, 2019 Love to you both. Praying for Nancy’s road to recovery. I am thinking about you so much and wish I could give you both a huge hug… sending them from afar. Love, Andrea ❤️
Vicki O. | Dec 12, 2019 Hi Steph, sorry to hear about this. We just got back to AZ. The best to you and Nancy. Keep us posted.
Maria K. | Dec 12, 2019 I can visualize Nancy writing little quips on that white board. Her bravery (and Stephanie’s!) continues to amaze me. If you have to travel a rocky road, how wonderful to have your team fall in with back up and so much love. You got this, Nancy, and we gots you!♡♡♡
Kit H. | Dec 12, 2019 I’m so relieved to hear this. I’ve been thinking about all of you and sending my love. Kit
Susan D. | Dec 12, 2019 My goodness, dear friends. Soon you will be enjoying the sun in southern California I hope that day comes quickly. You are both in my prayers and in my thoughts. with love always, susan
Michelle F. | Dec 12, 2019 Does this mean you are flying to MN and when? Thank you for keeping us updated. You have both been on my mind and heart all day! Love you!
Liv D. | Dec 12, 2019 Absolutely delighted about the positive news!
Robin K. | Dec 12, 2019 Such positive news. Hoping the progress continues. Love you both tons!!!
Pamela I. | Dec 12, 2019 Really good news. Give Nancy and yourself a loving hug from me. That woman is a wonder! BTB Claire’s “train car” for a class project had the Wonder Woman logo drawn on it. The train to recovery.
Mary Ellen E. | Dec 12, 2019 You all are in my thoughts and prayers. Take care Nancy.
Hanna E. | Dec 12, 2019 Thank you for the positive update! I am happy to hear she is in good spirits, and will continue to send positive healing thoughts. Love to you both!
Nancy and I arrived in Seattle yesterday morning to attend the Cardiac Arrest Survival Summit (google it — awesome conference!). After a wonderful and busy weekend celebrating Andreas and Greta’s wedding in Minneapolis this past weekend, followed by a day of packing on Monday and a morning of flying on Tuesday, we were both looking forward to a long, solid night of sleep last night. About an hour into that, around 11 PM, Fiona (N’S internal defibrillator} fired yet again. We came by ambulance to Harbourview Hospital in Seattle, just a mile from our hotel in downtown Seattle.
It was a chaotic and scary night of Fiona firings (40+) and other medical instabilities, including 20 minutes of CPR after Nancy “coded” in the cardiac ICU here around 2:30 AM. But they brought her back. Her vitals were unstable off and on after that. Around 10 AM she went down to the cath lab for testing (still zero heart disease/blockages), and they inserted a balloon pump to support her heart and help it rest and recover. She had one of these pumps for about 24 hours during her initial arrests in Minnesota in 2016. She’s more stable now this afternoon. She’s intubated and sedated but can respond to our Yes / No questions when we wake her up a little. The shocks were not the least bit fun for her but hopefully they gave her meds that will help her forget most of them. All other times she’s nodded “Yes” when I ask her, “Are you comfortable?”
Nancy’s daughter Tina lives here in Seattle and has been down at the hospital since this morning. Her spouse Jessica is also here. We have additional family arriving later tonight and tomorrow. Both Nancy and I are grateful for this “on the ground” support.
From all we hear, this hospital has a sterling reputation. My sense is she’s in extremely capable hands. Hopefully, like her other “events,” she has rounded the recovery bend and is making her way back to health — and to us. Let’s all hold that thought and prayer out there together, shall we?
Thanks for all the love and support. As always. Every time.
Love, Nancy & Stephanie
Jen R. | Dec 13, 2019 Holding Nancy and you in my prayers.
Kirk & Jill W-M. | Dec 12, 2019 So sorry to hear about this, but glad that Nancy is on the road to recovery! Sending all good thoughts your way. We’ll keep watching for more good news. ❤️
Shelly G. | Dec 12, 2019 I’m so sorry to hear that Nancy is going through this again. Sending hugs and prayers her way!! 🙏🏼💜
Maureen R. | Dec 12, 2019 Steph and Nancy, So sorry, lots of hugs and healing prayers coming your way. Your cousin, Maureen
Pat H. | Dec 12, 2019 I will be keeping all of you in my thoughts! You are in good hands. Speedy recovery, Nancy!
Linda S. | Dec 12, 2019 Stay strong, you two! You are in a good place. Thinking of you both. Love, Linda and Spence
Liv D. | Dec 12, 2019 Thinking of you both and praying that this “event” will soon be over. All the best to the two of you.
Patricia S.| Dec 12, 2019 Sending love and God’s strength to both of you! We are so glad you are safe in an exceptional hospital with strong medical support. Please know we are hugging you virtually and praying! Roger and Pat
Jennifer B. | Dec 12, 2019 Prayers for healing and peace…💕
Lynda H. | Dec 12, 2019 I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through this again, but glad that there are good hospitals around when needed. Sending positive thoughts and hugs your way. Lynda
Roberta S. | Dec 12, 2019 I’m so sorry that you have to go through this, but glad that you can face it together and be surrounded by family and excellent medical care. I’m keeping warm thoughts! Love, Roberta
Ann D. | Dec 12, 2019 Constant positive energy being sent your way for a good recovery. I’m so glad she is at a well-renowned hospital in a city where family lives. Hugs and love to you both. Ann
Martha M. | Dec 12, 2019 You said it to me just the other day, Nancy is a miracle! I am sending my love to you and Nancy and Tina and Jessica.
Penny F. | Dec 12, 2019 Dear Nancy and Steph. We are in Havana now for 3 months with Anne & family. We hope you are recovering at Harborview. Will follow your progress here on Caringbridge. Stor klem Penny, Kjetil, Anne & Ingela😎😍
Allen Z. | Dec 12, 2019 The two of you, Nancy and Stephanie, are an inspiration. A delightful couple. Phyllis and I enjoy watching your interaction with folks in the Pilgrim Lutheran community. You are kind, gentle, and show that you truly care for others. We wish you the best as you work through these medical issues.
Nancy H. | Dec 12, 2019 Sending lots of healing energy and hugs to both of you.
Sveinung S. | Dec 12, 2019 We’re so sorry to hear about this new event. We trust that you will both pull through. Love from Norway.
Shelley P.| Dec 12, 2019 Nancy is in our prayers for a full recovery. You truly are at an excellent facility. May you both soon get that desired good night of rest. Much love 💕
Kris D. | Dec 12, 2019 Gus and I are sending love and every ounce of good energy to you and Nancy.
Liz H. | Dec 12, 2019 Our love to you all. Take good care.
Jonathan O.| Dec 12, 2019 Sending you both love and great big hugs (but very gentle ones for Nancy). Holding you in my heart with thoughts of healing and strength. We love you.
Sarah M. | Dec 12, 2019 Isaac, Olivia, and I are sending you both our love and support. We wish Nancy a swift recovery and look forward to seeing you both soon. We miss you!
Anne S. | Dec 12, 2019 Yes, I’ll hold on very tightly to that thought and prayer! Sending so much love!!
Tim B. | Dec 11, 2019 Good luck! Hang in there.
Kathy O. | Dec 11, 2019 So sorry to hear that Nancy is back in the hospital! So scary for both of you. I’m glad Tina and Jessica are able to be with you and Nancy. It’s good you were so close to Harbourview also. Prayers for a quick recovery.
Jan E. | Dec 11, 2019 Please let Nancy know we are all here for you both. Love and hugs for a speedy recovery.
Sean H.O. | Dec 11, 2019 I’m so sorry to hear about this. I’m thinking about you, Nancy. Hope you recover soon.
Kris G. | Dec 11, 2019 As important as Fiona is, I want to give her a most stern scolding right now. That is just something else. We’re thinking of you both, along with your families near and far. Take care.
Debra T. | Dec 11, 2019 Thanks for letting us know. Hoping for a rapid and complete recovery.
Diane L. | Dec 11, 2019 You and Nancy are in my prayers tonight.
Joan H. | Dec 11, 2019 I am so sorry to read! So glad so much love is surrounding you both! Sending healing prayers and Advent blessings.
Patti P. | Dec 11, 2019 Sending prayers and peaceful thoughts for recovery and health!
Helene M. | Dec 11, 2019 Thinking of you both and sending thoughts and prayers.
Marcia S.-S. | Dec 11, 2019 What a scary night for you both. Please know you’re in my thoughts and prayers.
Keith H. | Dec 11, 2019 I will mention you all in the prayers of the people at Solor Lutheran Church on this Sunday – prayers for recovery and return to health. But, I’m not waiting until Sunday, you will be prayed for from now on until then. Blessings! And, I’m thankful you are in a good place with lots of helpers to guide you through this ordeal.
Marsha F. | Dec 11, 2019 I am holding you both in the light and trusting that there will again be a strong recovery. Good to know that you are in a fine hospital with family nearby during such a stressful ordeal. Thank you for staying in touch.
Kim H. | Dec 11, 2019 My thoughts and prayers are with you. I send hugs filled with energy and health!
Gloria B. | Dec 11, 2019 Thoughts, prayers, positive energy. Wishing for the best care possible for Nancy!
Mary B.-J. | Dec 11, 2019 Sending all the strength and courage I have in my heart. Love to you both!
Deb F. | Dec 11, 2019 Thanks for letting your Pilgrim friends know about Nancy’s latest challenges. Prayers for both of you.
Su S. | Dec 11, 2019 Oh, Steph, I can’t imagine what you’ve been through emotionally. Thank you for sharing this information. I’m praying for Nancy and you, and everyone tending to her (and you, I hope).
Jeanne E. | Dec 11, 2019 Jerry and I are so sorry to hear. I’m glad things are under control and hope Nancy is as comfortable as possible. She is really a trooper. 🙏🏼
Claudia B. | Dec 11, 2019 Thinking of you and saying prayers. Good you and Tina and others are with Nancy now. May our thoughts and best wishes give you all strength.
Susan D. | Dec 11, 2019 Stephanie, I am so glad Nancy is with you. Hoping for a quick recovery. All my thoughts and prayers are with you. And so much love too.
Sandi P. | Dec 11, 2019 Our thoughts and prayers are with you both.
Kathy T. P. | Dec 11, 2019 Oh, no! Sending all best wishes for skilled doctors and nurses, and peace to all caring for Nancy.
Brandon F. | Dec 11, 2019 Thinking of you and hoping for a quick recovery! Love, Brandon
Robert E. | Dec 11, 2019 Best wishes for a complete recovery!
Carl H. | Dec 11, 2019 Hugs to you and prayers for you all!
Betsy A. | Dec 11, 2019 Hi Steph- Thanks for the update. You both looked GREAT this past weekend & we are hoping for a speedy recovery for Nancy. Love, Betsy & Peteh
Michael S. | Dec 11, 2019 Hang in there. You are both in my prayers.
Bobbi B. | Dec 11, 2019 So sorry hear this. Keeping you all in my thoughts. Speedy recovery.
Roberta L. | Dec 11, 2019 Hugs and prayers for another speedy recovery. It was great to see both of your beautiful smiles this weekend! Glad you are close to family in Seattle.
Hanna E. | Dec 11, 2019 Dear Nancy, Stephanie and Family, I am thinking of you and sending healing thoughts ❤️
Lynn D. | Dec 11, 2019 Dear Nancy, Stephanie and Families, I sending you all love and healing thoughts. Thank you for keeping us posted on Nancy’s progress. I will be keeping you all in my heart during this difficult time.
Dolores P. | Dec 11, 2019 Nancy & Stephanie & Families, I am so sorry to hear this. I’m holding you in my heart and am sending all good wishes your way. I wish there were more I could do.
Jane S. | Dec 11, 2019 Gosh, so sorry to hear this. Will be sending love and prayers out for both of you.
Felicity E. | Dec 11, 2019 Thinking of you both very specially💖
Kari L. | Dec 11, 2019 Let me know if y’all need or want a pastoral visit.
Pat S. | Dec 11, 2019 Thinking of you and wishing for the best… Glad your siblings are coming. Please keep giving us updates!! Much love
Eric S. | Dec 11, 2019 Love you both.
Dana W. | Dec 11, 2019 Thanks so much for this update. So, so sorry. Very scary. I am just south of Seattle and if there is anything you need, please let us know! Harborview is an excellent hospital.
Pete N. | Dec 11, 2019 Thank you for the update. Heal up!
Jason M. | Dec 11, 2019 Get well soon, Nancy! It’s scary when Fiona gets crabby. All the good thoughts are coming your way…
Mary M. | Dec 11, 2019 Praying for you all!
Connie F. | Dec 11, 2019 Oh, my heart nearly stopped when I saw that there was a post for Nancy. Prayers of healing, courage and comfort for all of you.
Joan Haan|Mar 23, 2018
Yeah indeed and continued prayers!
Mary Beth Lake|Mar 23, 2018
I can’t wait to see that wonderful smile!! Love to you both. Leo and Mary Beth
Abby Brogden|Mar 23, 2018
Su Smallen|Mar 23, 2018
Yay! Thinking of both of you lots with love
Shirley Fasching|Mar 23, 2018
S U P U R B !!!!!! Keep it up–in, out, in out. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
Phyllis Zumach|Mar 23, 2018
Once again, Stephanie, your dear one is on her way back to life with her honey. We’re thrilled for both of you.
Phyllis and Allen
Gail Klemm|Mar 23, 2018
Cheering, here! Sending love and hugs, Gail Ellertson Klemm
Roberta Lentz|Mar 23, 2018
Terrific news. Now on to a speedy recovery!
Kathy Olsufka|Mar 23, 2018
Thanks for the updates. Hugs to both of you. She’s a fighter, so in spite of setbacks she will keep improving.
susan Donohue|Mar 23, 2018
So thrilled to hear the good news!
Elizabeth Madson Ankeny|Mar 23, 2018
Lynn Kier|Mar 23, 2018
Barbara Taylor|Mar 23, 2018
Real food again. Treat a yourself to whatever sounds good!
John Eric Rolfstad|Mar 23, 2018
So glad the tube is out and Nancy is making great progress. I’m so thankful you were near world-class medical care when this all began! Also amazing both Brad and Elaine were there and have been able to provide support. Big Hugs to you both!!!
Erica Kragerud-Smith|Mar 23, 2018
Patricia Sween|Mar 23, 2018
So happy to hear this. YAY!!
Denise Swanson|Mar 23, 2018
Yay!!🎉🎉 Hope you a can stay strong and Nancy gets better quickly.
Claudia Gordon|Mar 23, 2018
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in…….how simple it all sounds, but how difficult it can be……Great news!! Breathe easy everyone!
Shelly Gilb|Mar 23, 2018
So glad Nancy is progressing! One minute closer to going home! Sending prayers for continued healing! Hugs to all! 💕
Unfortunately Nancy’s throat began to swell after her breathing tube removal yesterday, and, worried that her airway would close, they had to put one back in. She’s getting IV steroids to bring the swelling down. It’ll be a “couple more days’ on the respirator is what I heard the ICU hospitalist (they call them “intensivists” here) say yesterday.
Three positive notes. (The bullet points are for Nancy. She has a particular fondness for them!)
Nancy had a VERY restful night, and all her labs and so forth look good.
The PVCs have all but disappeared. So still not so much as a peep from Fiona since Sunday afternoon. Needless to say, Nancy is quite anxious about Fiona firing again. As are all of us. But I think the electrophysiologist has a good handle on controlling that using an antiarhythmic medication call Amiodarone.
For the few hours yesterday that she had the tube out, Nancy was very much her winsome self, whispering away (the vent makes folks hoarse) and showing really good coordination and awareness.
If Nancy remains restful and status quo in the ICU today, I plan to take much of the day away from the hospital while Nancy’s son Andreas, daughter Tina, my brother Brad, my sister Elaine and all their significant others take turns staying with Nancy in the ICU. I feel strongly that she have an “advocate” in the room while she is sedated and unable to speak for herself. Nancy’s sister Jennifer flew home to California last evening with the idea that she may return later to help out. Because Jen’s an amazing helper outer and stalwart advocate for her little sister — I can vouch for that!
I / we feel so much support. It’s a beautiful, overwhelming experience. So thank you all. Thanks to everyone for showing up for our Nancy in all the ways you do. I remain hopeful that she will make a full recovery yet again.
Much love, Stephanie & Nancy
Kari Dorer|Mar 22, 2018
Thanks for keeping us updated Steph. You get some rest too, don’t forget to take care of YOURself! 🙂
Susan Hadley|Mar 22, 2018
Steph, I am in awe of your extended family, gathering together to take good care of Nancy, and you, and each other. Love, Susan
susan Donohue|Mar 22, 2018
Of course! Planning on full recovery. They will figure this out. Just a wee detour in your activities. So pleased she had a peaceful night and progress is good. Thank you for the excellent updates, Stephanie. Go out and soak up some sun today. You will bring back much positive energy for Nancy! My thoughts and good wishes are with you all. What a family! Love you so.
Ann Dyellig|Mar 22, 2018
So…it’s a little setback, but she will rally and get rid of that swelling in no time — I’m certain of it! I’m happy Steph had a few hours of calm and communication while Nancy was sans tube, and that she has a chance to rest and restore today as the others spend time with her. Lots of prayers being said at Pilgrim for healing and comfort. Hugs to you both!
Betsy Ellis|Mar 22, 2018
(Say with Russian accent) “Woman strong like moose!”
Jason Menard|Mar 22, 2018
Well this is good news, too. and so glad you and Nancy have such a great support crew!
Martha Morrow|Mar 22, 2018
Good morning Team Nancy,
Keep getting the rest you need Nancy.
Tina and Andreas, hug your mom for me. Hug each other from me too;-)
Put on some good music for Nancy to listen to. Music is a healer.
Stephanie, enjoy some time out in the fresh air, soak up a little vitamin D and take care of yourself, it’s important.
Nancy you may not think you are brave, which of course you are, but you are also strong, wise and adventuresome. So here is to more fun adventures. I will see you back in Saint Paul!
Mary Cisar|Mar 22, 2018
Hi, Nancy, I am thinking of you from MN and hope that all gets resolved quickly!
Joan Haan|Mar 22, 2018
Continuing the thoughts and prayers for healing and strength
Ditto to the above – and underscore the care givers self care:)
Also love the olive points . . . .
Pat Saltsman|Mar 22, 2018
Sorry to hear about the “bump in the road” but knowing you two and how strong you both are, you will get through this better than ever. You are in the right place and surrounded by the love of your family. When I went through chemo, I had a mantra “8:00 tomorrow morning” meaning tomorrow morning I would feel better than I did that day. So it gave me short term goals and knew I just had to get through that day. So here is to you and Nancy “8:00 tomorrow morning”.
Jillian Hiscock|Mar 22, 2018
Gosh darn swelling! Glad the crew is all there and sending all my love your way. Please let me know if there is anything back in MN I can help with!
Eric Schlotterbeck|Mar 22, 2018
Stephanie, thanks for spending the time and emotional energy to keep us all up to date. We’re all sending that energy back to you and to Nancy and looking forward to our next hugs.
Kari Lipke|Mar 22, 2018
Advocates are the best. Blessings to all as you take your turns at the bedside. Holding you all in heart from Seattle.
Liz Hawkinson|Mar 22, 2018
Sending love and warmest wishes for healing. Breathing in healing . . . Breathing out, calm. Love to you all, Liz PH
Randi Jeeps|Mar 22, 2018
Dear Nancy and Stephanie, Thinking of you and your wonderful extended family as you go through this process of healing. Sending lots of love and best wishes from across the pond! Randi xx
Sveinung Skjesol|Mar 22, 2018
I second Eric. Many thanks for sharing these reports with us, Stephanie, but a thousand times more for hanging in there with my friend Nancy. Say thanks to the rest of the gang, too.
Barbara McCauley|Mar 22, 2018
Good morning dear Stephanie – thank you for keeping us up to date on precious Nancy’s progress. Know that she was on our lips and in our hearts last night in the Pilgrim kitchen. You are dearly loved. With our fervent prayers,
Barbara and Gary
Pilgrim Lutheran Church|Mar 22, 2018
Stephanie, thank you for the updates and for taking such good care of Nancy. You and Nancy are in my prayers. Nancy, you are such a beautiful, dear woman! I’m sorry you are going through this now. All of us at Pilgrim look forward to welcoming you back to Minnesota! Hugs, Lynn
Lynn Kier|Mar 22, 2018
Steph, Thank you so much for having Nancy’s back. GO NANCY! Remember SISU.
Sigrun Skjesol|Mar 22, 2018
It seems that you are in good hands on the hospital, and that you too can take a rest with so much good help. That means a lot. We wish you all the best in the days of recovery. Asbjørn and Sigrun
Gloria Betcher|Mar 22, 2018
The less heard from Fiona, the better. I hope Nancy continues to improve and the swelling goes down so she can be free of the tube! — Sending thoughts and prayers–Gloria
Jennifer Beran|Mar 22, 2018
Lifting Nancy and her special care givers up in prayer! Keep positive! Jenni Beran
Terry Kenck|Mar 22, 2018
Nancy and Stephanie: You are loved! Praying. Saw several ELLERTSON cousins and aunts and Uncles last evening and we are all praying and talking about Nancy getting WELL!!!
Gail Klemm|Mar 22, 2018
I am so moved by the tremendous support reflected in these messages, and grateful to all who are taking turns staying with Nancy. I agree, Stephanie – that is really important. Get some rest, and know that Ellertson family (scattered as we are) are there in spirit, along with endless numbers of friends – all praying and holding Nancy and you close. (Nancy’s dad is my cousin, and I know the Vancouver area family are all united in prayer and positive vibes!) Much love, Gail Ellertson Klemm
Kris Grangaard|Mar 22, 2018
We know it’s a little bit of a chore to keep us updated, but we are so appreciative. We have you on our minds and in our hearts. Thank you for taking this time and energy —
Rest well today.
Kris and Tom
Peter Spuit|Mar 22, 2018
May Nancy heal and become stronger and stronger, and may you all grow in confidence that her heart can operate well again.
Claudia Gordon|Mar 22, 2018
The highs and lows of this roller coaster ride are hard on both of you, Nancy and Stephanie. My thoughts and prayers say hang on tight to each other and peace will come. Love, Claudia
Connie Ford|Mar 22, 2018
Oh, darn it all, for this bump. Thinking about both of you and your ever-present indomitable spirits. Thank you for the updates. Rest, Steph, rest.
Patricia Sween|Mar 22, 2018
Thinking of you both so often. These updates are so welcome and needed by all of us here in MN who are cheering you on over the miles. Continuing prayers for both of you! You two personify strength!
Torild Homstad|Mar 22, 2018
God bedring, Nancy! Thinking about you both, and sending warm thoughts your way.
Michael Schulze|Mar 22, 2018
You have been and will continue to be in our prayers.
Lori Ellertson|Mar 22, 2018
Hi again Nancy–June, sand castles, family, bon fires and great company…I’m missing you and thinking of you almost every minute of everyday. I really need for you to get better because you are a most awesome sister-in-law among many other things, partner, daughter, sister, mother and on and on. I can’t wait to see you! Much love, hugs and everything else.
Pamela Itzin|Mar 22, 2018
Darn those tubes! Sending wishes of strength and support to you both. I agree with Stephanie, Nancy you have a beautiful and strong spirit to help you through all this. We have more “adventures” and taco parties in our future I’m sure! Sending my love, Pam
Patty Selenski|Mar 22, 2018
Hug aunt Nancy! I love you both
Jan Ellertson|Mar 22, 2018
Love to you💓
Amy Jacobson|Mar 23, 2018
Sorry for the minor setback bit she’ll do great I’m sure!
Nancy is OFF the ventilator. Quintuple YAY!!! Nancy likes to say “I’m not very brave.” The next time she says that to you, say “Riiiiiiiiiight.”
Her strength and will to live through all of this is something to behold. More later or tomorrow.
Donna Collet|Mar 21, 2018
Great news! Thanks. Our prayers continue to be with you.
Uncle Rod and Donna
Anne Sabo|Mar 21, 2018
Thank you!!!! And yes; RIGHT??!! 🙂 I have been eagerly awaiting an update all day; this was the best birthday gift I could get from you! Big hugs and kisses to you both, miss you
Lynda Hirschboeck|Mar 21, 2018
Lori Ellertson|Mar 21, 2018
I love you Nancy!!! Oh when you’re all done can you head to Cannon Beach and stock us up on some logs for June? I’ve heard with the storms that lots of logs are rolling around. Love, hugs, love and tons of more hugs!
Kari Dorer|Mar 21, 2018
YAY! Great news!
Terry Kenck|Mar 21, 2018
Hurrah! God Be Praised! So happy with this news! And Nancy YES YOU ARE SOOOOOO BRAVE!!!! What an INSPIRATION!!! Prayers continue! Love you.
Ann Dyellig|Mar 21, 2018
Terrific news!!! We’re all rootin’ for ya, Nancy!
Abby Brogden|Mar 21, 2018
Such good news! Nancy you are about the bravest person I have ever met! JoAnn and I send tons of love to you and to the fam too!!
Jen Larsen Newburg|Mar 21, 2018
Yes! Nancy is very brave, as is Stephanie! Much love to you both!
Kris Grangaard|Mar 21, 2018
Bravery all over the place! And love and relief and anticipation.
And honestly? If you decide not to be brave for a while, we’re cool with that, too.! 🙂 Love from the Deep North!!
Eric Schlotterbeck|Mar 21, 2018
Loving you guys so much.
Barbara McCauley|Mar 21, 2018
So strong and brave you are! And, we are blessed to call you Friends! Much love from me and Gary
Jason Menard|Mar 21, 2018
Patricia Sween|Mar 21, 2018
Not brave?? Tell me another story, Nancy, so I can LOL again!
Sending oodles of love to you both and praying for more steady progress. Pat and Roger
Joyce Aarsvold|Mar 21, 2018
Best news ever! Sending our love and prayers.
Carl Hokanson|Mar 21, 2018
Wonderful news! Continued prayers for you both!
Claudia Gordon|Mar 21, 2018
I’m breathing better now, too!! It’s catching! Hurray for Team Nancy! Love, Claudia
Janet Scannell|Mar 21, 2018
Great news. The power of love.
Su Smallen|Mar 21, 2018
great news! yay! I’m dancing a happy dance for you – a happy nance dance
Elaine Kinnard|Mar 21, 2018
Gloria Betcher|Mar 21, 2018
Deborah Padgett|Mar 21, 2018
I’m so glad to see this great news! What a trooper, Nancy…
Nonny Smith|Mar 21, 2018
Such great news!!!
Shirley Fasching|Mar 21, 2018
God speed my dear !
Mary Ellen Erlandson|Mar 21, 2018
Great news. Nancy’s a trooper. Prayers for continued healing.
Gina Hanson|Mar 21, 2018
Kathy Lance|Mar 21, 2018
Hey my cuz! Happy spring and I hope that means you will be springing back to your healthy vibrant self soon! Halloween was a long time ago and April fools is at least 2 weeks away, so no more scaring us for now, okay? 🙂 Thank goodness for great care and a great family to support you! Even though you are far away, you are in my heart and in my prayers. <3
JoAnn Johnson|Mar 21, 2018
Hooray for ET tube out, slow steady progress, and for Nancy’s beautiful and courageous spirit. JoAnn and Abby with much love.
Penny Flatin|Mar 21, 2018
Fingers crossed and good thoughts coming your way from here. We look forward to your visit this summer. Love Penny
Sveinung Skjesol|Mar 21, 2018
Crying a little bit over here. While smiling.
Docs want to keep Nancy on the ventilator until tomorrow. She had a few PVCs during the night. These did not activate Fiona mercifully. Nurse reports they are looking for 24 hours of only good heart rhythm. I appreciate their cautious approach. Nancy continues to do really well under sedation. More rest, more healing to carry her into tomorrow.
Anne Sabo|Mar 20, 2018
Yes, caution is wise. Sending vibes of peace and patience. And heaps of more love. Fortitude!
Pat Saltsman|Mar 20, 2018
Hugs to all.
Ann Dyellig|Mar 20, 2018
It’s good the doctors are proceeding with caution — keep up the good healing Nancy! We’re rooting for you from the north country! We are with you in spirit. Hugs!
Su Smallen|Mar 20, 2018
Thanks for the update. I’m glad to hear the doctors don’t want to rush Nancy’s care. You try to rest, too, Steph!
ANN LIMRIC|Mar 20, 2018
Sounds like she is in excellent care, yours , theirs and beyond. I hope for the best transmission of healing to take place.
I’m with you in stardust💜
marguretta yaeger|Mar 20, 2018
It has been a long time we have been in touch but we want you to know that our prayers are with you. God is right there with you. May you feel His Presence!
dorothy bocian|Mar 20, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with you for a restful recovery, Nancy!
Dorothy Brown Bocian
Patricia Sween|Mar 20, 2018
Continuing prayers and sending lots of love to you both! So glad for the good care you’re receiving, Nancy! Thanks, Stephanie, for the great updates.
sandi pettersen|Mar 20, 2018
Out thoughts are with you Nancy and Steph. Harriet sends her love too! So sorry we are missing you this trip. We know you’ll be better soon with all the loving thoughts from friends and family.
susan Donohue|Mar 20, 2018
Cautious is good. Great news that dear Nancy is making fast strides. How fortunate and blessed to be in such good hands there. Sending very positive thoughts and very much love. Please keep posting.
Nadine sanders|Mar 20, 2018
When I opened up this Caring Bridge email, I could not think why Nancy would be in the hospital. Did she have an uncontrollable event of telling Norwegian jokes in Norwegian? I did not know about “Fiona” until reading this update. So Nancy, when your heart is behaving again, do tell some Norwegian jokes in Norwegian. And sing. And laugh. But for now rest surrounded by all your special people.
Cheers, Nadine in Sebastopol
Marte Hult|Mar 20, 2018
Glad to hear that Nancy is resting and that the doctors are being cautious. Thanks for the update. Healing thoughts
Heidi Dombek|Mar 20, 2018
Covering you both with prayer.
Barbara McCauley|Mar 20, 2018
Gosh! What joy to hear this positive news! May God’s Holy Spirit surround Nancy, and Stephanie and all those amazing care-givers! With love from me and Gary . 🙂
Donna Dingle|Mar 20, 2018
I appreciate the updates sending peace and healing thoughts to Nancy. Cautious sounds like a good path to take. Thinking of you both. Donna
Jeanne Eberhart|Mar 20, 2018
Please tell Nancy that Jerry and I are praying for her steady and speedy recovery. As a heart patient, I know the worst fear is to wind up back in the hospital, so I admire Nancy’s grace, patience and good humor.❤️
Claudia Gordon|Mar 20, 2018
Hope both of you have a good night…..peace and prayers for you from me. Love, Claudia
Kirsten Aarsvold|Mar 20, 2018
Thinking of all of you! I’m so thankful that Fiona did her job, and that she’s taking a break now. Lots of love to Aunt Nancy and her entire support crew 🙂
Pamela Itzin|Mar 21, 2018
Spent the day with Claire and Cole and we will be sending some artwork to convey our love and good wishes for a speedy recovery! I so appreciate Stephanie’s updates. Sending loving and healing thoughts and prayers.
Carole Vergeldt|Mar 22, 2018
Nancy continues to be in our thoughts and prayers. Thank you for keeping us informed.
Hello again all,Your posts make me laugh and cry, too. I/We thank you!! Like last time, we can hear and feel you all surrounding us from near and far.Nancy has had a fairly restful day on the ventilator today. She’s not as sedated as she was during her last cardiac ICU adventure, so she’s moving about some at times and busy trying to talk to us around her breathing tube. She’s also been smiling often at people when they first arrive.
The good news of the day is that she may come off the vent tomorrow.
The Medtronic ICD tech/nurse was here again this morning. Nancy had over 50 shocks from Fiona. Unbelievable. I sure hope Nancy remembers very little about all that when she wakes up.
The “why” of these heart PVCs is still unknown. Hopefully more will become clear in the days ahead. As they reduce her heart medications and sedation tomorrow, I will be pleading for no more Fionas. Please join me/us in this plea. Or prayer. Whatever suits each of you best. Our resident Fay Family “chaplain” Elaine said a prayer with Nancy earlier today. (Or maybe it was last night — things are a tad hazy!) Nancy clearly drew comfort from her words. And I know she will draw comfort and strength from your thoughts and prayers and pleas as well.
I’ll update again tomorrow at some point. Thanks again for surrounding and supporting Nancy, our families and me.
Gail Klemm|Mar 19, 2018
Checking in to tell you that I am praying fiercely, and to thank you for the update that I just read. I am Nancy’s dad’s cousin, Gail Ellertson Klemm; Nancy doesn’t know me – Kathleen and I are the same age, and I lived in other parts of the country when Nancy and Jennifer were growing up. We Ellertson’s stick together, no matter where we are, and I hope that you can feel the love surrounding Nancy and you, as well, Stephanie. (Take care of yourself, as well, please – I know how mind-numbing and exhausting this can be.) Hugs and love to all gathered there. Gail
Sveinung Skjesol|Mar 19, 2018
You know it. We’re over here! Your reports bring across so well who you both are and what you are experiencing. I hope to see you both soon. Hug.
Ingela Flatin|Mar 19, 2018
Stor klem, Nancy! Tenker mye på deg! Håper å se deg snart her. –Ingela
Donna Dingle|Mar 20, 2018
The Swingles are sending all the love your way. Thinking of you both! – Donna, Kristo, Hannah, Austin and Henry
Claudia Gordon|Mar 20, 2018
A prayer and a plea, this first day of spring, is for Nancy and Stephanie. Take care and take heart in the numbers of people who love you both. Love, Claudia
Mona Olson|Mar 20, 2018
Guy and I want you to know that we are praying for your recovery. We were heartened to hear of your hospitalization and all that you are going through. So pleased you have so many around who love you. And that Stephanie is well cared for. Godspeed.
Patricia Sween|Mar 20, 2018
Sending love to you both. We’re heartened by your report of progress. Stephanie, your words carry across the miles. I feel like I’m there with you! And, of course, am in spirit. Prayers going always from us! ❤❤
Dan Beach|Mar 20, 2018
Sending you and Nancy all good vibes and happy, peaceful thoughts. I’m hoping everything goes smoothly.
Lori Ellertson|Mar 20, 2018
Mary Beth Lake|Mar 20, 2018
You are in our thoughts and prayers all day long. I am glad for the progress and anxious for a solution. 💝💖 Lakes
Gloria Betcher|Mar 20, 2018
Keep the good news coming, Stephanie! I’ll keep sending those positive vibes and prayers from Iowa.
Su Smallen|Mar 20, 2018
Hello. Here is a little unrelated news (with prayers for you in the background). Last night, I came home from work late, and there were four deer in my backyard, grazing, under the very tall pine that has warmed the earth and melted the snow beneath it. I did not turn the lights on, even though my goal for the evening was to finish page-numbering my book manuscript. I did this in the dark, instead. The deer decided to camp there for the night! It was wonderful to see their shadows out there along my back fence. At about 1am, (insert drum roll) I sent my book manuscript to my publisher in Ireland. I felt like I better do it while the deer were here blessing me! And I asked them to bless you, too, with the easy vigilance of deer, and the warm life of trees, rooting deep and wide in your body to hold you here on earth.
Nancy Lee Gauche|Mar 20, 2018
Hey Steph, Prayers surround you both. First day of Spring can bring new life in oh so many ways. Drink it in… May Healing Mercies surround you.
Joan Haan|Mar 20, 2018
May Fiona phase out!
Continued prayer and presence from the Haans!
Mary Carlsen|Mar 20, 2018
Sending warmth and love from chilly Minnesota – maybe a heart as big as Nancy’s needs more input from Fiona than the typical human (-: Hoping for good recovery!
Ben Gottfried|Mar 20, 2018
Deb and I are sending our love and best wishes your way! #NoMoreFionas – I’ll get this trending once I share it with my 30 Twitter followers 🙂
Kris Davis|Mar 20, 2018
Sounds like you are on the right path….. Hope that you are out and about delightfully adventuring together sooner than later…… 😀
karla jean miller|Mar 20, 2018
#NoMoreFionas. Spring Joy and Gratitude for Nancy’s healing path! Beseeching the heavens and earth for continued care and strength for both of you!
May Love and Peace persist.
Abby Brogden|Mar 20, 2018
It’s hard to imagine that you two are going through this. JoAnn and I send much love.
Ingrid Urberg|Mar 20, 2018
Thinking about you both! God bedring Nancy…
JoAnn Johnson|Mar 20, 2018
Loving thoughts, many pleas, candles lit in several of the San Miguel churches: all for Nancy and you too Steph. Hoping those great minds taking care of you will find cause soon! JoAnn
Sheila Hoffman|Mar 20, 2018
Thinking of you there at the Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center from here at the Mayo Clinic, Stephanie. Hugs to you and your love there from me and my love here. ❤️❤️
Anne Sabo|Mar 20, 2018
50 shocks??!! And still smiling and trying to talk?? Such a trooper. I just want to squeeze her tight right now! And you too! Thank you for being there for her, and for us, keeping us in the loop. Amen to sending all our pleas, prayers, thoughts, and love your way! You have all of ours! Love you!! <3 <3 <3
Eileen Kjorstad|Mar 20, 2018
Stephanie – Greetings from the Cold North. Elaine posted the Caring Bridge site on FB so just reading all of this. Lynn and I are praying for you both. And blessings too.
Margaret O|Mar 20, 2018
Love, love, love coming your way! I was interested in the magnesium and potassium levels, since they are closely monitoring both of those with me. When I asked why they were important, they told me it was for heart rhythm. I have to take giant horse pills of both every day. Hopefully that will be the underlying problem this time!
Jeanne Huggins|Mar 20, 2018
Sending love and healing hugs to you both!! ❤️❤️❤️
Elizabeth Madson Ankeny|Mar 20, 2018
Our arms of love and faith encircle you and Nancy and those in your circle. When I talked to Emma this morning she valiantly and very sincerely offered to do any “medical language” translating you might need. Hearts and heart challenges are her medical speciality. May this first day of spring bring soft winds, rains and sunshine of healing and health.
Elizabeth and Jay
Heidi Dombek|Mar 20, 2018
The cousins from the Rod Ellertson crew have got your back, and you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Sharon Hinz|Mar 21, 2018
Praying for you Nancy, and your dear family. Sending you love and healing energy!
Nancy’s ICD (her internal defibrillator named Fiona) began giving Nancy’s shocks around 3 AM the night before last (March 18th). I called the paramedics, and we came by ambulance to Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center, just over a mile from where we are staying in Scottsdale. We’re here in Arizona spending time with my sister Elaine and brother Brad and their spouses Dave and Lisa.
On Saint Paddy’s Day, Nancy and I had an active day, doing our water aerobics thing in the morning and then spending 4 or 5 hours outside watching professional women’s golf in the afternoon. Then we went to a St Paddy’s day gathering at Brad and Lisa’s thru the evening. All seemed just fine when we went to bed around 11:30 pm. A few hours later, Fiona fired, waking us both us. Nancy was conscious this whole time; it took us until the second shock a few minutes later to really grasp what was going on. I called 911. She was transported the hospital ER where they quickly discovered she was very low on potassium and magnesium.
Within an hour or two, they admitted Nancy to the cardiac ICU. Her device continued to fire off and on all morning. At first Nancy would pass out very briefly and was not aware of what was happening and didn’t feel the shocks. But she was awake for the last several shocks, and clearly these were very painful. She had been told they would feel like being kicked by a horse and she reported that, indeed, they felt just like that. 🙁
Medically she was having PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) leading to ventricular tachycardia. Then a shock to get her heart back in normal rhythm. So Fiona saved her life over and over again. By mid-morning, the electrophysiologist doctor in charge decided they needed to intubate her in an attempt to control the arrests and give Nancy relief from the pain of the shocks. All that went well, and she’s been resting and sleeping quite continuously ever since. She wakes up enough to answer questions with nods and head shakes, and eventually, with yes-no questions, we are able to figure out what she wants. Though she won’t remember any of this, she is aware in the moment and clearly recognizes that family is here with her, responds to her nurses, etc. Every time I ask her if she is comfortable, she nods her head “yes.” And, thankfully, she had her last shock about 2 hours after going on intubation/sedation. So her last shock episode was around 1:30 PM yesterday. Fiona gave her over 30 shocks! Yay Fiona! But, seriously, Nancy doesn’t need any more of those for a good, long long while.
My family was here with us all of yesterday, and Nancy’s sister Jennifer flew in from California around 6 PM. Tina and her spouse Jessica and Andreas and his girlfriend Greta arrived by midnight, Tine & Jess flying in from Seattle and Dre & Greta from Minnesota. The kids stayed at the hospital overnight with their Mom while Jennifer and I got some sleep. Jen & I are now back at the hospital waiting for the docs to round while the kids get some sleep. My sibs and in-laws have been working logistics of places to stay and all that. So we are extremely well looked after!!
Like the U of MN cardiac ICU, the nursing care here is amazing. Nearly 1 on 1 patient coverage and very attentive. And her main electricity doc (“Doctor Z”) is super on top of things. I’ll try to send another update on her status after the various doctors see her today. Indications yesterday were that she would be on the ventilator with sedation for 2 to 3 days.
Both Nancy and I thank you for your outpouring of love and support. Yet again. As she recovered at home in August of 2016, Nancy loved to read thru the comments posted on her CaringBridge site, always crying and even laughing a little. So feel free to type away, smart off or however the spirit moves ya! 🙂 And, of course, please spread the word about Nancy to other family and friends.
Much love from Scottsdale! Hoping for a restful day ahead for my sweet Nancy.
Sheila Hoffman|Mar 19, 2018
Such scary news, Stephanie, but relieved to read you sounding so positive about everything. Glad she is receiving excellent care. Sending love to her and you and all who gather around her there! –Sheila and Art
Donna Dingle|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy – get well soon! Thinking of you and Stephanie!! Good healing thoughts coming your way.
Jane Summers|Mar 19, 2018
Wow. So sorry to hear this but very thankful that Fiona took her job so seriously. Will keep you all in my prayers for healing. Much love.
Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy – So glad to know that Fiona did you well, and that she’s stopped for now so you can rest and hopefully find a steady path back to health and retirement fun. Kathy
Rob Lubke|Mar 19, 2018
Stephanie…I know that she is in the best possible hands. You both are in my prayers.
Ann Dyellig|Mar 19, 2018
Hello Nancy and Stephanie! Thank you for the posting with details. Fiona is a trooper! Keeping it up until Nancy could take over :). I am glad that Nancy is resting and able to answer questions. Saying lots of prayers for comfort and healing — missing you. Lotsa Luv — Ann
Connie Ford|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. Your spirit of adventure overachieved again! Knock it off! Seriously, prayers, hugs and immense gratitude for Fiona, Stephanie and the rest of your loving family are coming your way.
Pat Herrington|Mar 19, 2018
I will keep you all in my thoughts. Good job Fiona and Nancy you will need to kick someone back when you are feeling up to it! Get rest and get well!
Patricia Sween|Mar 19, 2018
Stephanie and Nancy – sending love, prayers, and good vibes to you! Thanks for any and all updates. And, Nancy, in a word…Uffda! Hoping you are soon back to your sweet self!
Brad Wahlberg|Mar 19, 2018
Wow, Nancy! What a wild way to end St Patrick’s day? So thankful Fiona did her job, maybe the gelling of getting kicked by a horse is to remind you of being alive! I’ve been kicked by a horse and felt the opposite. (Sorry If too soon for a small humorous attempt).Thanks for the update Steph, as always, my thoughts are with you both!
Lynda Hirschboeck|Mar 19, 2018
Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about this, but am glad that you were in such a good place if it had to happen. Wishing you both all the best, and hurry back. We miss you here, and I’m looking forward to seeing you at the retreat in April.
Bo Aylin|Mar 19, 2018
Sending warm, healing thoughts your way, Nancy! Hoping you’ll be back out enjoying the Arizona sun very soon!
From all of us at PrairieView.
Susan Hadley|Mar 19, 2018
Steph and Nancy,
I heard the news from Kit–and now from Steph. So glad you are in expert hands and care. My prayers are with you and the family.
Sveinung Skjesol|Mar 19, 2018
Kjære dere! Så fryktelig dramatisk. Men fantastisk at Fiona var på plass og klar til å gjøre jobben sin! Tusen takk for din grundige og modige rapport, Stephanie. Masse kjærlighet og tanker fra Biri, Norge!
Pamela Itzin|Mar 19, 2018
Well my dear, many blessings (amidst the curses), WOW. Thank goodness for Fiona, but yes, she can go on vacation now. Sounds like your med team is wonderful, thankfully you were so close to this quality care. Be well soon! Sending love and a big hug.
Sigrun Skjesol|Mar 19, 2018
Now again! Good you had Fiona. But it must have been a chock to you too Stephanie. Seems that you have good care and medical help. Best wishes from Asbjørn and me. We will tell family about your stay in Arizona. We will think of you good people.
Jonathan O|Mar 19, 2018
Sending love and positive energy to you both. Our hearts are with you. We are flying back to Minnesota tomorrow and will be ready if there is anything we can do for you. We are glad that Nancy is being well cared for, and we hope you can all get some rest. Warm hugs—Jonathan (and Eric)
Carole Vergeldt|Mar 19, 2018
Get well soon Nancy
Peter Spuit|Mar 19, 2018
May Nancy receive the very best care, and may that care return her to good and stable health. And May Stephanie, and all who love Stephanie receive support and assurance in these hours and days. God’s peace be with you.
Margaret O|Mar 19, 2018
So happy she’s in good medical hands–and that she had you, Steph, with your presence of mind to call 911 right away. Sending much love!
Deborah Padgett|Mar 19, 2018
This was shocking news in my Monday email! I panicked a bit as I re-opened my Caring Bridge account after so long. I am so sorry Nancy is being repeatedly kicked by this horse (but I’m also grateful Fiona is there to do her essential job!). Michael and I will be holding both of you close to our hearts and we’ll be hoping for a speedy and full recovery. I’m glad you were close to such good care. Lots and lots of love to both of you.
Roberta Lentz|Mar 19, 2018
Thoughts and prayers. Please continue to let us know Nancy’s progress. Love the name Fiona! Thanks Fiona for saving Nancy’s life!
Lori Ellertson|Mar 19, 2018
I love you Nancy and sending prayers and good thoughts your way.
karla jean miller|Mar 19, 2018
Oh Stephanie! Holding you and dear Nancy in love and light. Sending healing thoughts and gratitude for Fiona.
Nancy Haddorff|Mar 19, 2018
Amen for Fiona! Thinking of you both and sending lots of love and light to you! Please let us know if we can help in anyway, although I am flying to Minnesota from March 20-27th.
Pat Saltsman|Mar 19, 2018
Love to both of you. Give her a big hug from me. Thank you for keeping us posted. Prayers for both of you. Thank goodness Fiona was awake to take care of her!! I love the name Fiona..
Jillian Hiscock|Mar 19, 2018
Love you ladies lots. Thinking about you constantly and glad you’re surrounded by such amazing family and friends.
Pete Newburg|Mar 19, 2018
Healing and love from the Newburg house!
Brian Cote|Mar 19, 2018
A friend recently commented about another friend whose had 3 or 4 tragedies in his family, in his short 18 years of life: “God, what the heck?” As good a prayer as any, I suppose. The Brian and Karen Cote family will add others to the mix for ya’ll, Nancy and Steph.
Janet Scannell|Mar 19, 2018
Good going, Fiona! I’ll be thinking of you both. I hope Nancy heals quickly and well. Tell Nancy that I said: some people tour the baseball stadiums across the country; she’s the first person I’ve heard of who is trying to collect hospitals across the country.
Karen Duzenbery|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy, Nancy, Nancy! I am praying for you and will spread the word to family. Stephanie, thank you for the thorough recap. Korliss is flying out today to AZ with a friend not sure where they will be but I will get the word to her about Nancy.
Kristin and Jean Kristin and Jean|Mar 19, 2018
Thanks for letting us know! I like that Fiona. Sounds like she is a bit of an over achiever. Sending you love and prayers for healing in the days ahead.
Jan Ellertson|Mar 19, 2018
So glad to hear Fiona did the job. Love and prayers to you for a speedy recovery. We are all cheering for you from the northwest 💓💓💓
Julie Baumann|Mar 19, 2018
Dear Nancy, the Baumann-Shinefields are sending healing prayers your way. We are going to Scottsdale on Sunday for a week of spring break. Hope to see you and Stephanie then.
Daniel Ellertson|Mar 19, 2018
Love ya Aunt Nancy, Aunt Steph, and fam! Glad she’s surrounded by family smiling at her. She’ll tough this out and come out on top as usual. Let’s get her better so she can watch Blazers outlast the T-wolves in the playoffs! 🙂
Mandy Ellertson|Mar 19, 2018
Scott and I are thinking about you all and send our love. We are glad the kids made it to Arizona and that Stephanie was so on top of the situation.
Carl Hokanson|Mar 19, 2018
Love and prayers for you all from the Hokansons!
Mary Beth Lake|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy, we are with you in spirit! After you two are through roaming, I am hoping for more Como Park aerobics and a Trivial Pursuit contests🌝. Seriously, rest and let your family and friends (which number in the thousands), shower love and care on you. We love you both❣️
Elaine Kinnard|Mar 19, 2018
We are thankful to be here with Nancy and Steph. Praying for a full recovery for her 💗
Anne Sabo|Mar 19, 2018
Thank god for Fiona. Though being kicked by a horse 30 times sounds like medieval torture. You are my hero for still smiling, Nancy. Love you!!! And thank you Steph for again being there for her and yet again doing the right thing right away. Thanks for posting too so we can keep you close in our hearts. Love you both! <3 <3 <3
Jeanne Eberhart|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy and Stephanie,
I’m so sorry to hear of your health crisis, Nancy,. I’m glad you had Stephanie there and that the cardiac healthcare is so superb in Scottsdale. It was two years ago, early May, 2016, that I too had a cardiac episode— mine required replacing my aortic valve. You give us all courage. I will keep you in heart and mind until you are out of there, though it sounds like a fine place! You and I will keep on truckin’ for Andreas, Jacob, ‘Tina and Noah—and of course for Stephanie and Jerry.
Shelley Picou|Mar 19, 2018
WOW! Sending you love and prayers. Glad you are surrounded by lots of family. Much love, Shelley and Tony 💕
Jen Larsen Newburg|Mar 19, 2018
We are sending you so much love and strength! You are in our hearts and minds, and we are so glad that you have excellent care.
Marsha Foss|Mar 19, 2018
Thank you for keeping us all informed. You are both in my laps (swimming laps for you with extra energy). Love, Marsha
Mary Lundberg|Mar 19, 2018
UFFDA Nancy!!! I am so thankful for the amazing medical care and Gods healing grace you are getting!!! Blessings and love, Mary
Linda Silver|Mar 19, 2018
I love that you call your ICD, ” Fiona”! When Spence had an early model in the early 90s, it was the size of a pack of cards in his belly. When that thing went off it was indeed like getting kicked by a team of horses. So glad that Fiona was alive and kicking! Love to you both, Linda
Liz Hawkinson|Mar 19, 2018
Prayers and warmest wishes for your healing. Glad the kids are with you and Steph. Love to you all!
Lisa Webster|Mar 19, 2018
We are praying for you! Love you lots! Sounds like you didn’t miss much in last night’s Gopher game. I was too tired to stay awake for a 9:30 game. Checked the score this morning. Ouch!
Kari Lipke|Mar 19, 2018
Joanne and I pray for your strong recovery, Nancy.
Gloria Betcher|Mar 19, 2018
I’m relieved to hear that Fiona did her job and that Nancy is resting well, Stephanie. Even though I’ve never met your lovely wife, I’ll be sending positive vibes from Iowa to get her on her feet again. ~~~~~~~~ There are so many better ways to spend time in Scottsdale!
Tara Daly|Mar 19, 2018
Thank heavens for good friends like Fiona!! I am Glad you are there and in such good hands… medically and with family! Our thoughts and prayers are with you… keep up the good work, Fiona!
Su Smallen|Mar 19, 2018
Goodness Gracious! Thank you Stephanie for posting this and for being there – again – to call 911. Nancy! I’m glad you are in good hands, and you have family around you. I hope you get good rest, and heal! A prayer and a hug for each of you!
Lynn Kier|Mar 19, 2018
I bow down to FIONA!! Thank you for the update. I am grateful she is surrounded with so much love. HUG
Debra Taylor|Mar 19, 2018
Sending healing wishes to Nancy. You are both blessed to have each other to take such good care of the other.
Judith Tande|Mar 19, 2018
It seems like just yesterday that we were all at the zoo in San Diego and you were telling us how wonderful it was that Fiona had never had to activate! We’re so sorry that you both had to go through this but glad that you’re in such good hands medically and surrounded by loved ones. Sending love and prayers to you.
Randi Jeeps|Mar 19, 2018
Sending lots of love to you all. What a lovely big extended family…including the shocking Fiona! Keeping you all in our thoughts and wishing you all the best.
jeb media|Mar 19, 2018
So very sorry to learn that Nancy is in the cardiac ICU. I am guessing that means you haven’t heard the latest basketball news. So here it is: Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota and Ohio State won their opening round NCAA tournament matchups Friday and Saturday to advance to the Round of 32. My Terps fell to NC State and Baylor beat Michigan. Your Gophers saw their run come to an end after a 101-73 loss to second-seeded Oregon Sunday night in Eugene. But that was the best finish for you in nine years. Ohio State plays Central Michigan tonight. I’m guessing they will make it to the Round of 16. I’m hoping Nancy will be able to watch the Elite 8 , Final 4 and Championship game. Sending lots of love and healing energy to you both.
John Eric Rolfstad|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy and Steph—Thank you for the detailed information on Nancy’s condition. Thank God for Fiona! I am so glad Nancy is getting top-notch care and being surrounded by family. I hold you both in my heart and in my prayers.
Mary Ellen Erlandson|Mar 19, 2018
Sending prayers for healing and hugs your way. Take care. Thanks for the update.
Susan Donohue|Mar 19, 2018
Well that’s a helluva way to finish your winter vacation! Not so relaxing. It must have been frightening for you both. I am so sorry, Nancy. You are in the best of care, and loving arms. They will get it all figured out and you will be on to your next adventure. Meanwhile, Fiona is my new hero. Much love and many, many blessings on you. You are in my thoughts.
Barbara McCauley|Mar 19, 2018
Startling events! Wow! Dear precious Nancy, know that you in our prayers, on our hearts! Lovingly, Barbara and Gary
Joan Haan|Mar 19, 2018
So grateful Fiona is “faithful 💯 “
Sending prayers for strength and healing,
Joan & Phil
Heather Campbell|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy and Stephanie: I’ve been thinking about you all day. I hope that this all is quickly resolved, Nancy heals, and you can be off exploring and having new adventures. Thank you for the information, as I”m sure that this is an extremely difficult time. Best, Heather Campbell
Marcia Swinney-Shay|Mar 19, 2018
I’m so thankful for Fiona–however painful her shocks may have been. Sending lots of love, prayers, and healing energy your way.
Georg Ann Burns|Mar 19, 2018
Love and prayers to you both and your loving families. I’m stopping short of blaming this on the leprechauns. 😁😁😁. Much love from here.
Claudia Gordon|Mar 19, 2018
Wow! What an unexpected e-mail! Your emotions have gone into overdrive and understandably so. Thank you Fiona and thank you Stephanie! What life savers! My positive thoughts and prayers go out to all of you! ……Claudia
Lisa Cohen|Mar 19, 2018
Amy & I are thinking of you and sending positive energy your way. So glad you were close to great medical care.
Phyllis Zumach|Mar 19, 2018
Way to go, Fiona! When we first started reading your posting we thought, “What an unusual name for a medical device. Those marketing departments are very creative.” Quickly realizing, though, where the creativity lies. Our prayers are that Nancy’s recovery flows as smoothly as Stephanie’s writing. You are wonderful people.
Phyllis and Allen
Melanie Ruda|Mar 19, 2018
We are praying with you this evening and always. A team of two more tenacious, loving, joyful, faithful women would be hard to find. May you both, and all who surround you, receive what you need to sustain you in these challenging days.
Peace and love, Katia and Melanie
Sue Smith|Mar 19, 2018
Love and hugs Nancy! Fiona, you rock! Thank you for the updates Stephanie.
Nonny Smith|Mar 19, 2018
Prayers for healing being offered!! Good that Fiona can take a little rest, but also good that she doesn’t seem to get tired!! May you both be surrounded with love and faith. Blessings to you two, and to all of your gathered family!!. Nonny and Murray
Heather Ferguson|Mar 19, 2018
Hi Nancy and Stephanie, thoughts + prayers to you and the whole family. So glad you were with family, and that your kids/their spouses are there now too. Take care, love to all!
Denise Swanson|Mar 19, 2018
So glad the device works and you are there for her. Glad they could relieve her pain, the horse kicks are for real. Will keep you all in our prayers.
Laureen Schott-Jacobson|Mar 19, 2018
Sending prayers for healing and a quick recovery.
Steffen Foss|Mar 19, 2018
Sending love and hugs to you both! I am always thinking of the two of you this time of year as the WBB tourney kicks into gear. Such fond memories of watching games together and enjoying great company. Best wishes for a quick and successful recovery, Nancy.
Lori Best|Mar 19, 2018
So grateful for such amazing medical technology and good care. Sending prayers of healing, patience, and smooth/swift recovery….
Brenda McKinney|Mar 19, 2018
Thank you for flagging this on Facebook. Sending positive thoughts and strength. You’re all in my thoughts and prayers.
Tara Daly|Mar 19, 2018
Love and lots of prayers from Dolly and Gary as well… they couldn’t open the caring bridge page so I read it to them and will keep them updated and they will keep praying!!
Kim Hegge|Mar 19, 2018
My thoughts and prayers are with you both. Nancy is a stubborn Norwegian so I think things will be fine. Vikings rules!
Erica Kragerud-Smith|Mar 19, 2018
Sending lots of thanks for technological advances and more prayers for continued healing Nancy! Sending strength and patience to Stephanie, the nurses, doctors and all those taking care of you too!
Dolores Peters|Mar 19, 2018
Nancy, Nancy, Nancy! It’s not good to scare the stuffing out of us on campus. Hugs & kisses from the DH Team! We–and anyone else on campus who’s gotten the news–are all thinking of you and Stephanie and your families. I hope you get the OK from the docs soon. And please tell Fiona the over-achiever that she should behave herself. Here’s to a clean bill of health very soon! Dolores
Maria Kelly|Mar 19, 2018
Peter and I are thinking of you both and hope Nancy is back to full strength soon. Team Mostly Goats has many more rounds of trivia to win and we need her!
Love, love, love, from Michigan.
Kelly Kloos|Mar 19, 2018
Thinking of you! Sending healing prayers and hugs your way Nancy.
Kathy Olsufka|Mar 19, 2018
Thanks for letting me know about Nancy. So glad Fiona is watching out for her but tell her to just hang around and give her a break. Hugs to both of you. 😷😧💉🚑🏥get better soon! Kathy
Martha Morrow|Mar 19, 2018
Sending love and healing vibes from St. Peter . Nancy, I really had fun watching the Norwegians do so well in the Olympics🎉
Anna Rustad|Mar 19, 2018
I was surprised to see this post, and thank god for Fiona! I hope for continued healing and comfort, no more shocks. All of my love to you both.
Nancy Montgomery|Mar 19, 2018
Oh, my gosh! Thanks for Fiona! Give her our love. How thankful we are for the wonderful medical facilities and the staff that are caring for her. Our love to you, too, Stephanie, as you care for the love of your life. We love you. Nancy and Chris
Jan Yaeger|Mar 19, 2018
Hi Nancy – It’s Bruce’s cousin Jan, sending lots of good thoughts from Alaska! I am happy to hear Fiona did her job but I hope you and she can get back to a more peaceful and comfortable co-existence soon!
Terry Kenck|Mar 19, 2018
Dear Nancy, Praying for your quick and complete recovery and stunned by news of this episode. You are such a special person to me; I always love the family events when our paths cross and we get to talk a little. I am glad you have so many of your beloved family right there with you. My Dad went over to be with your Dad today , he told me, as we all wait for further news and hopefully good news of your recovery. God bless and hold you close. Love , Terry
Elaine Kinnard|Mar 19, 2018
We are praying for you, Nancy!
Dana Whitford|Mar 19, 2018
Sending healing thoughts and good energy your way! You still owe me a visit when you are out here!😄
Andrea Nixon|Mar 21, 2018
Thank you so much for the account and updates, Stephanie. Our love to you both!
CaringBridge journal entry by Stephanie Fay — 8/9/2016
Nancy slept off and on overnight after a sweet, laughter filled day. Sounds like the plan today is to have two MRIs — one of her heart and the other of her brain. Then we’ll go from there. Still no clear answers about why this happened. The MRIs may shed some light. The main cath lab doc who worked on her right after she arrived on Friday said it may just remain a mystery. Either way (explanation or no explanation), she will likely leave the hospital with an internal defibrillator which will automatically shock her heart should she ever go into VFib again.
Another of her docs today said folks with her sort of cardiac arrest often spend two weeks in the hospital and then two more weeks in rehab. He then said he expects Nancy’s trajectory to be shorter. It’s nice to have some sort of expectation but, naturally, we will take it day by day.
Nancy’s voice is returning, and she’s been busy schmoozing her nurses, especially in her quest for ice chips. Nothing by mouth until she has a swallowing assessment — standard procedure after ventilator removal. But she has been able to have a few ice chips, which she savors like crazy.
We both thank you for all your love and support. I’ve been reading a few of your posts to her. And we will definitely read them all in the days ahead. Together. I like that together idea a lot.
CaringBridge journal entry by Stephanie Fay — 8/8/2016
They removed her respirator. She’s doing SO well!!! Whispering to us. Her voice is hoarse from the tubes. She is an amazing patient. Her nurse will get her up and moving about in a few hours. We can hear you all cheering from here!!!
CaringBridge journal entry by Stephanie Fay – 8/7/2016
This is Stephanie again, and this part of post is from earlier today. It was a comment to Tonya’s post and Robin requested that I move it to a journal entry….
Hello again all, The removal of the tubes went very well this morning. Now Nancy will rest under heavier sedation for 6 hours. Until 6 or 7 pm. Then she will return to her previous level of sedation until tomorrow morning when they will remove her ventilator. Then she will be able to talk with us again. Although they said it will be normal for her to be quite confused early on, I can’t wait for that! So lots of good, deep rest today for my bride. Thank you for all your kind words. I was telling my bff Maria that our grandniece Evie really loves her Besta (Evie’s name for Nancy, short for Grandma in Norwegian). Maria reminded me that EVERYBODY loves Nancy. Which is just so true, isn’t it? More tomorrow. Steph
It’s now coming on 8 pm. All going smoothly. A day of deep rest for Nancy. Our favorite overnight nurse, Jordan, is on with Nancy tonight. He’s especially wonderful and this makes us all extremely happy. Tina and Jess and Tonya will stay overnight in the hospital w Nancy tonight. Jen and I and others will sleep a deep sleep and then all be back in the morning for the all important ventilator removal. Ask the universe and God and anything you ask such things of to keep Nancy from being too afraid. Jen and I will be in the room while they do this maneuver. Hopefully to help calm Nancy. Tomorrow Nancy talks to us again. Yes!!! Good night, sleep tight. Oh, and we can feel all your love and support washing over us. Thank you so much. We love you all right on back.
CaringBridge journal entry by Tonya Katcher – 8/7/2016
This is Tonya writing – I’m Stephanie’s niece and a pediatrician who trained in this very hospital not too many years ago. I’m so glad to be here with all of the family, surrounding Nancy and Steph in a web of love and support. Thank you to all who have commented so far.
I’m going to give a little more medical overview of what we know so far, hopefully translated into plain English (which docs are notoriously bad at doing!)
Nancy had a cardiac arrest on Friday morning, which means her heart stopped effectively pumping blood to her body. It seems that she had an arrhythmia called ventricular fibulation, or V-Fib for short. At this point we don’t know what caused this event to happen – most of the time it’s due to a blockage of the blood vessels that feed the heart muscle (aka a heart attack or myocardial infarction) but Nancy does not have any of this blockage, so that’s not the cause in this case. We’re going to investigate further as time goes on, but need to help Nancy get through the aftereffects of this event first. Luckily, Stephanie was with her, and called 911 right away, and started CPR right away – all of which are needed for good outcomes after an event like this. She had a second brief episode of V-Fib in the ICU and was resuscitated again on Friday afternoon with Steph and Dre and Cynthia bearing witness. At that point it looked like she might need to go on cardiac bypass to take over for her heart for a while, but her heart stabilized and that wasn’t necessary. She did have a balloon pump placed in her heart to support its pumping, and that has been in since Friday afternoon.
Things quieted down Friday afternoon and evening, once the pump was in, and all of the things supporting Nancy’s body were in place. She was awake some then as they worked to find a recipe for sedation that would keep her comfortably asleep. She’s been mostly sleeping since then, though opening her eyes at times and responding to directions from the nurses (like squeezing hands, coughing, etc). She’s had amazing, attentive, loving nursing care, and has been surrounded by family and support.
Nancy has needed a lot of support – to support her heart’s pumping, to keep her blood pressure up, the ventilator to breathe for her, oxygen to ease the work on her heart and brain. However, her body has been giving steady signals all along that it’s ready to do all of the things bodies do all on her own, so the process now is one of gradually reducing the supports and letting her body take over.
Her heart function is normal, meaning it’s beating with a normal rhythm and is effectively pumping blood throughout her body. The doctors have turned off the balloon pump for brief episodes as a test and her rhythm and blood pressure were steady. They’re planning to take the pump out this morning, which is a bedside procedure. They’re also going to take the big fancy IV’s out of her groin/femoral arteries now, once they get another fancy IV placed in her wrist (that they’re using to monitor her blood pressure).
She is on a ventilator to help her breathe, but the nurses are steadily turning down the amount of support she’s getting from the vent, and she’s tolerating that just fine. They’ve also been able to turn down the oxygen. All of which means her lungs are functioning well. She has had a fever off and on, and think she may have a little pneumonia – but she is on strong antibiotics and her lungs are not showing signs of distress, so I think this is not a big worry right now.
She has been on medications to keep her blood pressure up, as it was too low right after the cardiac events on Friday. These “drips” have been regularly turned down, and now she’s getting minimal support – also a good sign that her heart and her vascular system is working properly.
It took a while to find a good level of sedation to keep Nancy comfortable, but she’s been sleeping comfortably since Friday evening. All of the indicators of her neurologic function have been reassuring. She has been on a continuous EEG brain monitor, and hasn’t had any seizures. The doctor expects that she may have a little bit of injury to her brain due to the periods of cardiac arrest (when the brain isn’t getting as much blood flow as it really needs) but he expects that she will recover. She may have some short-term memory problems or coordination problems initially, but this will likely improve with time.
All in all, despite a terrifying acute cardiac event, all signs are pointing us to be hopeful. The doctors have been really clear that there is still possibility of setbacks and complications, and that this is going to be more of a marathon than a sprint. The immediate next steps are to take out the heart pump and the big IVs in her groin (after which she needs to rest for 6 hours before taking next steps). Then we hope to turn down the sedation so she can wake up a bit and get the breathing tube out. The doc thinks the breathing tube MAY come out tonight, or more likely tomorrow morning. Once those two things are out, the team wants to get an MRI of Nancy’s heart, and possibly a biopsy of her heart tissue, to further investigate the underlying cause of the initial event.
But that’s a day or a few days down the road at least. At the moment, we remain here at Nancy’s side, holding her in love and light. We are grateful for the skilled and kind care we have received, and for Nancy’s strong and beautiful spirit. We are celebrating the many small blessings and victories that have happened so far, and the many ways that Nancy’s body is responding and healing already.
Thank you for following along, for praying and sending woo, for reaching out and holding Nancy and Steph in your hearts. Many people have asked how they can help – we will definitely send out a call if we ned some material support (food, rides, etc). I will update again as I have more information, and am happy to respond to questions if folks want to post them in comments.
CaringBridge journal entry by Stephanie Fay – 8/6/2016
Dear Friends and Family,
Stephanie writing now. Other family members will also update on this site as we go along. I know many of you are waiting patiently for an update.
Nancy’s current status: She is resting comfortably in the Cardiac ICU at the University of Minnesota Hospital (East Bank). She is sedated now and has been all along. She has a breathing tube and as well as other machines, including one to support her heart. Occasionally she wakes up a little bit, can look at us, squeeze a nurse’s hand, etc. They want her to rest and remain calm. This has been her main job since yesterday late afternoon after they got her stabilized. Tomorrow it is possible they will begin to remove some of her machines. The goal eventually is to remove everything necessary to MRI her heart.
No one knows why she went into cardiac arrest twice yesterday. She does not have a blockage of her heart; she did not have a heart attack..They knew that pretty much right away in the cath lab. So no explanation of why this happened. At least not yet.
The doctors have been very positive about how she is faring so far. Most everything has gone her way, I believe one doctor said today. I’ll have my niece Tonya (who flew in from the east coast last night) update more about the medical aspects later tonight or tomorrow. She’s an MD. My sister Cynthia is an MD, too, and has been here a lot yesterday and today with her spouse Kit.
So who else is here? Nancy’s son Dre, who lives in MN now, arrived almost right away yesterday. Nancy’s daughter Tina and her fiancé Jess flew in from Seattle yesterday early evening. Nancy’s sister Jennifer arrived from California later last evening and pretty much sat up with Nancy all night while several of us caught a few winks in the family lounge just down the hall. Other friends and family have been in and out as well, including Tina and Dre’s dad Bruce. And our Pastor visited Nancy last night.
Tonight Jennifer and I will try to sleep all night at our house while Tonya stays in the ICU room with Nancy overnight. At least until Nancy is off the respirator, I’d like her to have a family member here with her in the room. Comfort for me for sure and, I believe, comfort for Nancy, too. She may not remember later, but she knows we are here now. Nancy’s nursing care here in the ICU is one-on-one. Amazing. Just incredible.
So what happened yesterday? Nancy and I have both had kinda nasty colds all week. Yesterday I woke up after her and she was sitting at the kitchen table working on her textbook. She looked like she was feeling better and reported feeling pretty good. We had coffee together. An hour or so later she was in her recliner in the living room, still working on her puter. She complained twice of feeling nauseated. We talked about that a little. I was getting ready to go out for about an hour or so. Then she said “I’m going to throw up” and came forward out of her chair. She wound up face down on the floor, and I couldn’t rouse her. I could see she was getting blue in the face, so I called 911. That was at 9:45 AM. After opening the front door, I flipped her over and, with the coaching of the 911 operator, began chest compressions. Her color improved almost immediately. The paramedics where there under 10 minutes is my guess. They took over and had to shock her heart 5 times to get it going again, which happened, as I understand it, in the ambulance just as we were leaving the house.
She went directly to the cath lab upon arrival at the U of M Hospital. No blockage found. Stabilized her and moved her to the Cardiac ICU. Around 3 o’clock she went into cardiac arrest again. There was very brief but very furious activity in her room (15 to 20 people in here!), and they got her heart going again. But her blood pressure was poor. So they prepared to take her back to the cath lab. The doctor said they would likely need to put her on a bypass machine to pump her heart for her. But she improved while they were prepping her, so they were able to use an intermediate intervention with a balloon pump up near her heart. I’ll let Tonya tell you more about all that.
Then back up to the ICU unit by 6 pm or so. They worked to get her calm and sedated and things have been real calm for her ever since.
So we’ll see what tomorrow brings. She is not clear of the cardiac woods yet. Yesterday I thought three or four times, this is going to be the day my sweet Nancy dies. Today my feeling is that she will live. She’s tougher than you might know or think. Pray for her to be strong. Pray there are no insurmountable setbacks. The doctors say this will be a marathon, not a sprint.
More tomorrow or the next day from me. More from others soon, too, probably. We thank you for all your love and support.