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eferrara's avatar

How likely is it that she will pull through? Details inside.

Asked by eferrara (142 points ) December 19th, 2013

I found out that a good friend of mine from high school is very ill. We lost touch after graduation a bit but check up on each other every now and then. She has cystic fibrosis and every year around this time she ends up in the hospital with a lung infection of some sort. Last week she was admitted – Her oxygen stats had plummeted. They have had to keep her sedated and she is intubated. They are aggressively treating with antibiotics right now. She has been unresponsive all week. This is the worst it’s ever been. She is 22. I feel terrible but I’m starting to think this may be the end… can anyone shed some light on this? Also, what would you do in my situation? Should I try to visit her, or send something?

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6 Answers

CWOTUS's avatar

I’m sorry for your friend’s grave illness and dire straits.

Given her state as you have described, and the fact that she’s in a hospital – presumably in the Intensive Care Unit – and unresponsive, there’s nothing that you could send that would help her at this time. A visit, if you will even be allowed to make it into her presence, may be invaluable if she somehow does respond to your voice or touch. But that may be moot, since visitors often aren’t allowed into the presence of such an ill person (especially where respiratory illness and infection are present) because of the extreme likelihood that you may introduce some new pathogen, however unintended, which could tip the balance for her and cause her death.

However, I’m sure that her family would take some comfort that a friend is aware and cares about their daughter or sister. So I’d still suggest the visit. You may be able to bring them something, even if only your presence and an occasional cup of coffee or something.

Good luck to you, to them, and of course to her.

JLeslie's avatar

I think you should visit if you feel like doing so. I think the family will appreciate it and if you won’t have a regret about not going. If she does pull through she will know you came by. The hospital may not let you go very near her, be aware of that. Also, plan on a short visit, you’ll be able to tell if the family is receptive or not.

Do you know if possibly she is waiting for a lung transplant? I’m not sure if “unresponsive” means she is in a coma, or actually brain dead? I don’t know exactly what that term means medically.

I’m sorry your friend is so sick at such a young age, CF is brutal. :(

gailcalled's avatar

I would check with her immediate family before visiting. Respect their wishes.

ETpro's avatar

I can’t add anything instructive to what @CWOTUS and @gailcalled have said. All I can add is my sympathy for her, and for her family and you. I hope she responds to treatment. And for the sake of your friend and all others suffering with cystic fibrosis, I can add the hope that a cure is soon found, and that she is able to live a long and productive life. That hope is real.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Fuck it, if it’s me you better come see me and hold my hand for a bit. I don’t care if it kills me. Dying alone is way worse.

Smitha's avatar

I do urge you to visit. Just the “being there” or sparing some time definitely counts. You can go there and offer open ended support to her parents. It would be a relief for them. I had read about a recent development in CF treatment called Kalydeco. Currently, it only treats one particular gene mutation, but as others say there is always hope.

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