Florida Hospital Waterman | Waterman Wellness | Early WInter 2019
6 FHWaterman.com | Early Winter 2019 An acute case of the flu brought Michael to the only hospital in Lake County with the new life- support technology When Michael Reilly, of Grand Island, began experiencing chills and coughing last January, he brushed it off as a minor cold and waited a month before visiting his local walk-in clinic. “I never go to the doctor and didn’t have a primary care provider,” Reilly says. “The clinic gave me some medi- cine, but I didn’t get better.” In fact, Reilly got worse. He began to feel a tingly sensa- tion and eventu- ally fainted in his kitchen. “I called 911 and they brought me to Florida Hospital Wa- terman,” he says. “By then I had a high fever and chills.” Reilly was very, very sick with the flu. “I was in the hospital for four days before they decided to put me in a medical coma,” says Reilly. “They said my kidneys were failing.” Reilly remained in a coma, on ECMO life support, for 40 days under the watchful care of the staff in the intensive care unit. “ECMO stands for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, and we have been privileged enough to have this new equipment at our hospital,” says Laura Louis Guzzi, MD Michael Reilly was in a medically induced coma, on ECMO life support, for 40 days. Today, he is back to work with no restrictions. A lot of people die from the flu every year. Luckily for me, ECMO was here.” Everett, RN, Nurse Manager for the cardiovascular intensive care unit at Florida Hospital Waterman. “It provides an opportunity for people who have se- vere lung injury or heart injury to heal. The machine takes over—it rests those organs and allows the organs to heal.” “It is very exciting to have this avail- able for our patients. We are the only hospital in Lake County to have this advanced technology,” says Louis Guzzi, MD, Director of Critical Care Medicine at Florida Hospital Waterman. “We’re actually able to provide the highest level of care for people in our community without having to transport them to Orlando. This is a significant resource that makes a huge difference in continu- ity of care for patients and their families.” Reilly’s around-the-clock care included a team of therapists, nurses, physicians and perfusionists. When he was slowly awakened from his coma after 40 days, his lungs had dramatically improved. “I remember waking up in the hos- pital and eventually being transported to a rehab facility,” Reilly says. “I was supposed to stay there for a month, but I pushed myself to get better faster. I left rehab after 15 days.” But Reilly wasn’t completely out of the woods just yet. “I had physical therapy and home care nurses who helped me for about a month after I left rehab,” he says. “I had to learn to walk, sit and stand again.” Today, Reilly is back to work with no restrictions and says he now encourages his friends not to procrastinate about going to the doctor when they are sick. “I never went to the doctor for checkups or when I was sick,” Reilly says. “Now I have a primary care doctor, and I tell my friends to go get checked out when they aren’t feeling good. A lot of people die from the flu every year. Luckily for me, ECMO was here and kept me pumping.” ECMO kept me alive VISIT FHWaterman.com for more information on the latest technology.