Details of Loretta's illness and medical treatment

Charlie and Loretta Wear

This photo of Loretta and I was taken outside of our home in Moreno Valley by our good friend Bill Dahl.

It started with the flu, at least that is what we thought. A week ago Saturday was the annual grandkids birthday party. Last week we found out that all of the grandkids had the flu and a week ago Tuesday we kept Ben out of school with a small fever and a cough. On Wednesday Loretta was experiencing mild symptoms. We were treating Ben with over the counter symptom relief, watching his fever, making sure he got plenty of fluids. If you have had a bout of this flu, there usually comes a point when it puts you to bed, especially if you are an adult. On the other side, fevers break, symptoms subside and eventually (maybe over weeks) you are back on your feet.

Loretta began running a high fever which we were managing. She had a cough and a lot of congestion. Really, at no point did we consider going to the doctor, as if it is a viral infection there is really nothing to do but ride it out. But Loretta’s condition did not improve. We managed the fever, but her congestion and coughing got worse. On Tuesday Loretta was in a lot of distress. By Tuesday evening she was working hard to breathe. About 9 p.m. Tuesday night we got her dressed, in the car and to the emergency room at the Riverside County Regional Medical Center in Moreno Valley. From the time we wheeled her into the ER doors it was only a matter of minutes before she was in a bed with doctors and nurses struggling to bring her back into balance. Her oxygen levels were low, they immediately but her on a ventilator. Her blood pressure was extremely low and her heart rate was rapid.

She was near death when we brought her to the ER. After about two hours of multiple intravenous medications, breathing support, and excellent work she was in critical condition but stable. Her blood chemistry was off. Her blood pressure was down (it never really recovered.) I was near her during most of this treatment and sat by her bedside when the activity had slowed down and she was being prepared for transfer to intensive care. She had been sedated for the ventilator and for installation of a central line. I prayed, and hoped.

After they moved her to the intensive care unit I was placed in the waiting room. About 4 a.m. I got my first report from the doctors treating Loretta. All of the physicians were very professional and straightforward. To all of the medical personnel, nurses, ER techs, respiratory techs, it was clear that my wife was in a life-threatening situation with a grim prognosis. Her lungs had continued filling with fluid and she was placed on an oscillating ventilator. I called Loretta’s daughter, Elaina, and told her what the doctors told me, they didn’t know if she was going to make it.

Elaina arrived with her brother, Nathan at about 7 a.m. She got in to be by her mother’s bedside a little after 8 and I came in a bit after. The doctors report was straightforward. They were doing and would continue to do all that they could do, but the situation had deteriorated to a point where a turn around was needed. She was in respiratory failure and kidney failure. They were treating her with wide spectrum antibiotics. The doctors knew that it was only a matter of time before Loretta’s heart would stop as well.

The doctors asked if we wanted her to be resuscitated if her heart stopped. Loretta was only 47 years old and as far as we know, had been healthy only ten days ago. I told the doctors I wanted them to try and so when her heart failed around 9:30, they did with full code blue response. They brought us in while they were working on her. They had been at it about 15 minutes. After a prolonged period of such efforts there is a law of diminishing returns. They asked us to decide if we wanted them to go forward. we told them they could stop. She did regain a pulse for a short period of time but when her heart failed again she was gone.

Loretta came to the ER near death and she fought along with all of the help that medicine could provide but we lost  her around 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 14.

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18 comments on “Details of Loretta's illness and medical treatment

  1. Again, Charley, my heart is broken for you. I spent some time in tears yesterday. I know loss and this one affected me strongly.

    She looked so young and vital. Wish I had known her. We haven’t seen each other since ’94. I suppose you were married after that date.

    In these times, people almost always say “whatever I can do, let me know”. I feel like blurting that out too. I will keep you in my prayers.

    If you want to talk, I am reachable at 918-687-0390.

    God bless you, Newburian,

    Daniel Leedham

  2. Weeping Charlie…so damn shocked…so … so… so… Still recall the day we spent together at your ranch last October – how happy Loretta was…how happy you two made Reggie and me. Can still taste those double-doubles from INN-N-OUT…remembering how I called Jacki after we departed your place and shared with her “what a really cool woman Loretta is…how blessed Charlie is – how those two compliment one another.” How wonderful it was to be with you both!!!

  3. Charlie ~ I echo Bill’s words. We are is such deep shock over Loretta’s death. We are praying for you & Ben for comfort and peace.

  4. I am so sorry to hear about this. I fancy myself a writer, but words fall short in something like this…

    Know that our prayers go out to you and your family.

  5. I love you brother, and I’m praying for you and Ben and Loretta’s other children. I am so sorry you and yours have to go through this.

  6. Pingback: Bill Dahl » Blog Archive » In Memoriam – Loretta Wear – 1965 – March 14, 2012

  7. Pingback: In Memoriam – Loretta Wear – Beloved Wife of Charles Wear – March 14, 2012

  8. Dear Charlie,
    I am Ronnie Watson’s (and Shelley’s) cousin in Florida.
    I learned you had lost your wife through Vic’s FB post yesterday. Tonight I read you account of what happened to her. I am so very sorry. This is just unbelievable. That she became so ill so fast.

    I wanted to send you my condolences and deepest sympathy during this very sad time.

    Judi Frazier

  9. I send my deepest condolences to you and your family. I just wanted to let you know you are in my prayers. While there is so much I cannot understand at times, I always remind myself to trust God. So, I keep praying that He comfort and console you through this journey. If I can ever pray for anything specific let me know.

  10. I experienced the same thing…terrible flu-like symptoms…seemingly getting worse by day 5. I had all the symptoms that your wife had….went to the emergency room….really sick on Friday….was in terrible distress by late Sunday night. Long story short…ended in angioplasty. Never been in the hospital for anything. It was sudden….no warning. I almost died. I was in the hospital for 4 days. My heart goes out to you and I’m sorry for your loss.

  11. Charlie, I can only sit in shocked silence in witness of your sudden loss. May those around you give you the space of silence and the blessing of company, according to your needs. Grace and mercy and peace to you and all the family, brother.

  12. I am deeply saddened by your loss of Lorretta. I still can’t get over it and am praying that time calms your saddened soul and rejoycies in the many loveing memories you shared together. There will be a day when you will meet again! May your and my God bless and keep you and your family close through the days ahead.

  13. Dear Charlie, I just saw your post on FB a few moments ago and read your beautiful eulogy of your dear wife. Have not seen you since Newbury years, but wanted to send you condolences for the sudden and shocking loss of Loretta. You two obviously shared a wonderful life together. May God comfort you and keep you strong in your knowledge that you will see her again. Many good thoughts go out to you. So sorry for your loss. Cathy Conrad (Cate Jones)

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