Sheila K. Watkins is my big sister. She is exactly six years and one day older than me.
We also have another sister, Laura, who is in the middle.
This all began on March 15, 2017.
I got a phone call from my niece telling me that they think her mother had a stroke and had coded at the hospital.
Her husband found her unresponsive and an ambulance took her to a nearby hospital.
From there, Sheila was life-flighted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage, which is a rare type of stroke caused by an aneurysm.
Two drainage tubes were inserted into her brain to relieve pressure.
A coil was inserted into the aneurysm to prevent anymore bleeding from that site.
Approximately a week and a half after the initial stroke, one of the blood vessels in her brain spasmed so another surgery was performed to keep that blood vessel from closing up completely and causing another stroke.
She was able to have the left drain tube removed and it was discussed putting a shunt instead of keeping the right drain tube.
Then bacteria was found in the right tube and a procedure was done to replace it.
The bacterial infection is in her spinal fluid and it has been a battle to defeat it.
An MRI was done and a pocket of fluid was found in the cerebellum, which is near the base of the skull.
Yet another surgery was done to drain as much of that fluid out and hopefully get rid of the infection.
During this procedure, they removed the right drain tube and put another one on the left side.
Currently, the amount of bacteria found seems to be going down.
After three and a half weeks in the ICU, she has been moved to the step-down unit. The step-down unit is for patients that need a lot of care still, but are considered stable.
Sheila is 51 years old, married and the mother of three children and grandmother of two. She had been homeschooling her 14 year old son.
Along with homeschooling her son, Sheila has a jewelry making business~ Stone Circle Designs.
She is also the author of a short story and had just written the first draft of a full-length book.
Iowa City is half-way across the state from her home so her family does not have a chance to see her as often as they would like.
Sheila is making some progress, but still faces a lot of time recovering and rehabilitating.
Unfortunately, that also comes with a lot of costs. We appreciate any kind of help you can give to Sheila and her family.