John Nowell

 John Passed away after a his long battle with heart problems.


Thom talked with Joan earlier today.. 

The trip from St. Louis to Kansas City was rough on John, however, he is getting settled in.  On the down side he has received five additional units of blood.  On the plus side, they are weaning him off the ventilator.  He had two, two hour "off the ventilator" sessions yesterday and had a four hour session earlier today, with another four hour session scheduled later today.


Shortly after the last update, John came down with pneumonia. As of noon Thursday, 7/07, he is in an ambulance on I-70 in-route to the Northland LTAC Hospital in the Gladstone area. The objective is to wean him off the ventilator and trach tube so he can start rehab.  The hospital address is 500 Northwest 68th Street, Kansas City, MO 64118.


Thom talked with Joan this morning. 

John is still in the cardiac unit, still has a tracheal tube which they think will be removed soon, and is still being fed intravenously.  He has received another 6 units of blood bringing his total up to 45 units.  He is walking some and the doctor indicates he is 80% of where he wants him be.  Joan thinks they will transfer John to rehab in a week or so. John really appreciated the card we signed at our 55th, and enjoys receiving cards and notes of encouragement. 


Thom got a call from Joan today with more encouraging news.

John was moved from the ICU to a room in the hospital cardiac unit today, almost seven weeks since they checked in.  Apparently the room has a place for her so she will be moving from the motel.

She thinks John will be there a week plus, then moved to an area where he will start physical therapy to get his strength back.


After 5 weeks in Cardiac ICU, John was taken off the ventilator on 5/15/11.  He is now on a trach collar with a speaking valve so he can speak to us a little.  The doctor says he will probably be in ICU for another 7 to 10 days.  Then he will need some in hospital rehab to gain back his strength, etc. 

He is standing/sitting up each day for a short period of time with the help of physical therapy. Everything is going fine from the heart surgery and replacement of the Aorta Arch. 

Thanks to everyone for the cards and prayers.   


Thom  received a call from Joan on Saturday.  John continues to make good progress.  He is still in the ICU but they are thinking he might be out in a week.


John had a little set back and is still in ICU. They had to take off so much fluid to get the swelling down to close his chest up after 3 days from surgery and in doing this he got dehydrated and the kidney functions/numbers went up a lot - needing dialysis. After 4 days of dialysis the numbers are coming back down. They will evaluate each day to see if more is needed.

The breathing tube was removed this Friday and they put in a Trach as he is on the ventilator. They are trying to wean him off slowly.

The doctor/surgeon says he will be in ICU for about another week or so until he is completely off the ventilator. He is doing well considering what he went thru.

Thanks for all your cards and prayers.



John had surgery on 4/13/11.  The surgery took 10-1/2 hours replacing the Aorta Arch and a heart bypass. In order to replace the Aorta Arch they had to deflate the lungs to get behind the heart to work on on the Aorta Arch.  They could not close his chest up for 3 days due to severe bleeding and to get the swelling to go down in the lungs.        

To get the bleeding to stop they used a drug called "Factor 7" used in the Iraq war.  The hospital has had it for a year and has only been used twice.  It worked.  He has been given a total of 33 units of blood.

He is still in ICU and will be there for about a week,  before going to the Cardiac Recovery Unit.  They told us it would be a long recovery.   We have lots of time.

Thanks,  Joan  
If you wish to send John a card:

John Nowell

Missouri Baptist Medical Center
Cardiovascular Unit
3015 North Ballas Road
St. Louis, Missouri 63131


As to the reunion,  Joan and I will not be able to attend in June.  On April 13 (not a friday), I will be in surgery in St. Louis.
Surgery is to replace the aorta arch because of an aneurysm in the dissected aorta.  Surgery will have me in the hospital for
approx. 7 to 10 days, but the recovery will take the better part of 60 days. 
Sorry I will miss you this year,  John Nowell

Please keep John and Joan in your thoughts and prayers as he goes thru this.