Hess family on the road to recovery

Staff writer

Life is almost back to normal for the family of 18-year-old Karly Hess, who had open-heart surgery July 15.

“She’s doing great,” mother Sherry said last week. “She has some pain and had some muscle spasms but is improving every day.”

The family returned from Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City late July 20.

Karly had been scheduled for surgery July 10, but it was pushed back after the surgeon became sick from food poisoning.

“It was immensely frustrating,” Sherry said. “He came in Monday special because we had been pushed back so many times. He said things went the best they could possibly go.”

Karly was in surgery for six hours. The first night afterward, she had to stay awake most of the night to make sure her lungs were working properly after being on a ventilator.

She spent five days in recovery, and after several clear x-rays was released.

“She’s been a good patient at home so far,” Sherry said. “She’s tired still, but she’s trying to fight her pain with mostly ibuprofen because she does not want to get addicted to pain meds.”

Because the surgeon did not do a blood transfusion during the surgery, Karly’s iron levels are low.

“We’ve been really health conscious and trying to eat foods high in iron,” Sherry said.

The family’s restaurant, Wagon Wheel Express, is closed while Karly recovers.

“We’re installing some new equipment and doing some rearranging, as well as some cleaning,” Sherry said.

A reopening date has not been set.

In the meantime, the family is getting much needed rest and catching up on episodes of “One Tree Hill,” Sherry said.

“We go see the cardiologist Thursday and hopefully he gives Karly a clean bill of health,” she said. “Until then we’re enjoying the family time.”

Doctors say Karly should be recovered enough to attend Manhattan Technical College as planned in the fall.

 

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