Pulmonary contusion and ARDS from trauma in teenager. Recovery ??
My 16 year old was hit by a car 6 months ago. She was on life support for abt 2 weeks and spent 8 weeks under medical care. She sustained broken bones head to toe. She had aspirated and developed ARDS and also had pulmonary contusion and had both lungs collapse while on vent. She is a miracle and is back at school part time 4 months later. She still needs some surgeries for fractures in her ears and she lost all her top front teeth. All other broken femur and arm and skull fracture and facial fractures have healed. She is a miracle. However her lung recovery is something we can’t quit figure out. Pulmonologist says her last X-ray looks 100% normal. A pulmonary stress test does show pulmonary issues. She was in great physical shape and trained 6 days a week for her sport which was basketball year round since 5th grade. Her physical condition is one of the reason she survived. It’s is now six months after the accIdent and she can lift weights and train but nothing with conditioning or she has no oxygen reserves. Finding research on teenagers recovery with ARDS is almost non existent. She was improving at a steady rate and was able to do more and more. Started to basketball train again but has hit a wall and plateau for abt 2 months with no visible gains. Still can easily get out of breath. Though to someone who wouldn’t know her you couldn’t tell. Is leveling off normal? And should we see improvement again? Since she is young will she heal over time? No significant cough, no bringing up phlegm, just shortness of breath when she tries to do too much. She weight trains for an hour 2x per week. Her oxygen level always stays in 90s. When we push to hard and try some conditioning it sometimes will drop high 80s but recoveries within seconds after she stops. Within seconds (like 15) she is fully recovered w heart rate and oxygen back in mid to high 90s. Is that a positive sign? Or could she have long term irreversible damage. Accident was 6 months ago. In rehab she would get out off breath sitting up in bed and trying to stand to go to bathroom. She wasn’t able to walk down hallway very far without wheelchair behind her. Now she can hit layups and shot 3s and take stairs easily. So we have seen great improvements should we expect more. Pulmonologist didn’t want to do scan yet because she has been exposed to so much radiation as long as she was improving he felt we were heading in right direction. Sending us to Children’s Hospital in Rochester Ny (Strong) for help. Since it is a miracle she survived such injuries (car was going 40mph) she was walking our dog and she recovered at a rate that astonished the medical community it is hard to find research or baseline information on recovery. That is what our pulmonologist is struggling with. There are not many survivors like my daughter. I read you still produce new alveoli sacs until you are 25 yrs old. Is six months still early in her recovery to totally figure it all out since she is young.
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Hello, @bassman. Thanks for your posts, and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. First of all, as a parent, my heart breaks for you with your child having been hit by a car. I cannot imagine how painful that must have been for you.
Here is some information from Mayo Clinic on ARDS that may be useful to you: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/ards/symptoms-causes/syc-20355576
I’d also like to introduce you here on this thread to some members who may have some insights for you and your daughter, like @humeraawan, @kag13, @adc1981, @lbernardatmayocom, @sistergoldenhair, @hopeful33250, @llwortman, @windwalker, @kdubois, @dawnpereda, @techi, @lakelifelady, @edda and @kanaazpereira. Would you have any thoughts for @bassman about the lung issues mentioned or about the fractures and other trauma caused by @bassman‘s daughter being hit by a car?
Thank you very much. Main concern is lungs.
Welcome to Connect: I hope this will help you.
I can understand your pain going through this accident with your daughter. On Aug 15, my husband was in a serious crash, where the vehicle he was driving on the Salt Flats during SPEEDWEEK was
destroyed after hitting a salt pot hole, digging the nose of the vehicle into the salt, sending it 50 feet into the air, cartwheeling 4 times and then rolling 4 times to a stop going over 200 miles per hour.
He sustained 15 fractures including 4 broken ribs, 9 spine, knee patella and tibia and a TBI that required surgery two weeks ago, to relieve pressure on the brain. He is doing remarkable.
Ten years ago, I was diagnosed with lung cancer. I never smoked. I had a 3cm tumor and most of my left lung removed. I can understand very well the challenges your daughter is going through with the lung challenge.
I could not breath. Then Mayo Clinic and Dr Amit Sood afforded me the opportunity to be in the Paced Breathing Research Study. It literally saved my life. It was a slow process. However, the paced breathing dvd is now on my phone. I listen to it when I run, hike, ski, climb, bicycle and get stressed.
I have a feeling the drama of the mind and body may be a part of the challenge of breathing properly. I learned how to retrain my brain and body and sole. Let got of the challenge of living and now I live a great life…one day at a time. I ran a 5K race in 50 states beginning three years after surgery, then a 10K in every continent. I submitted Kilimanjaro in 2016.
I played the Paced Breathing on my iPhone, in the intensive critical near care unit when my husband was critical. The nurses said, what is that, your husband has stabilized in 15 minutes.
Please check out Dr Amit Sood at Mayo Clinic. He has a web site, And his book Happiness is a great introduction to getting a life back together. I have never met a kinder teacher than Dr Sood. If you live near Mayo Clinic he often speaks.
I believe in miracles too. We each have been blessed haven’t we? You deserve a cyber hug.
Lets stay connected.
To heal the trama and lungs, the paced deep breathing detailed information helps us learn how to relax our nervous system, mind and body which is healing for our lungs.
Thank you. I will check out your recommendation. We live in Albany NY
Good luck to your husband and his recovery. I’m sorry about his accident and injuries. Sounds like with you in his corner he will have ever advantage to getting well
@bassman, Hello, and welcome to Connect. Do you have a first name? Wow! What a blessing that your dear, sweet, daughter survived that accident. I looked up ‘ARDS’ and read about it. That is a very serious condition. I am thinking that for the extent of your daughter’s injuries, that six months is still not a lot of time behind her to be fully recovered. She is making miraculous strides, granted, but her body is still healing on the inside. I am sure you are running things past her doctors as far as what is a safe amount of exercise. I read that ARDS gets aggravated by inflammation. I have very sensitive lungs due to my diseases. What I have is failing aveoli, so it is similar to ARDS in a way. When the aveoli are compromised different things can bring on inflammation in my lungs. In my experience, the triggers are: strongly scented laundry detergents & softeners, especially Downey, scented candles, perfume, scented deoderant, room fresheners -very bad!, certain foods, cold air, residue burning in the oven or toaster, and of course smoke. Aveoli are delicate and tiny and need extra protection when compromised and trying to heal. It sounds like you may need a good talk with your daughter’s doctor about what progress to expect at this stage. Wishing you all the best, Terri
Thank you. My name is Shari. They keep telling me exercise is good. We have completely backed off anything that is conditioning or makes her oxygen level go below 90%. Now she just strictly PT which is lifting weights and stretching. She lost 20% of her weight and has muscle atrophy so we work w a nutritionist and almost have all her weight back on and her strength and muscles are coming back as well.
@bassman, Shari, you have one amazing daughter! Look at how far she has come in six months. Sounds like she is getting great care as well. I am sure you will see improvement week by week!
Hi Sheri @bassman, I was thinking about you and your daughter today. How is she doing?