We have big news! We’re headed to Houston today. Francis and I decided that the best thing we could do last Friday morning was go ahead and make the transfer to MD Anderson Cancer Center (MDA) in Houston, Texas.
Doctors and medical staff at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital (TMH) were putting pressure on Francis to have a new IV line placed, and we didn’t feel comfortable with the speed with which they were moving. Francis also wasn’t fond of being stuck, and especially when he was a little concerned with the potential of the sticking being redone once he arrives at MDA if they wanted it done differently.
Paperwork started being written and processed on Friday (2/1). We knew things weren’t likely to move quickly because Karen Beaty (Dr. Keith Fournier’s PA), informed us that MDA’s hospital was at capacity with patients needing beds. A transfer was unlikely before Saturday or Sunday.
If you aren’t familiar with the hospital transfer process, it goes something like this…
The doctor here contacted the surgeon there to confirm he was willing to accept Francis.
After doctors speak, the doctor here tells the caseworker here to process the transfer. The caseworker speaks to the hospital there, faxes them paperwork and faxes paperwork to the transfer center at TMH. (Seems like we could find something more efficient, not to mention clearer for reading purposes, than fax machines. Wait a minute…didn’t we invent something called the internet?)
Then, the transfer center at TMH connects with the transfer center at MDA. Once a bed becomes available, MDA lets the transfer center at TMH know and the nurses on our floor get the call to finalize details and get Francis prepped.
We waited through the weekend, and found out Monday morning that MDA only had capacity to take emergency cases through the weekend.
Francis doesn’t qualify as an emergency patient because he’s stable and his symptoms and side effects of the intestinal obstruction are fairly easily managed. This is something for which we’re very grateful, but thoroughly unhelpful in speeding up the transfer process.
I stayed in email contact with Karen through the weekend and early this week. She told us Monday evening that Dr. Fournier was in contact with the transfer center at MDA to try and have Francis moved there in a day or two. Today is day two.
Very shortly, we expect to be transported to Tallahassee Regional Airport for an air ambulance transport to MDA in Houston. We have to be there by 5:00 p.m. Central Time for Francis’s bed reservation.
We aren’t sure what the rest of the day holds for us once we arrive in Houston, but we know we’ll be one step closer to Francis’s healing.
Surgery happens one week from today, so stay tuned for updates as we prepare for a long day on February 13 and the recovery that follows.
If you’d like to send mail to Francis in Houston, you can send it to
1333 Old Spanish Trail, #3127
Houston, TX 77054