Saturday, March 22

Hello friends and family-

I am writing to you all today to ask for your prayers and positive thoughts for Tyson. Tyson arrived in India last Thursday in extremely critical condition. His difficulty breathing was only exacerbated by the flight and elevation changes. Upon arrival to Nu-Tech, he was immediately given 3 bags of IV fluids and some oxygen. When he tried to lay down to sleep, he became unable to breathe almost entirely. They began stem cell injections right away and even after a day or two he attempted a session of physical therapy. The situation got increasingly worse as the hours and days went on and Tyson was unable to sleep and continued to struggle to breathe.

On Sunday, one of Tyson’s doctors at Nu-Tech called to explain their decision to move him to ICU at a larger hospital in New Delhi. They explained that at their facility, they would be unable to care for him at the level that he now required. The plan was to have him stay there for 2-3 days and sort of re-group himself (recover from his exhaustion and jet-lag) and return to Nu-Tech. As jarring as that was to digest, we all accepted it and off they went.

When they arrived at Apollo Hospital (one of the best in Delhi), Tyson and Dontay waited for several hours in the ER while Tyson was hooked up to IV and monitors. He grew increasingly uncomfortable and irritable to the point where he begged Dontay to begin to take all of the devices off of Tyson so they could leave. It wasn’t long after that they were finally given a room. The room was described as a “step down” from ICU and he shared it with 4 other patients.

What they discovered next is crucial: because of Tyson’s inability to breathe properly and efficiently, he has developed a build up of co2’s in his lungs. From what I understand, the excess co2’s can cause fogginess in the brain, slow down breathing altogether and can result in brain damage, coma or death. The normal range is between 35-45 and Tyson’s was coming in at around 115. Tyson’s weakened voice had been reduced to a whisper and eventually only the slurring of words. Tyson (and of course Dontay and Audrey) became very nervous and scared watching Tyson decline at a rapid rate.

Tyson was ordered to use the bi-pap machine, which works to remove the co2’s. As they leave his body, he is able to respond and function better. It’s a very large, uncomfortable and intense machine and Tyson was only able to manage a few minutes at a time (drs had ordered him to use it for several hours at a time). I asked Dr. Shroff to go give Tyson a pep-talk to try to encourage him to use the machine. She called Tyson, calmed him down and after speaking with another doctor, they decided he didn’t need the bi-pap as often bc his levels were decent. That made Tyson happy. She also told him he could come “home” to Nu-Tech the next day. That made Tyson even happier!

Around 2:00 am our time (their following day, aka checkout day) Audrey and dontay had called me bc Tyson’s co2 levels were elevated again to 125 and they weren’t sure what to do since they had been instructed that Tyson didn’t need the machine despite the fact that a few drs there said he did. Dr. Shroff then called me and we had a long talk.

She explained that Tyson needed to stay in ICU for 2-3 more weeks bc that was the amount of time that it would take to correct these out of control co2’s. I said, “Dr. Shroff–this will crush Tyson. He thinks he’s going home..” She explained that if he left, she could almost guarantee he would need to come back and that if anything happened to him at her facility, there wouldn’t be much they could do for him. She wanted Tyson in a facility where he would be monitored around the clock to be safe. She said he was in a critical state where it could go either way and it was best to keep him in ICU. She said she would continue his therapies there and once he was better, he could come “home”! Dr. Shroff asked me to come there as quickly as I could because Tyson needed me. I could already sense that he did, but hearing from her sealed the deal. She asked me to call and explain it to Tyson and help him understand that this was our only option. Naturally, Tyson was not thrilled and fought it for a minute but eventually said “whatever Dr. Shroff wants me to do, I’ll do”. Thank God.

My days are all sort of blending here, but I believe that the next day, 6 am our time, I received a call from Audrey and one of the drs caring for Tyson at Apollo. She told me that Tyson wasn’t responding to anything and was barely breathing. He was making no indication that he was present and could understand what was going on. The doctor asked me what I wanted to do. I listened to our options and gave him permission to intubate him and if that didn’t work, a tracheotomy. I also gave permission for a feeding tube. Basically, do whatever’s necessary to keep him alive.

Feeling completely numb, Audrey and I discussed everything and we were in agreement with the decisions I had made. Through their night, they had him hooked up to the bi-pap and he was able to do 5 hours and 38 minutes out of the 8 hrs prescribed which was outstanding. About an hour after being hooked up, I asked to speak w him, even though I knew he couldn’t respond. I told him how strong he was and how much Calvin and I loved him and needed him. Dontay told me that Tyson’s eyes opened when he heard my voice. A response, finally. Thank you, God.

I scrambled to get my affairs in order to head to India. We are truly, truly blessed with the most incredible friends and family who helped organize my last minute trip, expedite my visa, and help me get food to bring. My dad had come down earlier in the week and thank God for that. I was an absolute zombie and he took care of me and Calvin when I couldn’t function.

Currently, Tyson is stable. He is responding in a timely manner and his co2 level is around 60. He developed a fever so they think he has a chest infection and an ultrasound showed fluid in his lungs. They believe this is due to his shallow breathing and in theory, it should clear up as he improves.

I am about to board my plane in 30 minutes. Calvin is upstate with my parents and knows mommy is on a mission to see daddy and give him kisses. Tyson’s dad is on his way too in the next couple of days, once his visa arrives. Audrey and Dontay have been absolutely incredible in supporting Tyson. The conditions are less than appealing; sleeping in chairs and sometimes going days without sleep. This is a horrifying ordeal to witness and they’re both being very strong. I am 7 months pregnant at this point but my doctor gave me permission to fly. I did a test before I left (just a routine test I knew I’d miss while in was gone) and all is well. I’m 28 wks and will plan to stay with Tyson as long as he needs me, but I cannot stay longer than 35. I joked w him that I know how much he misses me, but this was a really crafty way of getting me to India 😉

I know I’m forgetting things…but basically know that Tyson is fighting. He is absolutely scared but I know he’s not going to give up. That’s not in his nature. Please continue your prayers. We appreciate all of your support.


12 thoughts on “Saturday, March 22

  1. I love my brother, my best friend and I know the fight in him. His spirit… Keep the faith and keep supporting each other. Whatever we can do

  2. Sending strength, love and prayer to the fowler family. Safe travels and speedy recovery.

  3. Thoughts and prayers to you all…my heart breaks for him..i remember watching him play basketball when he was younger at his cousins varsity games..laughing..running around..shooting hoops…I pray he gets this with his children..he has strong roots…amazing family support…and friends..I pray that god will get him through this to watch his children grow…guide them through this world…and be by your side for all your years…prayers…prayers…and more prayers…

  4. Stay strong and brave my friend. I know the strength, fight, and love you have in you and you will persevere and beat this. God bless to you and your family.

  5. Prayers for Tyson, we may not be with you physically, but we are with you in thoughts. The Fowler Family has a very large support group back in ol Canjo. May The Lord be with Tyson and his family.

  6. Everyone at HFM BOCES is praying for Tyson and family. Please reach out to us if there is anything we can help you with back here. Bless you all……Deb Henry

  7. Tyson got this. My family & I are all rooting for you guys. Tyson’s a fighter. I know this will all be better very soon. Stay strong bro!

    Thank you Anne for these incredible updates.

  8. I have known Tyson since he was a baby. I know there are numerous multitudes praying for him; I am one of them. While his condition is heartbreaking, his strength and the strength of all of you around him is strengthening to me as I endeavor to stand with all of you with the goal of seeing him TOTALLY restored. I have a certain empathy since my son is fighting a serious medical battle right now. I am getting encouragement from Tyson to continue to FIGHT and WRESTLE in prayer to see both of them,–by medicine and/or God’s power– DELIVERED.

    Peter Harrison (Camp Joharie)

  9. Thinking of you and your family. You are all in my prayers. Ann, I know how strong you are! I saw it everyday on the hockey field! Hang in there!
    Wendy Seifried

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