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Darlene. Thank you for the information you've shared as well as those who have dealt with this type of pneumonia. I do wish there were more research on it. I lost my mother to Hamman Rich Syndrome and I'm devastated. What we thought was just a bout of bronchitis coming on ( mom was susceptible to this as well as colds), was much worse than we could have imagined.

We begged mom to see her doctor, being mom, she said, I'm fine! Well, finally on 09.10.10, she went and the doctor would not let her leave the office after checking my mother out. Mom went to hospital via ambulance. We waited for 2 hours in the emergency room with her, the doctor explained her xrays showed she had double pneumonia, mom was admitted and we were led to believe she would be home by late the following week. After 3 days the doctors wanted mom moved to icu. We were told it was to keep a better eye on mom since the treatment wasn't going as planned. A pulmonary specialist ordered a culture that was sent to Mayo Clinic. From there, the daily xrays showed no improvement. The test results came back and it was the Specialist had suspected, Hamman Rich Syndrome. Though tough to fight, we had hope.

The lung doctor wanted to place mom on a ventilator to give her more oxygen and bring up her levels. After a day, the doctor decided mom should be placed in an induced coma. After two days of this, her white blood cell count skyrocketed, she had a fever off and on during this time, Mom also had a mild heart attack later in the week. All during this time they did take good care of mom. After that, the second week was hope, prayer and taking every bit of advice we could get. On 09.24.10, my family and I were told that since they had taken mom off the drug that induced her coma 4 days before, she wasn't likely to wake up. Also, her kidney's were failing. I refused to simply let her go. I wasn't going to even consider it until the pulmonary specialist came back (she had been gone for a week). This doctor called every morning and explained how mom was doing. She did the very best she could for my mom. When she did call on 09.27.10, she explained that after seeing mom's xray's with a fresh eye, the xray's were a thousand times worse. She also explained that mom wasn't going to wake up and when she was taken off the ventilator, she would pass away.

I asked the Specialist if there's any information on how my mother could have contracted this. She told me there wasn't much information available. She's right, I went all over the web looking for something, anything. There's not much out there.

This is the absolute worst thing I've ever had to do. My family and I were with mom when we let her go. Every day I ask, why didn't she listen? Why didn't she go to see her doctor sooner? I know that second guessing is natural. But I miss her so very much and only wish that there was something available that could have saved her life. If you know anyone who's ill and has those symptoms that seem mild but they're not quite sure, don't wait. See a doctor!

Thanks for taking the time to read my information.

December 6, 2010 - 8:28pm


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