Dear Dhamma Friends,
It is with my heavy heart to update you on Sayadaw U Silananda's health condition now. Since my last update (July 3 '05), Sayadaw's condition is getting deteriorated slowly.
Countless weaning attempts to try to remove the ventilator have failed. Sayadaw can make spontaneous breathing (on his own) sometimes for a few minutes and sometimes for a few hours, but, never been able to sustain longer than 4 hours without agitation. Sayadaw is still in the Intensive Care Unit at Kaiser Hospital for 3 months now.
Although the last CT scan images that were taken a month ago didn't reveal any new tumor, doctors have cautioned me that the tentacle-like roots of Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) that were left behind in his brain would spread through the brain. They destroy the brain cells and would shut down the functions of internal organs.
Sayadw's internal organs started failing one after another right after my last update. First, his liver stopped producing albumin and his body became swollen. Doctors injected albumin once in a while, however, it lasts for only a few hours. Next, his stomach stopped functioning and the doctors have to feed him through the intravenous tube. Now, his bone marrow does not produce any new red blood cells and he is receiving blood transfusion every week. Since yesterday, his kidneys began failing and he started having jaundice.
Three weeks ago, doctors have found a drug resistant bacteria in his lungs. Because of that, Sayadaw is having fever and his body temperature goes up and down since then. Sometimes it went as high as over 103 degrees F and they have to wrap him with an ice blanket to keep the temperature down. The fever never went away completely.
Sayadaw is comatose now. The attending doctors in ICU infromed me that there is no hope for a come back. I have accepted the facts and although we all hope and pray for his recovery, it is time for us to let over beloved and revered Sayadaw go peacefully. I have changed his medical status from Full Code to Limitted Intervention which means that the doctors will do everything possible to keep him alive. However, if his heart fails, they will not try to revive it by cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) because of his ARDS and underlying GBM.
Sayadaw's nephew Dr. Than Htay from Myanmar will arrive here on Wednesday, August 10, 2005.