Latest on Dave Hillman

February 25
Dave doing good… still linked up to lots of wires, tubes etc. They had to give him some more blood today… something to do with his blood pressure, I think.. these sisters in icu don’t like tell us anything! Doctors checked in on him again and still happy with progress of healing of flap and told Dave that he is over the half way mark now so by Saturday, we will know for sure if the flap/graft has taken.

Dave cannot wait to get out of hospital but think it’s going to be at least another weeks before this happens. The Physio has to teach him some exercises and get him up and mobile before he can be discharged. He can have visitors from tomorrow…. 10-11am, 3-4pm and 7-8pm. I’m not sure how strict they are in the new wing. Also not sure if he will be in a room alone as now that the wound is closed, he may not be a risk to other patients.

February 24
I visited Dave this afternoon and he is doing very well. Bit pale and blood pressure was abnormally low but when I called at 8.30pm tonight, the sister told me his blood pressure had normalized and he was fast asleep.

His first night in icu wasn’t that good as he hardly got any sleep… too noisy! They even tried giving him earplugs to help block out some of the noise.

He is still hooked up to all kinds of machinery that constantly reads his vital signs and he is being fed lots of antibiotics. In the one photo you can see that his knee is covered with a cream coloured rubber piece of dressing. He told me to lift it and look under it and there is a brand new knee! (makes a change from the gaping hole that I’ve been seeing so much of!) He said the flap came from the side of his right knee and then some more skin from upper thigh, so poor man has both legs bandaged up. He is on strong pain medication intravenously and orally, so pain is under control. He did say that he could feel a burning sensation on the side of his right knee, where they took the flap from.

Today is counted and day 1 in ICU so he will spend tomorrow and tomorrow night there too, and hopefully into Protea Ward by Friday. Dr Hoskins, his orthopedic surgeon visited today and told him that he is very happy with the outcome of the operation and that the pin fitted in nice a straight. This will stay in for minimum 3 months then he goes back in and they remove the pin and put in the new knee joint. In theatre, they took a photo of his right knee area and will use that in reverse to design a new prosthesis especially for him.

However, he did warn Dave that his new knee will be smaller in size and that there may be some issues with its’ weight bearing… and that Dave will most likely have to use a walking stick to lessen the strain on the new knee. He also said, NO RUNNING! So that puts paid to any more cricket or trying to chase someone etc. It will be a huge adjustment mentally and physically for Dave – not that he will let that get him down. He will just have to ‘think’ before he ‘jumps’ to do anything!  (he can umpire and score!!)

Then his plastic surgeon Dr Pienaar, came to check the flap and is also happy with the outcome and that the flap is warm to touch (alive) and bled when he nicked it slightly. This mean there is still good blood flow to the new flap. They used a new method of joining the main artery – latest technology – tiny ring that Dave said looks a bit like the ring they use on a pigeons leg to mark it. It somehow gets inserted into artery one end and ‘hooks’ it to the other end… so no stitches needed. He told Dave that they will know in the next 3 days if the flap has taken successfully.

He also had a visit from his cardiologist, Dr Milne… who asked Dave if he has been getting short of breath, to which dave said, yes. In fact this has been steadily getting worse but we put it down to the strain of having limited mobility with his leg and having to use the crutches to move himself around… very tiring for Dave . They had taken some chest x-rays and Dr Milne had a look at them and commented on the fact that his one lung looked smaller than the other…. No more was said and typical of Dave, he never questioned the doctor further! I will see if I can find out more about this tomorrow.

I am only allowed an hours’ visit in icu so will go again tomorrow afternoon. Hoping he will have had a good nights’ sleep and has his colour back.

Love to all and once again, thanks so much for all our prayers… they certainly helped!

Nikki Hillman

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About West Coast Rollers

Founded in the early-90s, the West Coast Rollers is a social cricket side that has become so much more than that - we are a brotherhood that just happen to be quite good at cricket and even better at drinking.
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