Colleen's Journey

Home Sweet Home

Friends and family,

We are so excited to be home.  It could not have happened without the resourcefulness, generosity, and sheer kindness of John Shufeldt.  As soon as he heard of our mom’s dire circumstances, he jumped into action and made her safe return to Phoenix possible.  We arrived at the jet to find out there was plenty of space for all of us, so, Mom, Billie, Kathy, Nicole, Chloe, Luke, Caleb, Pete, Blake, Lindsay (the amazing babysitter), and me, were all able to fit comfortably with John and the Angel Flight medic.

Getting Mom on the plane was most concerning.  She was extremely short of breath, gasping for air, and coughing.  After she was able to relax, everything went fairly smoothly.  John and the medic did an amazing job at making sure she was comfortable and safe.  She required ample oxygen as her saturation levels have been very low.  The plane itself was seriously amazing.  It was a Gulfstream G450, not a bad way to travel home.  If the circumstances were different, I am sure we would have enjoyed it much more.  More than anything we are grateful, from the bottom of our hearts, for our mom’s safe ride home.

When we landed in Phoenix around 3:30 a.m., we were greated by our amazing family (Grandma, Jim, Judi, Jeff, and Kaytie), as well as the paramedics.  Mom, Billie, and I headed to Scottsdale Osborn so she could be evaluated.  Her x-ray revealed more fluid build-up in both lungs, but more in the right than the left.  After she was settled and we knew she would be admitted, we all headed home to get some sleep because no one had more than a half hour on the flight.  I got home at 6:30 a.m. and woke up around 10:00 a.m.  While we were all home sleeping, mom’s pulmonologist had come to see her.  We anticipated that he would push for her to get the drains.  However, because the fluid is building up so quickly, the drain will make her more comfortable but will not slow down the build up.  Dr. Khalid now recommends that Mom undergo the pleuralodesis, first on the right and then on the left (not both in one surgery).  After some great thought and consideration, it appears as though Mom is going to agree to the surgery.  The surgery will be performed by a highly recommended surgeon, Dr. Ashton, tomorrow around 1:00 p.m.  Please keep your thoughts and prayers with her so that the procedure is uneventful and successful and her recovery is swift.

For those who would like to come visit, please give us a call or a text before coming by.  Mom is open to having visitors tomorrow morning, but we need to make sure she is not too overwhelmed and is able to get her rest prior to surgery.  After her surgery, she will not have visitors for the rest of the day so she can can begin her recovery.  We anticipate that she will be in the hospital for at least five days, maybe longer if she has the left side done during this admission.

Thank you again for all of your love, energy, and prayers.  While John answered our prayers and found a way to get her home, we truly believe that your support carried her home.



  • Anonymous

    I went to high school with Nicole. I was there working in the ER when your mom came in. It was so nice to see all the support she had while in our care. -Mateo