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Hoisington family facing double whammy

A Mobridge family that has overcome major physical and emotional obstacles in the past seven years is now facing a double whammy that is testing them once again.
The family of Rachel and Gordie Hoisington have been burdened with two more serious health issues as both Rachel and Gordie are currently hospitalized at Avera McKinnon in Sioux Falls.
After battling liver and colon cancer since late September, Rachel has had surgery complications that have sent her to the operating room five times.
According to their daughter Lexie, the family’s life has been thrown into an upheaval with both her mom and dad facing serious medical issues in the past month or so.
Rachel was diagnosed with liver and colon cancer in late 2018. On Dec. 28, she had surgery to remove 65 percent of her liver and three feet of her colon. After the surgery, Rachel did not recover as expected and on Jan. 2, it was discovered that her bowel had a leak that was releasing waste into her abdomen. She had developed sepsis, a severe infection, and was in septic shock.
The second surgery was performed to fix the leak and clean out her abdominal area.
Following the second surgery, it was discovered that another leak had formed and the same problem was developing. Surgeons again took her to the operating room to fix the leak and clean out the waste and infection from her abdomen.
After the third leak and another surgery on Wednesday, Jan. 16, surgeons repeated the process of fixing the leak and cleaning out her system.
After that surgery, the doctors discovered yet another leak. This time they bypassed the problem area and have left her abdominal area open until the infection will be wiped out and her colon healed.
“The tissue was not healing properly because of the chemo therapy, even though she hasn’t had chemo for several weeks” said Lexie. “All the cancer is gone, but after she is healed they will do another round of chemo just to be sure.”
In the meantime, the doctors are employing several methods to increase the blood flow to her tissues and speed up the healing process.
As all of this was happening, her husband had developed issues of his own. Gordie has battled a bone infection that has interrupted his ability to manage the pain caused by a construction accident seven years ago, that crushed his spine and left him paralyzed. The injuries caused intense pain and muscle spasms for years until doctors were able to surgical attach a pump that administered the dosage of medication, controlling both pain and spasms.
That pump was a life saver for Gordie and allowed him to open a new business and help to support his family of five; Rachel and daughters Lexie, Lindy, Adrian and Libby.
Until recently, Gordie had managed the pump without a problem, but he developed issues with the pump last month. He decided he would visit his pain management physician in Aberdeen on his way to be with his wife during her surgeries.
His trip to Sioux Falls was delayed when his Aberdeen doctor told him the pump battery had died and he needed emergency surgery to replace it. The doctor wanted to admit him immediately, but Gordie convinced him to help manage the issues and he would have the surgery in Sioux Falls, where he could be with his family.
In Sioux Falls, he was hospitalized with serious issues related to an ongoing nagging infection problem. It was discovered while preparing him for the emergency surgery to replace the pump.
A bone infection had been treated with antibiotics three years ago but had not cleared up. He also has a bladder infection. Surgeons want that infection gone before they dto the procedure to remove and replace the pump to ensure that infection does not spread.
“They are not comfortable doing the procedure while the infection is there,” said Lexie. “He is frustrated because he just wants to have it done.”
She said they will do a biopsy on the bone to pinpoint the infection and what they need to do to clear it up. That could take three weeks or so.
Lexie said her parents are in the same facility, but not together. She and sister, Lindy, are staying at the Walsh House.
“It is sort of a Ronald McDonald House for adults,” she said. “It has been a lifesaver for us.”
As for how the girls are dealing with the double whammy medical crisis, Lexie said they handle it in small chunks.
“It has been such a blessing to live in Mobridge. Not just for this, but through everything my dad went through,” she said. “It is refreshing to know the love of a small town.”
There have been fund raisers and other help for the family throughout the medical saga. Gordie will be coming home while he waits for the infection to heal. Lexie said she will set up a meal chain when they are able to come home again.
“Our whole family is so grateful for everything the community has done for us,” said Lexie. “We can’t thankpeople enough for all they have done.”
There is also a fund at the Mobridge Dacotah Bank to help the family with their needs. It is the Hoisington Family Donation Fund. If donors wish to remain anonymous, they need to let the staff at the bank be aware of that.
– Katie Zerr –