Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Morning Update

Hello, friends of Bill Hartley! Due to the overwhelming amount of concern for and interest in Bill's recovery, we decided it made sense to put updates on a blog where you all can check in at your leisure. Please feel free to comment on posts - we'll pass along all of your messages to Bill.

The background: Bill called for an ambulance at 2 AM on Saturday (Oct. 31). The ambulance took him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Shortly after he arrived he lost consciousness and had to be intubated for help breathing. Within a few hours they had found blockages in his left anterior descending and right coronary artery, which they were able to partially clear and support with three stents and a balloon pump to help his heart pump.

They moved him to the cardiac care unit and got back test results indicating that his heart attack had been massive, with a lot of damage to the heart resulting. Saturday night he was in terrible shape - his lungs were full of fluid, his blood pressure was very low despite being on maximum dosages of medication, and we were being prepared for the worst. Around 1 AM, his heart began to beat erratically, without actually providing a pulse, so the doctors had to do chest compressions and administer electrical shocks and more medication to knock his heart into the right rhythm. We were very lucky to be at Northwestern, in the CCU, when this happened - the room was instantly full of specialists and they were able to respond to the situation incredibly quickly, which is important, because it lessens the chance that there was significant further damage during that time. After that they were concerned that his heart might do the same thing again, as often happens in these cases, but we were lucky - it has now been about 36 hours since it happened and his heart has maintained a steady rhythm. The next day they started him on a number of other fairly aggressive treatments. One, called Arctic Sun, lowers his body temperature to about 90 degrees to allow his heart and brain time to relax and regenerate while his metabolism is slowed. They were worried that his blood pressure would drop and they would have to discontinue the therapy, but he held steady overnight and this morning they started warming him up. His lungs are also clearer now, which is good news.

Unfortunately, we got some bad news this morning as well: his heart function has decreased somewhat over the course of the last day, which is affecting his kidney and liver function (and they have already been damaged by the original heart attack), and they think that the balloon pump they installed on Saturday morning isn't enough. The next step is what is called a tandem pump, an external pump that will help his heart get blood to the necessary organs to allow them to recover, and take some pressure off the heart. The procedure is not terribly invasive, and they will be beginning it an hour or less from now.

Our good news for today is that we learned that Bill was at least somewhat conscious when he came to the ER, and that the amount of time his heart was in distress that one terrible night in the hospital was limited, so the doctors are somewhat optimistic about the degree of any neurological damage. That has been a huge concern for us and we're very grateful for that new information.

Bill's condition continues to be somewhere in the stable critical range, and he is in no way out of the woods, but his track record so far is pretty amazing - he's done much better than the doctors thought he would the night he had to have his heart re-started. We just keep hoping he will keep defying expectations, and we are very grateful for the crack team at Northwestern who are helping him to do that.

We will try to update this blog when we have new news. Since Bill is not conscious and we can only have two people in the room at once, we are asking that friends send their good wishes and love from the comfort of their own homes for the time being. He will be delighted to have you all visit when he's ready for visitors, and we'll let you know when that is. In the meantime, please play or listen to some awesome music on his behalf. And quit smoking, okay? It's bad for you.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from Bill's family.


  1. We are hoping and praying for a good and fast recovery. We send our love to the whole Eberle family. Aimee is listening to Feist right now. Josh is really into Feist courtesy of Sesame Street.

    Love, The Pepelmans (Mike, Aimee, and Joshua)

  2. Bill - You are in my prayers because I believe they are just as important as all the doctors are doing for you! Hang tough and get back to work so you can keep picking on us!

    Bobbie K

  3. If possible print this and place in Bill's room:

    Hey Bill!

    Wishing that everyday brings you health and a speedy recovery. Don't give up buddy!

    Lots of good vibes and thoughts from Guadalajara for you and your loved ones!


  4. Prayin' for you Willy!

  5. Bill, You are in my prayers, and I know that God is watching over you and will be guiding the doctors who are taking care of you. Going to miss seeing your smiling face around here for awhile...get well!
    Deb W.

  6. Renee Dedeaux (MHM)November 2, 2009 at 1:01 PM

    Bill, please get well soon. We are all praying for your speedy recovery. We miss you here at MHM. Who is going to pester everyone? Let us know when you are ready to see visitors. Until then, we know the family is by your side.

  7. Bill, get well soon buddy. I just loaded the jar with banana laffy taffy. Somebody needs to throw them at Adam.

  8. If my wings should fail me, Lord, please meet me with another pair...
    Thinking of you Bill, hang in there!

  9. Bill, I'll be praying for you. Please get well soon. I have to say, since I moved back to Minneapolis, I miss having my work interrupted by a flying rubberband. I'll have to come visit you when you're well enough, so you can flick one at me. One free shot.

    Kate, thank you for keeping us updated.

    Bonnie T

  10. Best wishes to a valiant fellow. My wife and I join the increasing group of people who wish you well and who want to see you back, healthy and as strong as you can make yourself.

    Get well soon, Bill

  11. Hey Bill:

    I need to bug someone about my printer and my computer and lots of other stuff. So, you had better get back here real soon. And no more of those "'Notes to Self' - avoid Phyllis's area at all cost."

    Seriously, we are all praying that God will take care of you and you will get well quickly. Sounds like you have wonderful doctors. Blessings to you and your family.



  12. Hey Bill - We need you back at work pronto. Nobody's volunteered to be our substitute curmudgeon while you're away. Keep the faith!! ~BobF.

  13. Dear Bill,
    please hang in there and get well soon!
    We all miss you here at MHM!

  14. Bill -

    There is no one to respond to Phyllis's emails. Please get better and come back soon.


  15. Bill: I will keep you in my thoughts and wish you a speedy recovery. Come back soon. I have a stack of novels for us to compare notes on!! regards and best wishes. Nabeela

  16. Bill,
    Everyone here misses you already and we hope you are back soon. You are in our prayers and thoughts.

  17. Kate - Seeing that Bill & I share lots of friends, I cross-posted this blog address on my FB account so that others will get news straight from you & the Family. As I said while briefly talking to you on the phone Sunday, Bill's still got lots of friends down here in the Carbondale area, so this is a great way to keep us down here informed - thanks. You have our gratitude.

    Now, tell that bum guitar playing freak brother of yours to DO EXACTLY AS THE DOCTORS TELL HIM - we need his special brand of weirdness in our lives, and yes, we DO give a shit.

  18. Hey Bill,

    We(Snots) are thinking of you and sending good vibes your way. Keep on doing what you do well; exceed everyone's expectations and get better soon! Peace, Love and Rock and Roll~ ;-)

  19. Hey Bill, hang in there. Please know that you have so many people sending you positive thoughts and prayers. We miss you and pray for a speedy recovery! -Heather B.

  20. Hey Bill, Brian and I are sending you tons of love and huge bear hugs. We're looking forward to the day you can hug right back. Also, who in the world will keep Brian's political views on track - there's no one like you! Actually there's no one like you in so many good ways!

  21. Bill, you are definitely in my thoughts and prayers. I pray strength for your family and a speedy recovery for you! Thru God's healing power may you continue to exceed the doctors' expectations!!

    We Miss You and We Love You! Get well soon.

    ~~NaKesha D.

  22. Dear Bill:

    We are crossing all of our fingers and toes and wishing and hoping for the best. The world needs your rare sense of humor. Don't let us down.

    Your second cousin,

    Ethel L. Beach

  23. Bill, Di and I are sending all the healing energy we can muster. I don't know if I'm too old to start praying, but I'll do it if it'll help. Just do whatever it takes to get better! I hope to see you jamming out again and again. The world needs more Diet Christ reunions! Take care brother ~RJ

  24. Bill!

    We had no idea and so grateful to Kate for linking us here. We're concerned and want you to get better PRONTO! We need your great capacity for the ridiculous in our lives always. Feel better. Looking forward to more updates. (Kate - Please send him our love.)

    -Kristen Primrose & Andy Weis

  25. Bill,

    Our prayers are with you. We miss you on Facebook, where we enjoyed your funny insights that have brought us laughter. Bill. The laughter, and intellect you brought forth while Vin was in Carbondale are one of his finest memories at SIU-C. We Bless you with Positive energy, in are thoughts, and prayers.

    Vincent & Jovie Frigo

  26. Hi Bill,

    I'm not sure if you remember me but I was a clerk at McAndrews this past summer. I pestered you a lot about computer things and you always took things with a great sense of humor. I found out about this from Malaika yesterday and am thankful that your family is writing this blog because I wanted to know how you were doing!

    Sending good thoughts your way,
    Shawn Liu

  27. Bill,

    Hope you are up and about soon. Wishing you teh best of luck.


  28. Have a good, speedy recovery Bill! We all need more of your warmth, humor, and smarts.

  29. Get well soon buddy. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    -Jim D.

  30. Bill,

    We are thinking of you constantly...especially the pink and purple spotted elephant...get back here well and soon my friend!

    Sending tons of love your way!! Cheers, Angelica

  31. Billy Boy, Billy Boy:

    Wishing you a speedy recovery, and hope to see you back in the office soon. (I'll sing the song for you then).

    With my thoughts and prayers,

    Dora :)

  32. Hey Bill! Get well soon - I owe you a paper fight! Wishing you the best and keeping you in my prayers.


  33. Bill, please know that I'm praying for you and your family. Get well soon! There is no one like you here at work :-)

  34. Our dearest Billy,

    We pray that you get better soon. I'll be over with a Carmel Apple Spice Cider and cherry candy when you're ready for visitors. You're in our thoughts and prayers.


  35. Bill, please get well soon. If you want, I'll give Beth a hard time until you can come back and take over the task here at McAndrews. I'm praying for you.


  36. Bill,

    I remember you from my days at MHM. I want you to know that the joy you bring extends far beyond the doors of MHM, and I am praying for your speedy recovery.

    Robin Potter

  37. Fartley,

    I'll be praying for your speedy recovery - get back to us soon (who's going to bug us now for our football picks).

  38. Bill,

    I am praying for you and your loved ones. I wish you strength and will. Hope you are up and about soon. You have to get better soon, you are the only work mate that makes me laugh and that helps when I am having a stressful work day.

    Miss you


  39. Billy,

    A heart as BIG as yours should not have given you or us such a scare. I guess you/we just needed a reminder that you/we should take care of ourselves. I miss you. I'll put some dots on the floor until your return but get well soon I can't have Maria mad at me for long. Take care. Magsy Wagsy

  40. Hang in there mate! Get well soon! Christian

  41. Bill, I'm praying for you that God will heal you and guide the doctors in your recovery.

    Exodus 20:15

  42. I just found out via FACEBOOK. Was just talking with Matt Sobczyk Sunday night about how fun it was to have Bill onstage during the Airwaves reunion.
    Thank God he held on. Here's praying for a full recovery.

  43. Bill, you are in my thoughts. Please get better soon.

  44. Bill -- Please get well and come back soon! Otherwise, I am going to keep breaking/ruining computer equipment and now the only people I can blame are Roberto and Jim. We miss you!

  45. Bill - Don't give up. May God bless you.
    - Gordon

  46. Hey Bill
    We your former co-workers from LBB (now LLBL) are all praying for you. Hang in there man!!

    looking forward to seeing you soon !

    Walter and the crew

  47. Bill,

    We Townsends; Daddy, Mommy, Imree, and Judah, are fervently keeping you in our prayers. We will do our part (praying), you do yours (hanging in there).

    Much love,

    Jeff T

  48. Bill,

    There is a big void here at MHM that only you and your sense of humor can fill. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    See you soon!

  49. Come on, you slacker! If you wanted a vacation, you should have just taken one and not freaked us all out here! :)

    We miss you already, my desk is too organized and needs a good pencil-holder dumping... and I have too many rubberbands lying around that need to be launched at you. I will try and take up your devil's advocate role with the Cheers group, but I'm sure I can't be nearly as funny as you! So you'd better get well & come back SOON!


  50. Billy,

    Just learned of this from Foerster. Hang in there buddy, and know that we're thinking of you down here in C'dale. You, Taz and I are at least 15 years overdue to jam together again. It will be epic, so get better and get down here!

    Big thanks to the family for posting updates.

    Love and respect,
    - Dave S. and family

  51. So Bill, what do you think of the Bears? Brian thinks they suck and I only watch if they're winning and it's a crappy outdoor day.

    We love you and love your commentary on all things - maybe especially when there is disagreement...

    Karen and Brian

  52. Billy Boy,

    I see (read) you are still the same after all these years, always the center of attention/controversy.

    In all seriousness All the Best and a Speedy Recovery.

    Your old pal Tim S, yeah CRCA.

  53. Bill - Miss you and hope this finds you well VERY soon! Another friend from CRCA -