ABILENE, Texas (KTAB) – Lindsey Phelps was diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 25. Since then she’s been flown to two different hospitals in two different states, undergone heavy sedation, and a tracheostomy. She still needs a double-lung transplant for a chance at a normal life, of which she still has much left to live. The mother of two young boys is only 36 years old.
Lindsey Phelps was formerly a healthy, young mom enjoying her days with her sons Kaysen and Laiken and her husband Kyle. Until one spring night, she couldn’t stop coughing.
One ER visit later confirmed she was COVID positive and Lindsey was admitted to an Abilene hospital. On April 28 she lost consciousness, was sedated and intubated. Lindsey would not wake up again until 77 days later on July 14.
In the time Lindsey was unconscious, she was transferred to an Oklahoma City Hospital to be put on an ECMO machine. Blood was pumped from her body, filled with oxygen, and then returned. She also suffered a blood clot in her lungs causing her heart to stop – her health deteriorating rapidly.
Kyle says this time was touch-and-go for the young family. It was at this point in her stay at the Oklahoma hospital that doctors advised Lindsey’s family to consider the possibility that they may have to “let her rest.”
“We’re not ready to rest, she’s not ready to rest,” said Kyle.
Twenty days after the pulmonary embolism, Lindsey underwent a tracheostomy — a procedure where a hole is created in the trachea to place a tube in that helps one breathe — in hopes it would improve her ability to come off sedation. Kyle says he and his in-laws knew his wife would need a lung transplant, but in order to qualify, Lindsey would have had to meet transplant criteria: exhibit consciousness, two-way communication, and moving around on one’s own.
“She was zero for three on that,” remarked Kyle.
Knowing Lindsey needed to get into therapy to become strong enough to qualify for transplant criteria, her friends and family began reaching out on social media to anyone and everyone.
Success rode in on a stationary bicycle. After posting in a Peloton group, a friend connected with Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago and staff agreed to join Lindsey on the long, uphill climb toward recovery.
“If it weren’t for the hospital in Chicago being on board, her tracheostomy probably wouldn’t have happened,” said Kyle.
Chicago is where Lindsey has been since the end of July, and it’s where she’ll be for the short future. Her family now knows she will require a double lung transplant in order to be herself again.
If she receives the donation, her family must stay in Chicago for at least one year. Her husband has been sharing her story to try and raise funds toward relocating him, their sons, and a caretaker.
If you would like to donate to the Phelps visit these links below.
Lindsey’s Fight for Life: Facebook donation page
GoFundMe Page: visit website