An Odessa couple with ties to Martin County are experiencing what can only be called a “modern miracle”.
On January 8th of this year, 44-year old Adam Hill was admitted to the Emergency Room with what was thought to be a severe cold - persistent fever, severe headache, flu like symptoms, and chest pain. Even though he resisted going to the ER, Norma, then, a nurse at Martin County Hospital, insisted. During the visit, doctors diagnosed Adam with pneumonia to bilateral lung, and due to his low oxygen levels he was admitted into the hospital.
The next morning, Adam’s health took a turn for the worse landing him in ICU with respiratory failure. A few hours later, he was on life support. A few days later he went into renal failure due to the medications that he had been on because the doctors were unsure of what was attacking his body.
Adam was transferred to a hospital in the DFW area for Extra Corporal Membrane Oxygenation, or ECMO. After almost 3-weeks of ECMO treatment, a tracheostomy, and having a feeding tube, Adam became responsive again, but only for a limited time because he had a stroke soon after that. Eventually, Adam developed Critical Illness Polyneuropathy because he had been in bed for so long without moving. During this time in the hospital, it was revealed that Adam had contracted the swine flu.
Norma had been told by different healthcare professionals over the course of Adam’s illness, that he wouldn’t make it. After he was weened off of the respirator, Norma was advised that he would need to live in a nursing home because he had lost all of his muscle tone and he would never be the same man. Even though they told her that he would need nursing home care 24/7, Norma didn’t give up hope. She and others continued to pray for Adam.
Although he was unable to hold up his own head, Adam began physical therapy, and worked through aggressive physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy at different hospitals. Eventually, he was removed from the ventilator and able to breathe on his own, and eat again without a feeding tube. The couple was able to return back to Odessa in March, and Adam continued aggressive therapies for almost a month at the Medical Center Hospital Rehab Department.
Now, Adam is able to walk, talk, dress, bathe, and feed himself. He’s made an amazing recovery and still continues physical therapy, but due to the critical illnesses that he’s developed seizures and has to take seizure medication.
Norma said that it’s unlikely that Adam will be able to return to the active lifestyle he had before his illness, but he’s hopeful.
Adam’s tubes are now removed and he’s healing well, and continues to work on strengthening, balance, and endurance.
During this time that Adam was hospitalized, Norma had to leave her job at Martin County Hospital to take care of her husband. A GoFundMe page had been created by a family member and Norma and Adam had been surviving on the generosity of others. She’s since been able to find a part-time job in Odessa so she can still care for her husband.
“This has had a huge impact on our lives and completely turned our life around," said Norma. "I’m so very grateful for our Stanton community at the [Martin County Hospital District] because they have been wonderful with me, and so caring and so giving.”
Now that Adam’s home and continuing therapy, Norma told KBest News that she has a new perspective on things.
"It gives you a whole new perspective on life. As a nurse, it gives me a whole new perspective of my field, and just so much appreciation to the generosity and kindness of everybody. God has put amazing people in our path," said Norma.
"Prayer is strong," she continued. "[Adam's] had so many people praying for him, and it’s been awesome."
For a more detailed account of the Hills’ story or to donate to their fund, you can find their GoFundMe page under “Team Hill” - ( https://www.gofundme.com/dkhrw9-dont-stop-believing ).