Update on Chuck

We left for Costa Rica in May, looking forward to sharing the joyful preparations of our niece Jimena’s graduation. Life had other plans. 


Shortly after our arrival, Chuck had a heart failure that rushed him to the emergency room of Cima Hospital in San José where he spent 10 days in intensive care. The medical team was excellent, specially the caring and knowledgeable cardiologist, but they lacked the equipment to access Chuck’s new leaderless pacemaker. 


This necessitated a medical evacuation. We opted for a private flight to New York’s NYU hospital where Chuck’s long time cardiologist was able to have a team awaiting his arrival, despite the fact that weather delayed us by a day. After a month at the hospital and its rehab facilities, he was able to come home July 5th with new medications that promised to strengthen his heart and get him on the road to a full recovery.


One of his new meds caused a severe allergy. His skin erupted in hives everywhere. It became extremely painful as his clothes stuck to the skin and ripped it every time he moved, despite the concerned care of an excellent dermatologist and large doses of cortisone. He finally agreed to a trip to the emergency room and another stay in the hospital where testing revealed a multiple bacterial infection in his bloodstream. An infections diseases team put him on the strongest antibiotic available. 


Chuck was able to come home under daily IV antibiotics, which lasted for another month. He kept getting weaker and complaining that his legs no longer held him up. Another trip to the emergency room saw him admitted. This time he tested positive for Covid, which he very likely got from his previous hospitalization. They were able to treat his extreme bloating with extra diuretics and finish the antibiotic course. He lost about 50 pounds of mostly water weight. His heart was stabilized and 2 stents were inserted. The surgery was successful and several blood and urine tests came back negative. After yet another change in meds to combat the the weakness he had been complaining of, he was discharged, despite nausea. 


He has now been at home for 6 weeks and is extremely happy to be here. The nausea is better. He is able to drink and eat enough to keep his weight stable, but the antibiotics have destroyed his gut biota and he has severe diarrhea. The hope is that this will eventually resolve on its own. There are some signs of slow progress. If the improvement continues, we hope to get back to Florida before the winter sets in here in New York. 


Enjoy your holidays and stay well.



Cindy & Chuck

Share this post

Leave a comment

Note, comments must be approved before they are published


  • Thank you for your comments and suggestions. We really appreciate them. We plan to re-start the newsletter soon. 🤗Cindy & Chuck

    • Cindy
  • I had no idea Chuck had been so sick! This sounded like a terrifying, horrible ordeal! I’m so happy he seems to be getting better. Please let Chuck know I’m praying for him, and to please keep up his courage. I missed your newsletters and beautiful images of hummingbirds.

    • Mayra Rodriguez
  • I am so sorry to hear about Chuck’s health problems. I have loved meeting you at the artshows. The humingbirds, art, photography, your website is spectacular.
    Wishing you good health in the New Year!
    Linda Forman

    • Linda Forman
  • So sorry to hear about your extreme challenges. I like to think that everything is a gift, but some are very difficult to unwrap. I would suggest trying cannabis for the nausea and to stimulate appetite. Best wishes for your New Year 🧡

    • Ale