For Caregivers

Jeremiah Burton

Caregiver for Wife

I did not know anything about HE until my wife was on her deathbed due to liver failure beginning in October 2012 and her doctor asked me about certain symptoms, observed her physical condition and provided a diagnosis. I immediately began to do more of my own research on HE and found that I had been noticing symptoms for some time, but neither myself nor my wife would have thought they were related to her liver. (Sleep reversal syndrome, neuropathy in her feet, irritability, swelling, etc.) We had been noticing these symptoms for about a year and thought she just had insomnia and foot problems.

Once she was in the hospital she was severely jaundice began to ‘wax and wane’ and lose short-term memory. Her liver failure affected her kidneys that eventually failed and a leaky heart valve made surgery a risk that the doctors were not prepared to take. My wife passed away at home hospice on December 4, 2012. Part of my grieving, is dealing with the fact that we did not recognize these symptoms sooner and possible have done something about it. I learned too late that liver failure and HE produces deceptive symptoms that you don’t necessarily connect to the liver.

Anything I can do to help create awareness either through my story or by other means, I am willing to contribute.