Caroline died this morning at 9:09 at Montrose Memorial Hospital. She was taken to the hospital yesterday by ambulance, after her husband Robert and Colleen Hollenbeck, our local home health care nurse, were unable to get her to wake up, and after consultation with the St. Mary's Oncology Center. Her blood pressure was very low, as was her blood sugar level. The emergency room determined that she had massive infection, probably in the liver, as well as bladder infection which had been diagnosed the day before. She was put on high-powered antibiotics to try and control the infection, with little response. Caroline's sisters, Suzie West and Diane Gray, drove through the night from Prescott, Arizona, arriving in Montrose about 7:30. Caroline was able to open her eyes and recognize her sisters, as well as Colleen, this morning. The attending doctor had told us that Caroline was just being kept alive by the blood pressure medications, and we decided to stop them, as there was no chance of her coming back from the infection. Her husband Robert, sisters Suzie and Diane, and Colleen, the home health nurse were with her at the end.
Caroline asked to be cremated, and part of her ashes made available at her memorial service for people to take and spread wherever they wish. The memorial sevice date will be posted later when determined, but will be after the movie she was making about having cholangiocarcinoma is finished. In lieu of flowers, please send your donations to Second Chance Humane Society based in Ridgway, Colorado, the Ouray Public Library, Hospice and Pallitive Care of Western Colorado, or Cholangiocarcinoma.org.
Thank you to all our friends and to everyone who has corresponded with Caroline over the last two years of this journey. We gained so much support from so many friends and relatives, and families of fellow cholangio sufferers. Our love to you all.
Robert Stoufer, husband of Caroline