Elite Bicycles rider and all around great guy Fred Klauber is currently recovering from what I would call a major surgery.  Fred first learned about his heart condition when he collapsed meters from the finish line at this years Nations Tri in DC. Fred went into surgery on Thursday morning and is hopefully recovering well. Both Fred and his lovely wife Arlene  (who makes the best apple brownies ever) are VERY active members of Team in Training and other charitable organizations.  We wish Fred all the best in his recovery and our thoughts and prayers are with him.

Below is a copy of an email sent out by Arlene on Thursday afternoon:

“Fred went into surgery at about 6:50 this morning after talking to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist. They gave him a little “happy juice” to calm him down. Spoke to the surgeon after surgery around 11:30 and was told they had to do a larger incision-open the whole breast bone. They replaced the entire aortic root not just the valve. Was able to see him about 1:00. Still asleep but the goal is to get the breathing tube out by tonight.  Recovery in the hospital is still expected to be 3-5 days barring any complications.”
Please keep Fred in your thoughts and hearts!

Update from 8-22-09

Sorry for not sending an email out yesterday.  Fred had a very difficult day.  First, he was moved out of the ICU in the middle of the night (midnight) so he wasn’t even in there for 24 hours.  He was move to the Step down unit which is still close monitoring but each nurse has more patients to care for.  Pain management was an issue as well as anxiety.   Although he had been told earlier that his surgery was more extensive, he didn’t remember and was thrown for a loop when he “actually” heard it.  He was counting on the less invasive surgery for a more rapid recovery.  He was not buying “the recovery for this surgery was about the same as the less invasive.”

They did remove several tubes (chest tube and catheter) which did help some.  The also got him out of bed to sit in a chair after the tubes were removed and they helped him with a shower which did help some.

I’m hoping today will be better and he will be able to start seeing some progress.  His hospitalization will still be about 3-5 days.  will let you know when discharge is planned.  I will try to send an update later today or tomorrow.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.

Update for 8-24-09

Just a short update.  Comfort has been trial and error.  Things that we thought would work (furniture for sitting, resting, sleeping) have been a challenge.  I think we have most of them solved now.  Fred had a pretty good night (pain meds a must before going to bed).  Much of the residual swelling is gone.  Has been outside for a walk this morning and got a shower-always makes you feel better.  We are getting ready to sit down for some lunch although he says that he is not hungry-he must eat at least protein.  No fever today and he is doing his breathing exercises and shoulder rolls.  Some of you have asked about sending cards and/or flowers.  He asks that instead of flowers we will get and post information about Mended Hearts, an organization/support group for all heart patients. Will post as soon as I confirm the information. Cards can be sent to our home address:  5208 Lonsdale Drive  Springfield, VA  22151.

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers.

Update for 8-31-09

Thanks for your email.  Fred is recovering although not as fast as he would like.  He still is having some difficulty sleeping at night, unable to get comfortable in bed.  He ends up sitting on the sofa with his feet elevated to sleep part of the night.  He has an appointment at the surgeon’s office in the morning and I will try to update everyone after that.

Today was a particularly eventful day.  Our dog, Dakota was scheduled for cataract surgery this morning.  I took him to the vet and decided to run by the store before going back home.  I proceeded to have an accident in Fred’s truck-the car in front of me stopped short I tried to stop but skidded into that car then a van behind me hit me.  Nobody was hurt but his truck needed to be towed.  Of course I didn’t have my cell phone with me, so I called Fred from the cell phone of guy that was behind me.  The police officer was very nice and drove me home.  Dakota is still not seeing as well as I expected him to following surgery.  Had to call the vet and go get more eye drops and he will be re-checked in the morning.  What a day!!!

Fred is getting outside twice a day to walk through our neighborhood.  His longest walk was this evening, about 3/4 mile.  He no longer carries his pillow while walking but does use it when riding in the car to cushion the seat belt from his incision.  More after his appointment tomorrow

Update 9-01-09

Hi All,

Fred had his appointment with the surgeon this morning and he is progressing according to schedule.  He is still tired but his blood counts are still on the low side.  I guess I need to prepare red meat to treat his anemia.  The big thing is that he was told that he could try to sleep on his side now instead of just on his back.  Hopefully, he will be able to sleep better now.
Dakota went for his check up this morning and although we are complete wrecks he is doing fine.  The right eye is still more cloudy than the left but it does appear that he is seeing some things now.  He is really milking this.  I have been hand feeding him grilled chicken breast and holding his water dish so he can drink.  He has this collar on to keep him from rubbing or scratching his eyes and really putting on a guilt trip.
I left the two patients at home and came to work after the appointments.  I hope all goes well.


This post was written by: DGG

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