MINNEAPOLIS-Garrett Grommesh, a Moorhead youth born with spina bifida whose family in 2010 received a new home from the TV show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," was facing serious health issues Monday, Nov. 20, in Minneapolis Children's Hospital after complications of intestinal surgery last week put him into septic shock.
Grommesh's mother, Adair, said in a Facebook post that Garrett was put in a medically induced coma and is on a respirator while measures are being taken to remove fluid from his lungs, dissolve a blood clot in his arm, and counter an infection in his abdominal cavity.
In a Facebook instant message Monday evening, she said peritonitis-inflammation of the membrane lining the abdominal wall and covering the abdominal organs-could shut down many organs.
Adair Grommesh said Garrett's blood pressure was very low and his kidneys had, for a time, stopped working.
"They got them (kidneys) working with the help of blood pressure medicine, but both his lungs are filled with fluid and he is not able to breathe on his own," she wrote.
She said Garrett is on four antibiotics to fight the abdominal infection, and the infection could require another surgery to drain any abscess that forms.
Once he is able to breathe without a ventilator, Adair Grommesh said doctors have told her it would be another two weeks before Garrett could leave the hospital.
"There will be many setbacks along the way and we just take it a day at a time" Adair Grommesh wrote.
It was in October 2010 that the "Extreme Makeover" crew came to Moorhead and, over the space of a few 24-hour days of construction, replaced the Grommesh family's old home between Concordia College and Interstate 94 with a larger, modern home designed to make it easier for Garrett to get around with his wheelchair.
Garrett, who was very much the star of the show, was 10 years old when the family moved into their new home, just east of Eighth Street South.
Garrett was born with spina bifida, a disorder that left him paralyzed from the waist down and required a shunt to drain excess spinal fluid from his brain.
Over the years, he has endured many surgeries and fought a variety of ailments, including untethering of his spine.
"Quite honestly, I would go back to our junky old house if I could just get his health back," she told The Forum in fall 2012, just days after learning her son needed more surgery.
By April 4, 2014, Garrett had undergone 55 surgeries and in the few months leading up to that point, had at least two brushes with death because of extremely high fevers caused by infections and a racing heart rate due to the heavy stresses on his body, Adair Grommesh said.
By January 2015, WDAY-TV reported that he had undergone 77 surgeries.
Get-well cards for Garrett can be mailed to:
Children's Hospital, 2525 Chicago Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55404
Attn: Garrett Grommesh, Room 5432