Wisconsin couple advocates for advance directives on Healthcare Decisions Day

Wife almost couldn’t speak for her husband fighting for his life in the COVID-19 intensive care unit
Wife almost couldn’t speak for her husband fighting for his life in the COVID-19 intensive care unit.
Published: Apr. 16, 2022 at 8:27 PM CDT
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BROOKFIELD, Wis. (WMTV) - A Brookfield woman almost couldn’t represent her husband’s medical interest when he was hospitalized with a severe case of COVID-19 because they did not sign an advance directive.

Mike and Luciana Wiltse were only married three months when COVID-19 put Mike into an intensive care unit for three weeks.

”I woke up on a Monday morning and I couldn’t breathe,” Mike said. ”Luciana was faced with the very real prospect that I could die.”

Luciana scrambled to get the paperwork done before he was put on a ventilator and medically induced into a coma.

”Mike didn’t really know what was happening but he was lucid enough to be able to sign paperwork.,” Luciana said.

He ended up coming out of the coma and survived a rough battle with against the virus.

”It was very scary,” Mike said. “Probably more scary for Luciana because she’s the one who had to talk to the doctors and caregivers everyday for to see what my status was.”

The couple said they were too busy preparing for their wedding and enjoying their honeymoon to worry about signing a new advance directive.

UW Health Palliative Care Medicine Physician Dr. Toby Campbell said people don’t want to discuss an advance directive because death is an uncomfortable subject.

Dr. Campbell said filling out the form online is an easy step to support someone during a difficult time.

”You’re saying to them, ‘Hey. If you’re ever in a spot where you need to speak for me it’s okay. These are the things that are important to me. As long as you’re standing these values we’re going to be okay,’’' he said.

Mike and Luciana want to remind people that this important step could make a difference sooner rather than later.

”Being in a Zoom meeting with a priest and a doctor asking him if he truly wanted to be on a vent is not something I ever thought would happen,” Luciana said. “Especially three months after getting married.”

People 18 and older can fill out an advance directive for free online through the State Bar of Wisconsin’s website.

Wiltse said it is free until April 22nd.

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