This was going around facebook via Frederica this morning:
<<Dear Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics, Family and Friends,
Christ is in our Midst! Blessed Theophany season!
Thank you, to each and every one of you, for your ongoing love, prayers, and concern for our father Fr. Thomas Hopko. As many of you know, he has had several serious health concerns during recent years. The most serious medical issue by far is his diagnosis with congestive heart failure (CHF) due to the fact that he has senile systemic amyloidosis. Simply put, the deposits of a protein-like material called amyloid in the heart cause stiffening of the heart muscle. Therefore it cannot work as efficiently as usual, and heart failure ensues.
On Theophany (January 6), my mother took my father to the ER as the list of symptoms he was experiencing was an indication of heart failure issues. The result of his blood test showed hyponatremia (a potentially very serious condition that occurs when the level of sodium in your blood is abnormally low). Indeed, he was in serious condition, and it was extremely timely that he was brought to the hospital. On the Sunday after Theophany, he was released back home, having been told that although his vital signs were all good (blood pressure, oxygen level, kidney function, plus now his sodium level), and he himself looked rather well considering everything, he had a heart that was decidedly affected by amyloidosis, and in critical condition, with markedly reduced function. The team of doctors reviewed Dad’s case, and in addition to continuing his medication with some adjustments, they prescribed the use of a 24-hour defibrillator vest which Dad started wearing immediately. He will also have home health care and monitoring, which we are very grateful for.
So, as you can see, although the decline of Fr. Thomas' heart function has been gradual, it is now at a stage that is definitely more critical and will require more rest and a quiet daily routine that supports his well-being in the best way possible. This naturally will result in a more reclusive existence, which for someone who has been as involved and busy as he has, will definitely be a change. He and my mother know that all of you dear ones are praying, supporting, and loving both of them. They are immensely grateful and touched. While my father will be unable to talk on the phone, have visitors or respond to emails much, please know that you are in his thoughts and prayers.
I will be sending out periodic updates. Please feel free to forward this email and share this information with anyone who might like to receive it. Also, you may contact me via email any time! Thank you!
Of course you can always send a card or note to my parents at:
Fr Thomas and Anne Hopko
3042 Creek Lane
Ellwood City PA 16117
On behalf of our whole family, most especially my siblings Fr. John Hopko, Katya Mandell, Masha Solak, and Alexandra Sedor, thank you all for your love and support, as well as your understanding and continued prayers. God bless you and yours!
With love in Christ,
Juliana Hopko Thetford