Update from Joan (Heidi's mom):
A big day for Heidi. Clark and I flew home this morning, so we missed it, but John filled us in on all the details. She had a good night, she was awake and responsive for John and her nurse. She played her "fool the doctors" game again, however. Physical therapy was her forte today. She stood up with assistance from her therapists and John! She actually put her weight on her left leg and straightened right up, sat down on the bed, then stood again. A third attempt didn't work--she was too tired. After that accomplishment, Heidi settled in for a nap and after her massage, was out completely before John left for the evening. Tomorrow she's scheduled for her shunt placement to take care of cerebral fluid levels. That should help reduce the swelling even more than we've already seen.
Pray for continued advances in her physical abilities and a successful shunt placement. God is most certainly demonstrating His grace and power in Heidi!
Today was a quite day for Heidi. She was very tired so it was a calm day. She did do physical therapy and they had her sitting on the side of her bed again. She seems to relax when John, Clark, or Joan are with her. The nurse said when we leave the room she wakes up like she is looking for us. That must mean we are her safe security blanket and the reason she sleeps so peacefully when we are in with her. She shed a tear when Joan sang "How Great Thou Art" to her. Goodnight all and we will update again tomorrow. God Bless you all for your continued prayers.
An update from Clark and Joan--Heidi's parents:
The first day in a long time without a procedure. Heidi did have a visit from Physical Therapy, however, and they kind of wore her out. They exercised her arms and legs and had her sit on the edge of her bed. She actually reached out to stabilize herself at one point.
When Clark and I got in to see her, she was falling asleep--a calm, deep sleep with gentle snoring. It was so good to see her restful.
When John went in to see her first thing this morning, she cupped his cheek with her hand and reached out to pull him down by his neck for a hug. She did something similar with me later in the day, running her fingers through the hair on the back of my head. I'm certainly not sure what she's trying to say, but it is very clear she's making a huge effort to speak her mind. I may try getting her to sing with me and put her thoughts to music.
God's blessings rain down upon us in so many ways. We cherish every small improvement in Heidi's vital signs and physical accomplishments. Please be praying that her fever will totally subside soon, that her responses to spoken commands will become consistent, and that she will "graduate" from ICU. We are so grateful for your support!
From Joan (Heidi's mom)- like all married couples. Clark and I have our conflicts large and small. No matter what comes our way, Clark has chosen to love me and walk beside me through it all. He is truly my champion. I don't tell him that often enough.
I see those same qualities in John. When I hear him tell Heidi "we'll get through this together" I praise God this man holds my daughters heart.
Here is an update from Heidi's mom and Dad- yesterday- On our way home from the hospital- the cath lab results showed a few spasms which were treated successfully. X-rays showed her lungs are clearing up nicely. She still battling a fever- but they have her on cooling pads. Drs are optimistically that she will not need any more angiograms. Just before we left John was talking to her and it was pretty clear that she was trying to talk to him. Yet another miracle!!
Now that the tube (breathing tube) is out we can kiss her cheeks! We watched John interact with her and marveled at his live and patience. He is truly a gift from God for Heidi and all of us. He is an amazing man in so many ways!
Channel 4 - NBC affiliate- interviews us this afternoon for broadcast tomorrow night (Wednesday). Another opportunity to share Heidi's story, her recovery, and the remarkable level of support she has. We see the results of prayer everyday!
Heidi had to be lightly sedated today because she kept trying to pull her intubation tube out and she also kept trying to touch the part of her head where the skull is missing. It is not great to see her less responsive again, but the reason behind the sedation is good news. We also had a scary episode this afternoon. Heidi's breathing tube got plugged by a mucus glob, and she stopped breathing. She had a death grip on John’s hand. The ventilator is not breathing for her, but she is breathing through the tube as it keeps her airway open. The respiratory team had to come in stat to clear her tube. All is well now, but John was pretty shook even with all his training. Her color was all back to normal before we left. Each day seems to have its challenges and its victories.
Ready for the best news yet!!!!! Goodbye coma!!!!! Heidi is awake!!!!!She opens her eyes and tracks movement. She attempts to focus on people and things. Which is difficult without her glasses ;) She squeezes hands and blinks her eyes on command. She listens intently to her song and recordings of the kids. Praise God for all the things he has done!!!! Another day in the right direction!
Today is a GREAT DAY!!!! Doctors are saying today is the first day with ALL positive signs. Fever is down, more IV's have been removed, she has opened her eyes a couple times and seems to be looking around and wondering what is going on. When the overnight nurse showed her pictures of her kids, Heidi cried!!!!!! When Clark and Joan played her the Glorious Unfolding song, she got tears in her eyes again!!!! She is moving her left arm again too. Each of these signs are a small step in the right direction. Keep Praying because we truly believe that they are being heard and answered! As Heidi would shout every time a jar seals when we are canning.......PRAISE JESUS!!!!!!
Today Heidi went back into the cath lab to investigate the spasms. She was in there longer today then the past 2 days when she had this same procedure done. They did find some spasms which responded to medication. There are no guaranties that spasms won't develop again, but we are encouraged that the meds have worked. For tonight this is all we have. She had a long procedure and now it is time for her body to rest and recover. We are hoping to have answers soon as to when she will wake up from the coma.
I would also like to take the time to say thank you to some very key people. First of all thank you to all of John’s co-workers (I wish I could name all of you!). They have been so amazing and checking in on everyone at the hospital and they bring amazing food. Who knew they could cook so well at the firehouse!!!! I have never seen such a strong brotherhood. To the amazing Brian Wilkes, I would call you a rock but I think you are more like a boulder, thank you for being there for ALL of us. Darren Winters you made such a long drive to be here and you brought the daily caffeine supply (vital). Jonathan Varela, thank you for bringing your strong faith because your words are exactly what we need to be surrounded with. Lisa Isaacs, what an amazing friend you have been to Heidi and John, the kids are taken care of, housework, schedules, meal arrangements, you are the ANYTHING and EVERYTHING hero in this story and things are running smoothly because of you. Joan (Mom), Clark (Dad) and Michael (brother), your presence has been so uplifting and positive and you are all so strong for all of us (I can see where Heidi gets her courage, strength, compassion, faith and love from). To all the donors out there…wow! I don’t even know how to express our gratitude. I never thought this would happen. And I promise you that it is truly appreciated from the bottom of our hearts and souls. And most importantly thank you to all the people that are praying. The power of Prayer is all we need to make Heidi’s story a miracle that we know it is going to turn out to be. Also, very special thank you to the Doctors and staff at Stanford Medical, wow we knew Heidi was in the best possible hospital and we are certain that these are the best doctors. The head neurosurgeon sat and answered questions for 3 hours one day, he never looked at his watch and he never made anyone feel like he had anywhere better to be. We know we are in safe hands. I know I have missed so many people and I’m sure it will dawn on me as soon as I post this and for that I am sorry. But know that we couldn’t have gotten here without you. Thank you again and much love to you all. I know you all have things going on in your personal life and I will be praying for all of you to see the love and support that you have shown to this family.
Hi Everyone, I am sorry about the late update. Today was a lot of sitting and waiting. And then we had an interview with ABC news. No big changes. Here is an update from Heidis mom.
A fairly good day. The angiogram again revealed no spasms. Infections are showing signs of improvement. Heidi needs to rest and relax to give her body time to heal. We might want to speed things up, but God will do this in His time. Nothing that is happening now is totally unexpected or unusual, they say. We lay the good angiogram results fully upon the grace of God. Your unbelievable generosity in prayer and assistance has caught the attention of the media and ABC'S affiliate is doing a story on tonight's 11:00 news. To the glory of God!
Here is the latest:
This morning we were met with the news that Heidi would need another procedure. She needed an Angiogram for the vessel spasms in the right (healthy) side of her brain. We were told that normally this would take 2 hours, but could take up to 6-8 hours. She also is retaining fluid- which needs to be treated,. In addition overnight she developed pneumonia- not a great deal of fluid, but concerning none the less. Then- GUESS WHAT- the doctor came out after just a couple of hours and said that they were DONE! When they went in they found that she wasn't actually having the spasms and did not need the medication at this point. They may need to do it again, if the issue still persists. BUT this is a WIN!! All of the other concerns are still present and they are trying to balance out all of her medication at this time.
They are still working on looking into her lungs to drain the fluid from the pneumonia and trying to treat the fact she is retaining water with medication, To our prayer warriors- keep praying as we can see it working. We want to continue to thank you all for your love and support!
P,S. And praise as John is talking and laughing for the first time today!!
Update time!!!! Today we are going to classify as a good day. I picked Michael up from the airport around 1:00pm so he finally got to see his sister. Heidi was going to have a procedure today because of the spasms that she is having on the good part of her brain, but guess what....it was called off because the spasms have not increased. Heidi has squeezed John's hand multiple times. She also squeezed Michaels when he went in to see her. Clearly we are looking at these as good signs but we still have a long road ahead. We will take any progress we can. She has a feeding tube in and when they have to adjust it...she does not like it. Also, her whole life she has HATED needles and when they went to poke her (before they even broke skin) she made a very big movement that indicated she still doesn't like it. So they gave her a local to numb the area first. So far everyday she has had surgeries and procedures so we are happy that she was able to let her bod rest since the procedure was cancelled. Thank you all so much for following and we can not express enough how this means to everyone. Heidi has touched so many lives prior to this (mine especially) and one day I cant wait to show her how much love she has received. Heidi's faith is the most important part of her life and all she would want from anyone is prayers, so please keep them coming.
We wanted to share with all of you this wonderful message from Sunnyvale PSOA...
I have been looking at the list of donators and see a lot of familiar names and organizations. I wanted to make sure everyone knows how thankful we, Sunnyvale PSOA, and John are for your prayers and generosity. I can guarantee you John and Heidi have always “pay it forward” and now it is their turn, unfortunately. We at Sunnyvale DPS will remember your generosity and do what we can to honor it. Over the weekend I have spoken to John numerous times, each time he mentions how amazed he is of the support and generosity.
Again, thank you for your prayers and generosity towards John and his family.
Sunnyvale PSOA, President
Dear Team Heidi,
Thank you all for your generiousity and prayers. The Crouch Family is feeling the love. As Heidi's story is unfolding we are seeing clearer the impact that this will have on the Crouch family and the enormous cost that comes with these changes to their lives. Due to this, we are raising our goal to $100,000. This may seem like a huge goal, but it will be much needed.
Some things that may/will be needed and that these funds will go to are: medical bills, medication, physical therapy, an in home nurse, making the house wheelchair accessible (if needed), transportation to appointments, child care, a hospital bed, etc. This is just a brief list of what may be needed. We are aiming high in order to help with the long term. Please know that your gifts will be used to support and care for Heidi and the changes that will need to be made for her.
We can not express in words the love we feel. I know that Heidi will be beyond words once we can show her this page and the support that she has around the world. Please continue to share this page- and know that all you are doing is making a difference.
With love and prayer,
Update: As planned, Heidi is in surgery to have the left side of her skull removed to make room for the swelling. This morning the swelling was at a 19 and they don't want to let it go lower than 20. So we are very happy that she held out to this morning. This surgery is happening at the right time. John, Joan (Heidi's mom), Clark (Heidi's dad), Darren (Good friend of John's), Chris (lieutenant from Johns work) and myself are in the waiting room waiting to her the good news that everything went well.
Wait the amazing surgeon just walked in!!!! I'm listening....all went well, they are going to do everything to keep her pressure down. Surgery was "uneventful" which means there we no issues. She will be coming out shortly!!!!! I typed this as the doctor was talking! I bet he was thinking...why isn't she listening???
Heidi's theme song.
Latest update: So, swelling of Heidi's brain is happening a little faster than anticipated. Therefore, Heidi will be going into surgery at approximately 7:30am tomorrow to remove the left portion of her skull. Please continue to pray as we tackle this next step in her journey. We will update tomorrow when we know more!
I know you have all been patiently waiting for this. Let me start by saying I think we have good news!!! Your prayers are helping so keep them coming! This morning things were not looking so good but as the day has passed Heidi has shown improvement despite everything. As you all know the neurosurgeon told us yesterday that a stroke was going to happen. Just as he suspected….it did. She had an MRI this morning that showed she had the worst possible stoke that she could have had. The MRI showed that two-thirds of the left side of her brain are no longer functioning. This can/will affect cognitive memory, speech, writing with her right hand. However the part for walking may not be affected. Clearly these are all things that we will not know for weeks. After spending many many hours with the neurosurgeon and drilling him with questions (come on you can see by this page that she is loved….they were not going to let this top surgeon off easy), we have made some decisions. First, Heidi will be going into surgery (hopefully tomorrow) to remove a larger part of her skull. Right now the part removed is the size of a baseball and she will have pretty much the entire left side removed. Her brain is going to swell more (day 3 and 4 are when the swelling usually peaks) and therefore if it swells and they don’t remove a larger portion, clearly that would mean pressure on the good part of her brain and it would be ruined and clearly we don’t want that to happen. So I am sure you can see why that was an easy decision. They slowly took her off the anesthesia and now she is completely off!!!! A couple hours ago she had small movements in her left leg which has now turned into her bringing her leg almost completely up (knee bent, foot flat on the bed). This is amazing! She is also using her left hand and trying to grab at the intubation tube to pull it out. I guess she doesn’t like it. Would you? This again is great news! And my favorite update of the day is that when she hears John, her mom (Joan), and dad (Clark) mention the kids….her eyes go crazy under her lids and she made a movement with her leg (kinda like she wanted to get up to go take care of them). That’s a true mom and a very strong fighter.
Here are some questions/answers:
What is going on with her weak arteries? She has some disease (the doctor named 2 but I don’t know what they were) that is causing this. And this is a simple fix…..ASPIRIN regimen. Which she is already on. This will help the tearing inside. So we will keep this going.
How long is recovery? This will be a very very long process. Months to years.
Can I visit? Yes, there is a waiting room but you can’t go back to see Heidi at this time.
Can I Call? You may NOT call the hospital. The staff is very busy keeping patients like Heidi alive. You may email Krystle or Lisa through the gofundme.com page.
How can you help? 1.) Pray. Pray and Pray some more. We are very convinced that this is why she is pulling through to this level. Heidi’s faith is very important to her. 2.) You can also keep sharing this page. 3.) If you are part of the Morgan Hill Raiders then you know that Krystle and Heidi are very active board members and we are only a month before the beginning of the season so Krystle can find a task for you! Go to Heidi’s church tomorrow. 4.) Morgan Hill Bible Church service is at 9:30am. Pastor Dave Whitaker has been here for 2 days with us.
Friends, the news is not good. During surgery Heidi had three vessels blow in her brain. They repaired those but with her increased blood pressure, her carotid artery blew and they had to completely clamp it off leaving her paralyzed on her right side. Her arteries are diseased and weak. They said she is going to have a stroke tonight they just don't know how big or small it will be-but there is nothing they can do to stop it. By morning they expect her to be between "bad and devastating." Please, please continue to pray. We will try and update again in the morning.
Heidi Crouch had a brain aneurysm early in the morning on July 4, 2014. Here is the story on how fast she made it to the hospital.....and how God was watching over her from the beginning. Heidi was having a block party with loved ones on July 3, 2014. She was not feeling well so she went to bed while others continued to enjoy the get together. Her husband John is a firefighter, cop, and EMT in the Bay Area, CA. John was still awake with friends when he heard a car accident at the end of his drive way (hit and run to top it off). Being the hero that he is he rushed out to help. He then had to pry the door open and start helping the injured driver. Heidi awoke due to the loud sound of the crash and came down the long driveway to ask John if he needed his medical bag. The ambulance was coming down the street. Heidi and 2 neighbors turned and started walking back up the driveway and that is when the tragedy happened and Heidi collapsed. Thankfully she was standing in the middle and the other 2 people caught her fall. She began having a seizure and getting sick while unconscious. John rushed to her side and since the ambulance was already there due to the car accident they were able to start working on her right away along with her husband John. She was rushed to Saint Louise Hospital in Gilroy and then air lifted to Stanford Hospital.
After exploratory surgery that lasted 2.5 hours (estimated that it would be 45 minutes) the neurosurgeon knew that they couldn’t get to the bleed without doing full open brain surgery. Heidi is at one of the top hospitals in the Country and is working with one of the top neurosurgeons in the Country. Currently as we write this she is still in surgery….updates to come.
Heidi and John have 2 kids, Tyler (7 years old) and Katelyn (6 years old). Heidi is very active in her church, Morgan Hill Bible Church (Pastor Dave Whitaker has been in the waiting room all day praying with us). She is also a vital board member for Morgan Hill Pop Warner. She is surrounded by many people who love her and are praying for her. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts. Heidi’s mom, dad and brother are on their way down to California from Oregon.
Please consider making a donation to the family to help with the expenses that they will incur. Medical bills will be astronomical. Today alone will be a substantial bill between the air lift and the surgery. But this will be minor as recovery care and missing time from work will be a huge burden on this loving and caring family. For those of you that know Heidi she is always the first to help anyone no matter what inconvenience it may be to her. Please consider showing her the love and support like she has shown to others.
With Love and Prayers,
Krystle Warren and Lisa Isaacs