On April 23rd Andy woke up feeling good, wanting to take Kaitlyn and I shopping and out to lunch. Our baby is heading to college in August and all he wanted was to spend as much time together even if it meant he had to go to the mall. Anybody that knows Andy knows he is just a great guy with a great sense of humor.
We were having lunch, everything was normal, at the end of our meal he began feeling dizzy and wanted to head home. In the car he said he was experiencing a little vertigo, he just wanted to lay down. We made it home and got him upstairs to the couch and then he complained of tingling in his hands and face, I immediately called 911 and he was transported to the hospital.
That was the moment our lives changed forever. Andy suffered a brain stem stroke, the doctors said it was a tiny stroke but in the worst part of the brain. Andy is now paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors call it Locked-In Syndrome which means his mind is okay, he hears us and sees us, but he is completely paralyzed. He communicates by blinking his eyes. Our goal is to get Andy the best care possible so he can come home.
On Tuesday they will be moving him into a subacute facility and he will remain there for 100 days or until he no longer is making progess. I always thought our insurance would cover all our medical needs and we currently have two medical insurances policie, but I quickly found out that is not the case.
For the first week I was in total shock, I couldn't think about anything but Andy and what he must be going through and at the same time the hospital social worker talking about how I plan to pay for his care. I am so thankful we were surrounded by family because for me life stopped.
The second week the family had gone home, Kaitlyn went back to school, and reality set in; this is going to be our new life!
I have lost a large part of my income, the medical bills are adding up and it is so important that Andy gets the best possible care over the next year because after the first year in most cases patients show very little progress. Kaitlyn is graduating in June with a 4.2 GPA and will be attending Cal Lutheran University next fall. I don't know what God's plan is for us but I know he has one. My goal is to be able to provide for my family and if you can help our family it will be greatly appreciated but if you can't we understand and as I said in the beginning, above all else we are in need of prayers so please keep us in your prayers.
Andy, Annette & Kaitlyn
This Thanksgiving it was really hard and a little harder to find things to be thankful for but when I started thinking about it the day actually turned out really nice and here are a few reasons why:
Our goal from the beginning was to get Andy home and we made it and for that I am so thankful.
I have found an AMAZING caregiver he is here everyday from 8am until 8pm and I know I could not do this without him so for that I am so thankful.
I think about where we started and how far we have come, and we are not alone on this journey God is with us and for that I am thankful.
I have three beautiful children and AMAZING grandsons and for them I am thankful.
However even after all those wonderful things I've mentioned the one thing this year that really stands out is on April 23rd when my family went through the hardest thing we've ever experienced all of you called, sent cards, made donations and held a benefit in Andy's name. Without the donations I could not provide the care that is necessary. Some even took time from your busy lives to fly here and help us get through it. I am so THANKFUL for each and every one that has helped my family and have prayed for Andy. Andy is so THANKFUL!!!! I don't know what the future holds but this year because of all of you we had A LOT to be thankful for! God bless!!!!
Andy, Annette & Kaitlyn
Hopefully the next update will be pictures of Andy at home!
Prayers for strength, support & healing. Andy is blessed to have you & Nick whose obvious love & dedication ...to many...is inspiring. BS '79 is a special group ❤️
Once again thank you for the update Annette. You are a strong person and have a loving family. We will continue to send prayers Andy's way and am so glad the lockedin syndrome has improved. Andy, know that I am thinking of you and wishing you any of life's pleasures God chooses to grant you. You are a strong person as well and your laugh is contagious. I can hear it from here...
Hi friends of Andy, Annette and Kaitlyn.... so.... today, April 23rd, is 1 year since Andy had his stroke. So, starting at 3:25pm this afternoon.... I will match any donation for a 24 hour period.... please share the link, get the word out ! Thank you all in advance! Any amount will do!
A blessing in itself you dig deep in your faith and was able to find the hidden truths of these words to share when all seems lost and turmoil still. Your faith is too strong and God sees you and knows your strength and struggle. I am Thankful for you and your family. The true definition of family at all levels. The vows for Better or worse, in sickness and in health have stuck and remained true. You are amazing children of God and he will take care of you. Keep the faith and continued prayers from Vegas for you all ♥ HUGZ n Howlz