Juli's Journey to recovery after Stroke

$14,695 of $10k goal

Raised by 225 people in 33 months
Beth Karas  NASHUA, NH
On the morning of December 10, 2013, after 3 days of having a stiff neck, and not feeling "quite right", Juli was driving home from work and suddenly lost her peripheral vision and felt numbness and tingling in her right arm. She called her mother and the doctor and went home for the day. A while later her father found her on the bathroom floor. She was unable to pick herself up and she her speech was impaired. After carrying her to the couch, he called 911. She was taken by ambulance to the hospital.

Her body was like jello. She had double vision. There was significant numbness and she was unable to move the right side of her body. After multiple hours and many tests it was determined that she had suffered a Vertebral Artery Dissection (VAD).

VAD is dissection (a flap-like tear) of the inner lining of the vertebral artery, which is located in the neck and supplies blood to the brain. After the tear, blood enters the arterial wall and forms a blood clot, thickening the artery wall and often impeding blood flow. The symptoms of vertebral artery dissection include head and neck pain and intermittent or permanent stroke symptoms such as difficulty speaking, impaired coordination and visual loss.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vertebral_artery_dissection

With the help of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists she is going through the process of retraining her brain and muscles to work together the way they always have, the way they should.

My sister, Juli, is a 27 year old single mother. She has a beautiful 7 year old daughter, Athena. She works as a school bus driver and takes classes at night to one day become a teacher. She's young and beautiful, smart and funny. Most importantly she's a fighter.

We are raising money to make sure Juli's medical expenses and everyday bills are paid and her daughter has everything she needs while she is away from home. We have no idea how long it will be before she will be able to go home, and once home, how long she will be out of work.
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Update 14
30 months ago

We can't thank you all enough for your continued support.

As most of you know, through Facebook, that Juli has made amazing strides. Her vision is back to 95% of what it was pre-stroke. She no longer has to go to speech therapy. Visible improvements are vast. She is doing so well.

You probably also heard that the family home, the residence where my parents, Juli and her daughter Athena all live, was destroyed by fire on the afternoon of March 26th. As devastating a blow as this has been, we are truly blessed everyone, including the family dog, made it out unharmed.

Everyone has been so generous. Whether it be a donation of time, household articles, clothing, space, money and prayers, we are eternally grateful. We are truly a blessed family to have all of you in our lives.

Thanks again.
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Update 13
31 months ago

In 5 days Juli will be allowed to leave the rehab facility for the day FOR THE FIRST TIME since she was admitted. In addition to that piece of good news, She OFFICIALLY HAS A DISCHARGE DATE!! I am including a post my sister Kristin wrote on the Juli's Journey Facebook page. It's a quick update. Juli still has months of therapy ahead of her and future timeline remains uncertain, but she will be going home at the end of the month!!!

POST FROM FACEBOOK:

Well, its official. Juli has a discharge date!!

We are thrilled that Juli will be moving back home soon, and she is counting down the days until she is home with Athena. Therapy will continue indefinitely on an outpatient, and/or in-home basis.

I got to spend another weekend with Juli. She's doing fantastic!

Her speech is coming along great - I can't believe the improvements she has made in her speech just over the last two weeks. So proud! She is able to change her volumes and tones of her voice much better, in other words its much easier to hear different emotions when she speaks now - in the beginning she was monotone and had some slurred speech - not anymore

In physical therapy Juli has been learning to walk unassisted with a walker, and is also learning to do stairs. These are an important part of her transition home. Right now Juli is able to climb between 4-8 stairs at a time, impressive considering less than two months ago she had difficulty sitting up unassisted!!

This coming Saturday Juli will be leaving the facility for the first time for a day pass to attend Beth's wedding. She is super excited to spend the evening with family and is looking forward to being a bridesmaid. We will definitely be posting pictures of her all done up!

I would like to take a brief moment to thank some special people who have donated their time and resources to help us get Juli ready for Saturday. From dress alterations, eyebrows, hair, and nails, those of you that offered your services and those of you that helped we are forever grateful. Its important Juli feels as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside. She is a cosmetologist afterall - beauty is important! So thank you all.

And one last thing, Juli has overcome incredible obstacles in a very short amount of time. She has surprised us all. But her journey is far from over. She still has many obstacles to overcome and we need your continued prayers and support. I will continue to post updates between now and then, but please pray for a smooth transition home! Thank you all! ~KR
Counting down the days!
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Update 12
32 months ago

It's been so long since I've updated. I'm sorry for that, but it didn't stop us from hitting our goal. We have had such an outpouring of love and support from all of you, I can't even believe it. When I first set this site up, It asked for a goal and I had no idea what to put. It's impossible to know how much she could possibly need to pay her bills and take care of Athena while she isn't working. At the time we had no idea how long she would be in rehab, and when she would be able to work again.

We still don't know how much money she'll need because we still don't know when she'll be able to work, or drive, or walk completely on her own, but we do know she is making progress everyday.

Just a few short weeks ago, we were told there was no way she would be able to attend my wedding on February 22nd. Juli was not going to be told NO. The very next week she had wowed her doctors and therapists so much that they will be granting her a day pass to attend. She is amazing. And so are all of you. I can't thank you enough. Myself, my family and Juli are all so grateful to have your in our lives.

Thank you.
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Update 11
33 months ago

I apologize for the lack of updates lately. I have been sick and haven't been up to visit Juli in an attempt to keep her GERM FREE. However, my dad provided some great information for an update today.

SPEECH - her speech is coming along and the therapist is pleased with her progress.

VISION/EYES - The neuro-ophthalmalogist advised her to exercise her eyes, just as she would any other muscle. She needs to move them up and down and side to side to strengthen the muscles. This is something she is working on, and hopefully we will start to see some big improvements here.

BALANCE/MUSCLE CONTROL - The ataxia continues to be a problem. As you have seen in her videos, the strength seems to be coming along, but she has difficulty controlling some movements, and her balance is off. They have put her on a new medication to help with the ataxia.

In therapy today they had her wheel herself in the wheelchair down the hall to her room using her arms and not her feet. She did have to stop and take a break, but she did a great job!! While in PT they had her stand on one foot at a time in 10 second intervals.

It's amazing to see/hear the progress she is making every single day, she still has a long road ahead of her, but she just keeps moving along one step at a time.
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 1.2K total shares
Debra Gates-Prunier
32 months ago

Yay Juli............good to hear that you are making progress.......Love Mr & Mrs Prunier

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Judy Ray
33 months ago

Happy Birthday Juli!

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Mary Evans
33 months ago

I'm so blown away by all the generosity and warmth people have shown - Juli, you are one special person to inspire all this love and hope for you.

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Debra Gates-Prunier
33 months ago

Thank you girls for keeping everyone out here posted on Julie's progress. We wish the whole family a Merry Christmas!

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$14,695 of $10k goal

Raised by 225 people in 33 months
Created December 17, 2013
$50
Anonymous
28 months ago
KR
$100
Karen Raymond
29 months ago

Thinking of your family often. Wishing you hope and strength. Sincerely, Karen & Roger Raymond

$100
Anonymous
29 months ago
DR
$50
David Reno
29 months ago
$100
Anonymous
29 months ago
AA
$30
Anonymous Anonymous
29 months ago
PH
$100
Patty Heisler
30 months ago
GM
$20
Georgina Moden
30 months ago

I'm so sorry to hear about the family home. I hope this little will help in some way. My thoughts and prayers continue to be with you all. Great news that Juli is making such amazing progress. Still rooting for her and her recovery. Lots of love George and Sophie xxx

AR
$50
Audrey Resener
30 months ago
JJ
$100
Jackie Jones
30 months ago

Thoughts and prayers go to your entire family!

Debra Gates-Prunier
32 months ago

Yay Juli............good to hear that you are making progress.......Love Mr & Mrs Prunier

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Judy Ray
33 months ago

Happy Birthday Juli!

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Mary Evans
33 months ago

I'm so blown away by all the generosity and warmth people have shown - Juli, you are one special person to inspire all this love and hope for you.

+ Read More
Debra Gates-Prunier
33 months ago

Thank you girls for keeping everyone out here posted on Julie's progress. We wish the whole family a Merry Christmas!

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