John's Stroke Recovery

Last Saturday, March 3rd, my dad had a massive stroke at home. Thankfully, my mom was close by and got him to the hospital quickly. A couple days later he had another stroke—the result, we would learn, of a blood clot in the internal carotid artery on the right side of his neck blocking the flow of blood to the right side of his brain. My dad survived a risky surgery to break up the clot, but still remains mostly paralyzed on his left side, can’t swallow (he’s being fed through an NG tube in his nose), and has to work very hard to speak. No one can say how much he’ll recover, only that it will be a long, long road back.My family has lived in the economic margins for a while now, and the one-two punch of already overwhelming medical bills and the loss of my dad’s income—and the fact that my dad, once he’s home, will need my mom’s care day and night—is more than we can deal with on our own. I’ve never felt comfortable asking for help like this, especially in a public forum, but we seem to have no other choice.

I’ll leave you with this: Since the stroke occurred on the right side of his brain, left-brain language and reason are intact, which means my dad is intact, even his sense of humor. Last Saturday, not an hour after the stroke, a nurse called my mom into the ER cubicle, smiled and said that when she asked my dad, during the standard neurological battery, who the president was, he said, “the Manchurian pumpkin.” Then, yesterday, when a neurologist asked him if he knew why he was in the hospital, he said, “I heard the food was good.”

In the past few days he's already made tremendous progress: when I first saw him he didn't know where he was, could hardly speak, and couldn't move the left side of his body. Now he's aware, able to converse (though slowly) and move his left side a bit.

If I or my father or my mother have risen to meet you in this life or somehow lightened your load, I hope you’ll consider giving what you can to help a wonderful man get his life back. Please share this and know that you have my deep gratitude.


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Declan Hindman 
Los Angeles, CA
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