Purpose of this campaign: To help a beautiful young (28 yr old) man with his recovery needs and alleviating some of the financial strain of tragedy for his immediate family (carers) to assist in his recovery.
What happened? On February 5th, 2019 I, and my family were shocked to learn that my little Brother, Joey, had been found in a critical condition at his apartment and rushed to Emergency.
Joey spent 3 weeks in ICU. Followed by many weeks in the ward before being transferred to specialised Brain Injury Recovery Unit.
Joey sustained pressure wounds, 2nd and 3rd degree burns (including chemical burn from his iphone that had been merely resting on his hip at the time of becoming unconscious - and being outside in the elements), complete kidney failure, collapsed lungs and pneumonia, and most devastating; we would learn - had suffered from multiple strokes.
Joey's condition was so bad he was on life support and in a coma.
The ICU Director informed us that he had suffered primarily 'toxic encephalopathy', that essentially his MRI revealed he'd suffered multiple strokes on either side of his brain.
This ICU Intensivist further dropped devastating bombshell of saying he'd suffered "A catastrophic brain injury'. He explained, that 'grey matter'; the part of the brain responsible for 'thought' and 'emotion' - was largely unknown and so the difficult thing for them... and for us to face is that IF Joey even ever 'woke' from his coma; he would most likely have no 'quality of life' - i.e. be unable to probably even breathe for himself, let alone be in control of his faculties. He advised that the reality was - he would likely be in a vegetative state and 'live' a terrifying existence of perhaps complete awareness and feeling of pain however, unable to express any emotion or the physical ability or to relay this consciousness.
To say this was difficult, traumatic... and completely devastating information to even begin to process...was more than an understatement. Joey was given less than a 1% chance of this NOT being the case IF he even woke from his coma (which he was not expected to).
After a week though Joey began to wake from his coma. He again, was not however, expected to 'recover' much or relay much 'improvement'.
However, Joey began to respond to commands physically.
We were then told he would likely never move his right side again. A few days later - he did.
After two weeks, Joey began to talk again.
Nine going on 10 weeks later and Joey has proven a 'medical miracle' in that he is functioning much more than ever, ever imagined possible and his progress thus far defies ALL logic and medical/scientific explanation.
After weeks on dialysis Joey's kidneys have basically fully recovered.
Joey now uses a wheelchair (at present - for longer outings) and uses a wheelie-walker for around the hospital and shorter walks - but he is walking! Which is amazing!
Whilst Joey's cognitive function has been severely impaired by this tragedy - and primarily effects his focus and memory - for many hours during the day Joey can have a relatively 'normal' conversation with us now.
Suffice to say - Joey has a long uphill journey and road to rehabilitation and will now always have an acquired brain injury.
It is difficult ...and we, as his family have been reluctant to divulge much detail surrounding the 'circumstances' of his sudden devastating predicament. However, if this tragedy has taught us anything it is that there is far too great a stigma surrounding mental health and depression. Joey and I have spoken in recent times about this (as much as he is now able) and as much as he was struggling with issues.. He has said he is grateful to be alive.
This campaign, is to assist Joey in his recovery. To in small part alleviate some of the rather taxing financial implications (in addition to the physical, emotional and mental implications) to Joey and to myself and his Mother in supporting him through his intense recovery and required care.
Joey will be in the Brain Injury Recovery Unit for a few more weeks and when he is discharged he will have a long road of recovery and required care. Whilst in hospital over an hour away the transport and parking costs alone have been horrendous. Loss of income and financial implications have been really 'intense' (for lack of better diction).
Ongoing, Joey will require hire mobility equipment and other medical aids not provided by medicare. Travel to intense treatment providers will be a future serious consideration as currently, neither of us have suitable vehicles for this and the time alone to care for Joey will be intense to say the least.
We are aware that the costs will greatly exceed this campaign goal however, any assistance would mean so much.
Joey is a beautiful, loving, funny and terribly clever man who happens to be a skilled writer and absolute EXPERT on all things Marilyn Monroe - so much so he was in the middle of writing a book about her. It is our hope that Joey will one day be able to find a new 'normal' and have a happier existence with the support and love of those around him to make a wonderful life for himself as he truly is too brilliant to have a life any less than extraordinary.
He is an amazing Brother, the BEST Uncle, a perfect son, a sincere, loyal and true friend and any whom have been fortunate enough to know or meet Joey will concur that his charisma is undeniably intoxicating.