On March 10, 2014, Frank was sitting at his computer when he yelled out for help. His sister and brother in law ran to his aid and found him collapsed on the floor. They dialed 9-1-1 and fortunately, the ambulance was there within five minutes. On the way to the hospital, Frank lost consciousness and stopped breathing. Upon arrival at St. Jude's Hospital in Orange County, California, it was determined he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke with an aneurysm in the basal ganglia in the brain.
Hour by hour we did our best to stay positive. Frank is strong, and we had faith he would pull through.
He spent the first few days in the hospital on a ventilator under heavy sedation.
When he awoke, he was aware of who we all were, but was very confused. He was not understandable. When he spoke, everything sounded garbled and the wrong words were being used. His right side was paralyzed. He was left immobile and remains that way currently.
Frank was unemployed and uninsured, so we immediately arranged to sign him up for Medi-Cal.
After two weeks, Frank was transferred to a skilled nursing facility. The staff is friendly, the place is clean, but of course seeing a middle-aged man in a facility designed for elderly people breaks your heart.
Currently, he cannot walk or stand. However, the good news is that his left arm and leg are in the beginning phases of mobility return. We had a family meeting with the director, the nurses and therapists. They all say without therapy, he will not improve enough to see a real life again. He will remain in the convalescent home most likely as a permanent resident.
The St. Jude Foundation paid for 21 days of therapy for Frank but that ended on 04-28-14.
Medi-Cal won't pay for the therapy Frank needs to recover and he won't qualify for Medicare for years.
The facility doesn't take credit cards; it's cash only.
He requires Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapy. The cost is over $300 per day and he needs 6 days per week according to the facility. Selling his car did not amount to enough for even one month of therapy. As you can imagine we are doing everything we can to find a solution.
The doctors and therapists tell us he needs approximately four months of therapy, six days per week. The goal of this therapy is to make him strong enough so that he will be eligible to return to the Acute Stroke Rehabilitation Unit at St. Jude's Medical Center.
We are trying to raise enough money to get him the rehab the experts are telling us will change his life forever.
Please help us, help Frank fight for his life back.
The Messina Family
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