As many know, my mom, Michelle Guglielmelli Matthews suffered a stroke on April 19, 2017. Thankfully my father, Don Matthews miraculously came home 3 hours before he normally does in the afternoon from work, found her, brought her to the hospital and saved her life. She was taken from El Camino Hospital to Stanford hospital later in the evening on April 19th. She was stable and stayed the night in ICU. A procedure was done on the morning of April 20th to prevent the aneurysm from bleeding any further and it proved to be successful by looking at her CT scans and MRI's. As the day (April 20th) went on, doctors kept taking her for more scans and MRI's because she seemed to be declining rapidly. They found that the clot that formed after the initial bleed was growing and her brain was continuing to swell. Dr. Steinberg and his team at Stanford rushed Michelle into emergrency brain surgery to remove the bone flap on the left side of her head to relieve the pressure.
From there, she stayed in ICU for a few more days until she was more stable and then was moved into a "step down" room at Stanford. On April 29, 2017 she was released from Stanford to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, which is an intense rehabilitation facility that specializes in traumatic brain injuries and strokes. From her surgery to ICU, to the step down, to Santa Clara Valley Med, Michelle made remarkable steps in her recovery and astonished a lot of doctors and nurses. This probably doesn't surprise many people who know her because she is so strong and healthy and is very determined.
My mom was released from Santa Clara Valley Medical Center to come home on May 16, 2017 and we could not have been more excited. We are not sure the reason, but my mom started to decline in her strength, energy level and speech so we had to take her back to emergency on May 22nd to see if anything was critically wrong. It could be that she wasn't getting the intense therapy she was getting or for other things that could've been going on in her brain, but we still do not know. She is starting to make small steps in her progress and we are taking it day by day. Michelle had a CT scan and saw her surgeon today, June 12, 2017, and we were informed that she is more than ready for her next surgery and will have it within the next week. This surgery will be putting her bone flap back on and "make her whole again" and we are expecting her to make good progress afterward.
We have been here for her every step of the way along with all of her siblings and father who were at the hospital with her every day. We could not have done it without them. My mom has also been shown lots of love from family and friends through letters, texts, phone calls, flowers and meals for our family so we are eternally thankful to everyone who has shown love and support. With all of the days at Stanford, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, all of the appointments/ scans, and now with therapists coming to our home for therapy, the bills are starting to pile. The Matthews do not like asking for hand outs and everyone has already done so much, but this has been a very tragic event in our lives and we have done all of this to save my moms life and to continue to better her life for the future. You all know that we appreciate you and anything you are willing to give us, because anything will help.
Lots of love,
- Ed Hannon
- Gary Peterson
- Verne Freeman
- Jill Poulsen
Organizer and beneficiary
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