Carl's Medical Fund

On the happiest day of my life, the scariest thing imaginable happened.  I woke up on my wedding day and got a call that my dad had suffered a stroke and he was paralyzed on his left side.  He was in an ambulance on his way to a hospital in Boulder.  My mom and stepdad drove me down to Boulder, since the EMTs were asking for the next of kin.  So heart wrenching.  I kept praying that he would just live.  I would give up my day to have him here for many more years to come.  Adam and I's life together was just beginning and we have a long way to go and a lot for my dad still to be a part of. 

I got to the hospital in time to see him, to hold his hand, watch him cry, and to see him get airlifted to Swedish Hospital .  There they would perform surgery to remove the clot.  Surprisingly, this happened very quickly and we were able to see him in recovery.  He could already smile with both sides of his face and lift both legs.  What a miracle!  But still no movement in his left arm or shoulder.  

He was in intensive care and on bedrest for the rest of the day.  So we had to quickly decide what to do with the wedding.  All I wanted was for my dad to be there when we got married, so I thought I would get Adam's dad to the hospital so he could perform the ceremony.  Then my dad asked, "What about your dress? Will Megan be able to do your hair? What about the wedding party?"  Then it was decided.  We will all get dressed and have the ceremony in the hospital.  I couldn't be happier with the staff.  They let us shower, cleared out a room so we could get ready and arranged so we could have the ceremony by my dad's bedside.  We gathered everyone into his room and he even wore his boutonnière! The nurses turned on the song for our father daughter dance, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," so I could walk down the aisle (hall). Adam and I exchanged vows and did our first dance, which was a very special and very emotional moment. I felt happy, lucky and scared.

My dad didn't want all the planning to be for not, so he made sure we went out and had the ceremony and reception at the farm right after.  We got married twice in one day! (thanks Mike!)

I'm honored to be able to share this story with you.  And have high hopes that he will make a full recovery.  During his therapy over the last week he has managed to move his fingers and started lifting his shoulder.  He needed to be admitted into acute inpatient therapy as soon as possible for the best chance of full recovery.  The insurance had denied his admittance to a rehab facility in Colorado since it was out-of-network.  So we had to find an in-network facility near Chicago and get him on a plane ourselves.  What a mess.  He checked into a facility in Hammond, IN and has begun the rehabilitation process, but it's already 4 days behind schedule. Stupid insurance and empty promises with their initial agreement accompanied by a letter for a one time contract in Colorado, but they took back that agreement the next day and made him continue to wait for approval.

On top of all of this insurance stress, there's the added stress of the cost of the out-of-network medical bills and the potential of being out of work for awhile.  So I'm phoning a friend, lots of them, and asking for your help.

The universe came together to make this unfortunate event happen on this day.  Here's the silver lining:

- His girlfriend, Amy, was there with him and called for help.
- The first responder lived down the street from where my dad was staying. He ran to the house!
- He was taken to Colorado's Comprehensive Stroke Center, which just became #1 in the world for treating stroke victims. 
- They were able to remove the blood clot in his brain with only a local anesthetic; he could see flashes as they were performing the surgery.
- We were able to have the ceremony at the hospital so my dad could "give me away."
- Adam & I aren't going on a honeymoon until November.
- Amy is able to stay by his side while he is in the hospital and I am able to go on leave from my job until this all gets worked out.
- And most importantly, he is here.  Alive.  Able to live the wedding day through us. Certainly will be unforgettable.  We are still planning on doing our father daughter dance in his suit and my dress once he is able.

I am Carl Zuhl's daughter, Heather Zuhl(Gillespie), from Longmont, CO.  I will use this money to pay for my dad's medical bills and any living expenses, or other expenses, incurred while he is in rehabilitation.  I will either pay the bills directly or transfer the funds to my dad so he can pay them.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Heather Zuhl 
Hammond, IN
Carl Zuhl