Hi, my name is Julie, and I'm helping my beloved younger brother Brad by doing this Go Fund Me. The picture you see was taken about 25 years ago; I was bugging him, but it does sum us up...we're great friends!
I hope to raise money for a vehicle and a cushion of emergency money for him. My brother has been through quite the medical ordeal, but if you met Brad today, you’d never begin to imagine that he lived the story I’m about to tell you. He's doing quite well, and we are so thankful that he's still with us!
In May 2020, Brad experienced an incredibly life-threatening bleed due to a ruptured aneurysm deep in his brain. His first surgery was highly complex, lasting nearly 13 hours. His 2nd, 3rd and 4th were, thankfully, much shorter. Brad was a hero and survived the bleed, surgeries, stroke, brain infection, and numerous other severe challenges. He was on a ventilator for nearly six weeks and in the hospital for almost three months. Upon his discharge, our sister Virginia and I flew to Minnesota to get him. At that point, Brad was still very weak and needed help, so he returned to Colorado with me to continue his recovery. I live out in the country, so my house was a lovely place for him to recover. It's quiet with lots of wildlife and pretty places to walk. He stayed with me for the next six months and then returned to Minnesota to try it independently.
Being back in Minnesota was a struggle without help, but Brad worked hard to rebuild his life. Unfortunately, he was unable to work due to the residual effects of the aneurysm, and as you can imagine, that was a hard blow, both personally and financially. Brad then decided to apply for disability with the help of an attorney in Minnesota. Waiting on this application has been his biggest hurdle and has prompted a return to Colorado. He’s been living on his savings since the aneurysm, and his money has dwindled to the point that he can no longer support the payments he had. His only option was to make a permanent move back to my house in Colorado.
Strangely, my two daughters and I experienced a previous neurological event of a loved one in 2013. My then-husband Andrew, and the girl’s father, had a massive stroke while in Canada on business. The stroke left Andrew with significant cognitive and physical impairment, resulting in total disability. Andrew divorced me in 2019, so the girls and I have been on our own since then. I am unable to help Brad financially with a car and thus am doing this GoFundMe.
My house is a three-bedroom but does have a partial basement which is where a simple apartment is underway for Brad. It’s not a big area, but it has a bathroom that had already been planned for at initial construction back in the 1980s and will have a small kitchenette. Good thing Brad is a bachelor! The housing situation will work out well for us, but the lack of transportation for Brad is a problem given that we live out in the country. If he needs anything, he is at my mercy! Unfortunately, if he wants to get somewhere on his own, it's impossible as my house is fifteen minutes from the nearest town.
Brad’s attitude is fantastic, and from the first conversation I had with him in the hospital, he said he just wanted to walk through this with grace and a position of gratitude, which he sure has. Suffice it to say that his recovery was not easy, yet he never complained and is so grateful for all the simple things. He appreciates living at my house and didn't expect anything other than a mattress in the basement! He’s very able to make the best of things and wants to be helpful to my daughters and me in any way possible. Having Brad in Colorado is a blessing to us, and I'm hoping for a blessing of a vehicle and a financial cushion for him to regain some independence and build a life in Colorado! Thank you for reading this and giving consideration to Brad's cause!
This photograph is Brad and me a few weeks ago...I'm absolutely minding my own business this time!