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Amber's on-going care & support

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Amber unfortunately had a stroke on March 3rd this year while in seemingly excellent health. 

In fact she was working out with her boot camp group when the stroke hit her brain stem, making her unconscious, which is how she has remained so far. Her husband, dad, son and brother have been at her side in Kingston ever since and her expanded family have been rallying their support.

Update April 8

On behalf of Amber and her family we would like to thank everyone for their amazing generosity and would like to take this opportunity to explain a little of what is happening to her.

Amber’s stroke has caused a condition known as “locked in syndrome”.

What this means in “real terms” is that the part of Amber’s brain that makes her the person that we all know and love, is still fully intact and she is fully aware of what is happening to her.

Unfortunately the stroke damaged a part of her brain “stem”, which means that she is unable to voluntarily access and control her body. She is fully aware of this, which we can only imagine must be like living a daily nightmare, as she struggles to rejoin the life and family she loves.

Amber has been in the stroke ward at Kingston General Hospital for the past 5 weeks while the neurologists and medical team evaluate her condition and her progress and plan what needs to happen next.

She is a fighter and has made visible progress. She can smile when Logan comes to visit and has managed controlled movements of her thumb, toes and head. She communicates with family through eye blinks, two for YES and one for NO. She is perfectly capable of making her wishes known, so I will be planting marigolds this Summer in her garden planters.

Planning the next step has been very troublesome. There is really very little appropriate rehabilitation for people who are “locked in”. She requires a very intensive, multi dimensional program to help her recover as much of her control as she can. After spending many hours trying and failing to find her a place locally, the family has applied to the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab in Chicago where they specialize in “locked in syndrome” recovery. They have an excellent reputation and a higher than average success rate.

We feel that offering Amber every opportunity to have as a full a future as we can give her is paramount and we feel that whatever expenditure is necessary to achieve that is the least we can do to help in her battle.

We are optimistic that when she has made good progress she will be able to return to the Toronto area to continue her rehab.

So thanks to all for helping us to offer Amber the very best chance for recovery and helping her to look forward to enjoying the company of all of her friends in the near future.


  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 7 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Mandy Spahn
Kawartha Lakes, ON
Rick Puiu

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