On April 11, 2017 our world changed. My parents, Brandon and Cricket Merworth, were in Las Vegas for the National Bowling Tournament when my dad had his first stroke. On April 12, he would have another stroke. The combination of these 2 strokes would leave him unable to walk or put more than 2 words together. This was devestating for my father and mother. Up until the strokes, my father was an athletic 62 year old. He worked out most every day. He ate well, and took his vitamins. He could run circles around most of us that were half his age. My mom went from being wife to being his caregiver. Don't get me wrong, we are beyond grateful that my dad is still with us and God did not take him from us. I feel he has many more years with us, but what my dad is looking for now is QUALITY of life instead of QUANTITY.
Over the last 9 months, my dad has gained the ability to walk short distances and his speach has improved. He does struggle to do the simplest of tasks, such as putting on his shoes and brushing his teeth. If you see him on a "good day" then you might think that he is doing incredible. What you don't see is that his "good days" are often followed by a week of "bad days" where he can't even get out of bed. Depression is setting in and I see the light and happiness that he once had fading from his eyes. He has been discharged from Physical therapy, Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy. They feel he has made all of the improvement that he can and insurance will not approve any more.
This brings us to the "why" of this campain to raise funds. We have located a treament in Florida that insurance will not cover. The medication that they inject is approved by insurance companies for treament of Rheumatoid Arthritis and other autoimmune diseases, but not treament of stroke patients. Each injection costs $7,600. Stroke patients with Aphasia (an inability to comprehend and formulate language because of damage to specific brain regions) typically require 2 injections 7 days apart. With this treament they will inject medication into his spine that blocks TNF. TNF causes inflammation around the nerves in the brain. In patients that receive these injections there are significant statistic improvments in motor skills, cognitions, pain, sensory impairment, and psychological function. We are hoping and praying for ANY improvement. What some might consider a "small improvement" would actually be a "huge improvement" for my dad. Like I mentioned before, he needs a QUALITY of life improvement. It is hard for a man to go from active to needing assistance with the smallest tasks that we all take for granted. I hope and pray that you find it in your heart to help. Even if it's only $10.
Any funds raised will directly go to assisting in covering the costs of the treatment and travel to Florida for the injections.
Thank you from bottom of our hearts,
Melinda Rochen (daughter) & Chris Merworth (son)