Dad's Stroke Recovery Fund

A year ago,  on May 27,  2017,  my dad,  Spence Kistler,  suffered a massive stroke.  My dad was out doing yard work in the backyard when it happened.  When I came running out, I saw my dad on the ground.  He could not get up and could not speak any words.  I have never been so scared in my life watching my dad and not sure what was happening.  I held his head while I waited for the ambulance to arrive.  I later learned that he had a really bad stroke and we weren’t sure if he was going to live or not.  He was in intensive care for 3 weeks and then went to various rehab facilities.  He now is staying at a nursing home in Ventura and has been there since September 2017.  He still needs care 24 hours a day.

My dad has made a lot of progress.  At first he could not eat or speak.  Now, he can eat, talk and even has his sense of humor back.  His memory is not perfect and he still gets confused, but he is so much better in that regard.  He has been learning how to walk again.  He is working really hard at this.  Because the left side of his body is still completely paralyzed, he has a lot of challenges in that department.  The therapists that are working with him to get him to walk are awesome but expensive.  I don’t like that he is an hour away from our home, but he is getting great care and therapy where he is.  Everyone treats him good there and they all like him.

Before my dad had his stroke he worked hard as a real estate broker and always tried hard to make sure we all had what we needed.   One of his favorite things to do was to go hiking and running in the hills.  He would always come back with rocks he collected in his pockets and pictures of weird things on his phone. He also liked to just do things around the house and yard and walk our dogs.  I feel sad that now he either has to be in a bed or in a wheelchair and always has to have someone there to help him do basic stuff.  I wish so much that he could recover enough so that he could get up and make a cup of coffee,  and maybe even be able to go for a walk outside on his own two feet.

My mom is constantly fighting to keep his therapy going.  The place where he is staying is fighting for him too.  It is our healthcare system and the State of California that keeps trying to take his therapy away.  Every month,  the cost for his medical care goes up and my mom cannot work enough to keep up with it and also keep up with all the bills for us just to survive.  Because of all of this, we lost our home and had to move.  That was very hard.

There is more therapy that my dad needs to help with his memory, his brain and his arm, and to help him become independent again.  Unfortunately, we cannot get this kind of therapy paid for.  My mom has looked everywhere for help and cannot find it.  We are trying to save up to get my dad a computer because there are a lot of programs out there to help stroke survivors.  That’s just one thing.  We also need to try and get additional occupational therapy for him.  This is expensive and the insurance will not cover it anymore.  I am scared that if they also cancel his physical therapy, he may never be able to be independent again.  I love my dad and want to see him make the best recovery he can.

Anything you can do to help will be so much appreciated by me and my whole family.  We will put every penny donated towards my dad’s care,  recovery and therapy.  Thank you for listening.

Sincerely and with much appreciation,

Brian Kistler
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Organizer and beneficiary

Brian Kistler 
Organizer
Simi Valley, CA
Annette Kistler 
Beneficiary
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