To make matters much worse, his stroke wasn’t noticed right away which significantly added to the side effects by the time it was. His stroke effected the left side of his brain which controls language among other things. One word sums up the results of the stroke - Asphasia. Because of the Asphasia, Dad/Dave has trouble speaking, listening, reading, writing, dealing with numbers, understanding speech, and thinking of words when talking or writing.
He lost almost all of his ability to speak, walk, the use of his right leg, arm, and hand (he was/is right handed). After 2 weeks at UHS Wilson Medical Center ICU and undergoing multiple CT scans, an MRI, brain and chest x-rays, a stomach tube, and many different medical procedures to figure out what kind of stroke he had and the cause of it, it was determined that because of his high blood pressure he suffered a stroke that caused 8 brain infarcts on the left side of his brain.
He was then moved into the neurological wing for a week while trying to stabilize his outrageously high blood pressure (212/110). After they were confident that they had his blood pressure somewhat stabilized (170/70) they transferred him to UHS Binghamton General Hospital where he stayed for another 5 weeks monitoring his blood pressure, doing PT (physical therapy), OT (occupational therapy) and speech therapy.
On February 26th, he was finally discharged from the hospital and began the regime of multiple appointments to out-patient rehabilitation.
Rehab is critical to begin as soon as possible after a stroke so that functions are not lost. He stayed near the hospital in Binghamton at the ‘Danielle House’ a charitable, non-profit organization and member of the Healthcare Hospitality Network home for 13 weeks, continuing outpatient OT, PT and speech therapy at Binghamton General Hospital along with multiple vision appointments to align his eyes to help him keep his balance as he walks.
Because of his utter determination (cow pun intended), dedication and especially everyone’s prayers, visits, cards and words of support, he is now able to walk with the help of a hemi walker, stand completely on his own, talk (almost non-stop LOL), dress the upper half of his body, write with his left hand, and get himself out of a tall chair with little assistance.
He’s back home and is continuing therapy at the Stratton center in Norwich focusing more on exercises to make his muscles stronger and more effective. As far as speech goes, he has been fortunate to gain all of his speech back and he has not lost any of his sense of humor.
We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers, visits, love and support throughout this time!
The past 9 months have been really emotional for everyone who knows our father. It’s been so hard to grasp onto the fact that life would never be the same again. I think some people thought that it would all be better with therapy, and that he would be back to normal within a few months. We all wanted to believe that. But unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. The truth is that things won’t ever be the same. We all have a new perspective on life, especially Dad/Dave.
We are so blessed and happy that he is still with us and hanging in there and trying his hardest to stay positive – it cannot be easy for him, because we know it’s not easy for us to witness. It’s been 9 months since his stroke, and while we may never understand why this has happened to us, we have come to terms with all of it. Many of us still tear up thinking about him and the life he has had to leave behind, even though he survived this. We’re sure we must not be the only ones who feels this way.
It’s definitely an amazing journey to watch him work so hard to gain so much strength and movement back. It’s the little things that help all of us get through it. To see him dancing, smiling, sitting outside and enjoying the sunshine, eating (constantly), and keeping his positive humor by joking around with everyone. You can see that he’s still the same old guy he always was.
He now has a second chance to further develop more of who he is… a special, kind hearted person, strong in body and mind, all around special guy, and in that frame of mind he continues to explore ways to overcome this situation.
Chapter 6 – The Next Step
After much research and going through the interview process, we are happy to update you that we found what we all believe is the next best step for dad. Located in Florida, Dr. Edward Tobinick, MD has had the privilege of treating over 2,500 stroke patients. The treatment is called Perispinal Etanercept which is a central nervous system injection. We’re very excited because other patients’ results range from some improvement to major improvement. Not all have gained everything back, however at this point, Dad is ready to try everything in his power to gain back as much mobility and speech as possible. We believe this is the next step in Dad’s journey.
On December 26th, Dad is scheduled to receive his first injection, and if necessary, he can receive another one as soon as 7 days later depending on the level of improvement and how he feels after the first injection.
As you all know, so many things aren’t covered by medical insurance, and unfortunately this is one of them. With all of his doctor bills and everyday bills continuing to pile up, finding an additional $7,600 per shot is going to be a very large expense to budget in.
Chapter 7 – How You Can Help
We know money is tight all around and completely understand that not everyone will be financially able to contribute, and that is okay! For those of you that can help, in any way and any amount, our deepest gratitude for your donation.
Either way, we wanted to update you so you understand what Dad/Dave and his family have gone through and will be going through for the rest of 2018 and starting 2019. We’ll continue to keep you all updated as time goes.
Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your continued thoughts and many prayers!
The Evans Family
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