Friends and family, on behalf of Joanna , we are asking that you show your love and support as she fights to recover from an unexpected incident. On May 20, 2017 the unexpected happened to Joanna. She had just finished spending the day at Wekiva Springs with her family and was getting ready for the evening, when suddenly, she no longer felt well. It didn’t seem like much at first, but then it took a turn for the worst. Joanna suddenly could not move or talk. Nothing could have prepared her family for what was about to happen next. Unfortunately, Joanna had an unexpected Brain Aneurysm and was rushed to the hospital. For those of you who don’t know, a brain aneurysm occurs when a weak spot in your brain’s arterial wall bulges and fills with blood. If a brain aneurysm bursts, it’s an emergency situation that can result in a stroke, brain damage, and even death if not treated immediately. Joanna had to be rushed into surgery without hesitation if there was any chance of her surviving. To make matters worse, Joanna was about 19 weeks pregnant at this time. Expecting her very first child. She was going to find out the gender just the very next week. An anticipated moment for her and her family.
Joanna’s family and friends gathered and waited several hours to see the results of the surgery. Still questioning why and how this happened. Praying and hoping that she would pull out of it alright. When the doctor finally said they could see her, there were tears in their eyes as the reality of the situation hit them. Joanna had made it through the surgery, but the question was if she would recover. She was nonresponsive after the surgery, nurses and doctors said it was a bad sign. Her Husband, Linh was told that he will need to consider working from home for now on, as she may never be able to care for herself again. Her family and friends stayed hopeful as doctors and nurses seemed to have doubt. But that’s because we all know just how strong of a person Joanna is. She is the kind of person that never gives up… she is too stubborn to. If you tell her you can’t do that, she says watch me. Luckily, the baby also made it out of the surgery okay. Seems like the little one takes after mom already.
And of course, just as expected, Joanna began to slowly recover. It started with being able to slightly move the left side of her body, slightly opening her eyes, giving a thumbs up to show she could hear everyone, and to everyone’s surprise she started communicating through sign language! Even more exciting, the doctors said she had a big healthy baby in her tummy, even with everything that had happened. As amazing as this news is, Joanna is still far from being back to the person she once was.
Joanna continues to get better each and every day but it is a very slow recovery. She was at Florida hospital for 3 weeks prior to being transferred to ORMC for a rehabilitation program. The Florida Hospital bill alone is estimated to be up to $300k. For 30 days Joanna will be going through this in-patient rehabilitation; dealing with various doctors and therapists. The cost of this to the family is unknown at this time. She has been there for almost two weeks. After her 30 days are up, she will then need to continue rehabilitation from home for at least 90 days. She will need in home nursing, therapists, and social workers to help her recovery.
Since May 20 and throughout the whole recovery process her husband, Linh, will need to be there to help her recovery and care for her. This has caused both Linh and Joanna to lose their jobs just as their first child was on the way, now 24 weeks along. Linh was there every second of the day refusing to leave Joanna’s side. When she was nonresponsive and the doctors had their doubts, he would be there, playing her favorite music, hoping she would come back to us. And he continues to be there by her side as she struggles every day to get better.
Joanna is working tirelessly every day to improve, still unable to speak, walk, and breathe on her own. It will take time before she can even care for her basic needs on her own again. Many basic skills will need to be relearned. And of course as the babies due date comes ever nearer, it is unknown in what state Joanna will be in at that time. But Joanna will make it through this. She will recovery. It will just be a long process. So we are asking that you take the time to show her support for both herself, and her first child. Whether it is through a loving message or a small donation. Anything will be a huge help and her family will truly appreciate.
As one of my favorite sayings goes, “The same boiling water that softens the potato hardens the egg. It’s about what you’re made of, not the circumstances.” And we all know what Joanna is made is. Much love and support to you Joanna.