On October 8, 2020, the day began like any ordinary day as Ed Huff went to his daughter's bedroom to awaken her for school. But as he left her room, without warning, he collapsed and and his heart stopped beating. His family jumped into action, quickly calling 911 and starting CPR until the medics arrived to take over. Ed was rushed to Sacred Heart Hospital in Destin, Florida, where he was placed on a ventilator and remained unconscious and completely unresponsive. Five days passed, and with a concern of heart failure and a growing concern of neurological damage, Ed was life-flighted to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia.
Once at Emory, Ed's condition worsened. He remained on the breathing tube, developed pneumonia in both lungs, and was diagnosed with acute respiratory distress syndrome, but the primary concern of the medical care team was neurological damage. After numerous MRIs, CT scans, EEGs, and bedside exams, it was determined that Ed was suffering from moderate severe anoxic brain injury, the result of a lack of oxygen to the brain for a period of time (four minutes or greater).
Ed's prognosis was very poor. The doctors said that the CT scan showed damage; and if there is damage, it is irreversible and Ed would have no "meaningful recover". After twelve days of tests and observation, Ed showed no signs of a reverse in his mental state. He remained completely nonresponsive, and his family and friends were distraught.
On October 23, Ed's wife Donna and his sister Melissa met with Ed's Medical Care Team to hear the devastating news that Ed's condition was most likely permanent. The MRI showed the anoxic brain injury caused damage to both sides of the brain. He was not able to respond, follow commands, or make any meaningful movements. The part of the brain that made Ed "Ed" was damaged, and typically there is little to no recovery. Ed could be kept "alive", but in a vegetative state.
So a decision had to be made. Everyone who knows Ed, knows how full of life and love and energy he always had. To know that he would never know his wife’s voice or recognize his three loving children or share stories with friends and family, or cook Friday night dinners, or give to others with his great big heart was a crushing thought. With doctors giving no hope for recovery, a decision was made to transfer Ed to hospice for a peaceful end of life here on Earth. Miracles and healing were going to happen, but only God knew if those miracles for Ed would occur on this side of Heaven or on the other side.
While in hospice, to the surprise and excitement of everyone, Ed began showing signs of improvement, leading to a reassessment by a set of doctors who said he is clearly doing more than was expected a week ago and we should continue seeing improvements. So with the support of the doctors, Ed was removed from hospice.
Since Ed’s removal from hospice on November 2, he continues to experience miracle after miracle, improving daily. He is able to carry on conversations, and his memory has returned. He recognizes friends and family by name and by voice. His sense of humor is returning, and he continually has a smile on his face. He is relearning how to do basic tasks, such as shaving himself, brushing his teeth, and combing his hair. He has learned to sit up by himself and can walk with the assistance of a walker. He is extremely tender-hearted, loving, and appreciative.
After over two months in the hospital, the doctors have also determined the original cause of the collapse was coronary artery disease. He had major blockages in vessels that required a stint, and he has also gotten an internal defibrillator implanted. Although Ed has astonished doctors, nurses, specialists, and all who see, know, and love him, he still has a long journey ahead of him. Upon returning home, he will continue rehabilitation. He will need full-time care for a minimum of one year. His vision has not returned; and as we pray God’s complete healing on Ed’s eyes, Ed is learning to cope without his sight.
Ed’s progress has been miraculous and encouraging, but he has a long way to go. A lengthy stay in two hospitals, which includes a life-flight from one to another, has exhausted the family’s insurance. We are asking for any help in supporting Ed and his family through this challenging time. We need your help paying for Ed’s surgeries and recovery time while in the hospital. We need your help with the rehabilitation and special programs needed after hospitalization to help him become the independent man that he once was, as he is adapting to the changes in his body and eyesight. We need your help filling in the gaps from the family’s (temporary) loss of both incomes, as Ed continues his recovery and his wife Donna his full-time caretaker.
Now is the time to help the Huff family. A few ways this can be done to make a difference is as follows.
1. Give to Ed and his family through this GoFundMe effort.
2. Share this GoFundMe with your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.
3. Pray for Ed, Donna, and their three children during this miraculous time of recovery.
We are fortunate to be a part of Ed’s life and community, both locally and extended around the world. This is our chance to do something together to support them, so that Ed and his family can continue to heal.
With deepest appreciation and gratitude,
Ed’s Recovery Support Team
Organized by Melissa Mathis and Debbie Harris Craft
- Patricia Wilson
- Chris Hampton
- Mandy Parker
- Jan & Jim Harris
Organizer and beneficiary
#1 fundraising platform
More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more
Expert advice, 24/7
Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more