Help Support Mark Tandy's Recovery

Last Friday morning, as I went to drop my daughter off to have a fun day with her Papa as I worked, I found my father in agony on his couch. He could barely verbalize what was causing him so much pain but was able to get across that he was dizzy and could not stop vomiting. Even to me (his nurse daughter) it appeared he has just eaten some bad shellfish the night before or was experiencing a bad case of vertigo. My father was reluctant to go to the emergency room as he felt he could sleep it off and maintain his hydration on his own.

As the hours went on and he began to feel better, we all noticed that something was still not quite right. Mark finally agreed that maybe this wasn't something he could sleep off and he allowed his wife Kelly to take him to Saddleback Hospital. He was soon met by all of his children and this is when the results of his MRI came back; something we had never expected. My dad suffered a golf ball sized blood clot to his cerebellum. A cerebellar stroke. This type of stroke accounts for less than 2% of all strokes and presents atypically. Often, people seek medical attention after one of these strokes and get sent home with a vertigo diagnosis and no imaging only to find themselves back in the hospital days later in worse shape. We feel very lucky to have had such attentive medical professionals working on my father that night at Saddleback Memorial. 

Mark was was admitted to the hospital that night and spent three days meeting with dozens of doctors and being closely monitoring for hydrocephalus (swelling in the brain). He was started on multiple medications and spent all of his hours attempting to manage his pain so that he could be proactive about his physical therapy. My fathers biggest struggle is walking. The cerebellum is the balance center of the brain and with a 5x5 cm clot preventing diffusion to a large portion of that, all movements have been a struggle. Mark continues to struggle with a stroke headache, constant dizziness, and difficulty remaining balanced on his feet even with a walker. But he won't tell you that. If you have ever had the pleasure of spending time with my father, you know how mentally strong this guy is. He thinks he can jump up and do everything just as before his stroke however it is not yet the case. He is however extremely determined to walk again and make a full recovery as soon as possible.

Tuesday night my father was accepted into and transferred to the Acute Rehab Unit at Mission Hospital to begin his recovery process. This inpatient rehab is highly regarded as one in the top 10% of the nation. This is also the hospital that I currently work at as a RN. Two blessings in one. My father is in a great place and I am close by to help him recover and manage his care every step of the way. Tomorrow (Thursday) there will be a meeting to discuss the length of my fathers stay however he will need a caretaker after discharge for a period of time as well. Both of my parents have been out of work since my fathers stroke and it is likely they will both be on family medical leave for a period of time. My father has always been the main breadwinner for his family and he has always provided for us and he is struggling with the idea of being out of work but I am trying to be encouraging with the importance of his rehab and full recovery so that he can return to work in time, and safely. 

I am starting this fundraiser to help relieve some of the financial burden my family will face over the next months as my father works toward recovery. His bills for his medical care will be high even after his insurance pays their portion and he and my mother will both be bringing in much less income during this critical time. I want my father to be able to focus on his recovery and so any funds I can raise for him will go directly towards his medical bills and care of his family and home bills while he is hospitalized.  My father is the one person who would never ask for a thing from anyone but would also take the shirt off his back to help someone. I truly appreciate all donations and even more so, prayers.  I know that my father is blessed to have such loving and gracious friends and family and it is because all of you that he has such determination for a healthy and full recovery. 

With Love.


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Tristyne Tandy 
Aliso Viejo, CA
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