On Sunday, December 21, my wife, Jenna Spy, had just returned home from baking Christmas cookies at her mother’s house. I usually visit my father at Spaulding Rehab (who was in a very serious car accident about a month ago) on Sundays, but stayed home because I had some work I had to catch up on. Jenna called out “Julian, something is wrong” from the other room. I found her slumped awkwardly against a wall as drool dripped from her mouth and the color drained from her skin. As I waited for the paramedics to arrive, I could feel the heat leave her body and her breathing stop. I truly thought I might lose her as I held her in my arms. Salem police, fire and paramedics arrived, immediately jumped into action, and rushed my wife to Salem hospital. At Salem hospital, a scan was done that revealed hemorrhaging in Jenna’s brain. The staff at Salem hospital wanted to airlift Jenna to Mass General, but the weather was not conducive. Instead, she was rushed to Mass General by the same paramedics who responded to my initial call.
At Mass General, Jenna was intubated and underwent a variety of scans and exams. It was determined that an aneurysm had ruptured in the left side of Jenna’s brain. She went into surgery immediately. The aneurysm was successfully clipped via an invasive procedure. Unfortunately, the ruptured aneurysm caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding into the compartment surrounding the brain), which in turn put Jenna at risk for further complications. One of these complications is known as vasospasm, in which the blood vessels in the brain narrow and not enough blood is supplied to the brain. This could lead to stroke. In Jenna’s case, slight vasospasm has occurred which has led to the occurrence of two small strokes. These strokes have affected Jenna’s ability to move her right leg and have made her ability to communicate quite limited. We need to get through the first three weeks to be out of the woods. As I write this, it has been six days.
To those of you who know Jenna, this is unbelievably shocking. Jenna is a twenty-six year old, vibrant, healthy and beautiful young woman. To those of you who don’t know Jenna, my wife is the most amazing individual I have ever met. She helped start two successful nonprofits: one that helps children explore volunteer opportunities to help others on an international stage, while the other provides scholarships to individuals who wish to enter rehab facilities to overcome addiction and chemical dependency. She has a patent pending. She had just started a very successful career. She is not only incredibly empathetic to all those she sees suffering, but will also go out of her way to relieve that suffering.
Any donations to this account will go to offset the medical expenses Jenna now faces. They will also go to help pay for the parking of the family members who are at Mass General every single day. You can rest assured that every cent will help make Jenna’s recovery a little easier and a little less overwhelming. We are so grateful for all the prayers, wishes, and support that friends and strangers have offered to us over the last week. It is going to be a long road, but its support like this that keeps us standing.
We will be using this page to keep people updated on Jenna’s recovery. Words will never be able to convey our appreciation for all that you do. Thank you.
- Suzanne O'Brien
- Robin Sullivan
- Leah Bolduc
- Andre Machado
#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