On the way to the hospital, he became incoherent and couldn't form proper sentences. By the time he arrived at the ER, he was limited to only saying "yes" and "no." He was taken for a CT Scan where they found a large mass pressing on the front of his brain. With an MRI they confirmed it was a sinus infection that spread to his brain. Almost immediately, he was taken into emergency brain surgery for 8 hours. This began with a coronal incision (stretching across the top of his head from one ear to the other). The doctors then cut a portion of his skull and removed it to access the part of his brain where the infection had formed a mass. They flushed the area with antibiotics, with the hope of removing most of the bacteria. At the same time, the ENT surgeon went up through his nasal cavity to flush the infection from his nose and sinuses. At the end of the long surgery, they closed the incision and he was taken to the Neurosurgical ICU.
He faced several complications post surgery including seizures, trouble speaking, limited function of his right side, and periods of confusion. After a hellish 24 hours that included 5 seizures, the doctors finally found the right medications to combat the seizures. However, his speech and the pain in his head became progressively worse over the following week. The hospital continued testing the cause and discovered that the infection had spread and created another mass in his brain. This time the mass was further back, affecting his motor functions on his right side and causing speech limitations.
As I write this on February 15, he is currently undergoing his second brain surgery to remove the mass. After surgery, he will once again go back to the ICU where he will be carefully monitored.
The road to recovery is very uncertain right now and we are taking everything day by day, but one thing for certain is that Jorge and his family need our help. Unfortunately, Jorge does not have health insurance. His amazing girlfriend Melissa has stuck by his side through this entire process which means she has been unable to work. Melissa has applied for emergency Medicaid for Jorge, but we are not certain how much they will cover. We do know that Jorge has a long recovery ahead of him with expenses adding up every day. He has an IV PICC in his arm which he will need to receive aggressive antibiotics to kill the infection and medication to combat the seizures for at least 6 months. Eventually, Jorge will go into rehab, and after that, he will be sent home where he will need 24/7 supervision.
Any help given goes a long way for Jorge. We are grateful for every contribution and the time you took to read his story. Please keep Jorge and his family in your thoughts and prayers as he continues to fight on his road to recovery.
- Donna Hamel
- Jerry Carnes
- Karyn Gallant
- Imani Gunderson
- Stephanie Taibi
Organizer and beneficiary
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