Just days after arriving home overjoyed with their newest family addition, Jenni laid down to calm a nauseating, but understandable headache: she had just given birth and chalked it up to her body’s recovery process. Unfortunately, the headache was a signal of something far more serious happening. She was rushed to the hospital where doctors discovered bleeding on the brain, requiring emergency surgery. While Jenni’s body rested in an induced coma, friends and family crowded the waiting area everyday in anticipation for an update on her condition.
Within one week, Jenni & Tony Burke went from celebrating the birth of their second daughter to fighting for Jenni’s life. Four months after a life threatening Hemorrhagic stroke, resulting in two emergency brain surgeries, an induced coma and paralysis on the left side, Jenni is lucky to be learning to walk again.
Today, Jenni resides in the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre where everyday her unbreakable determination to get better for her family takes over. Fortunately, her hard work is paying off! Jenni has movement back in her left leg and is learning to walk again with the assistance of a cane and Physiotherapist. In anticipation of returning home in April, Jenni’s unwavering goal is to have the ability to spend quality time caring for her daughters, to love and support Tony and ultimately to move forward with her life.
If you are from Lower Sackville, it is likely you know the Burke’s. You may have played hockey with Tony, received a hair cut from Jenni or been invited over for a summertime BBQ or annual Christmas party. Over the years, their names have amalgamated into one, simply because Jenni and Tony are one: one friend, one family, one partnership.
While life turned upside down, with too many unknowns to comprehend or tolerate, their partnership never detached. Tony has been at his wife’s side continuously; working around the clock to care for a newborn, be present for an energetic three year old and to encourage his wife during recovery. To Tony and Jenni, it is without question that family comes first.
Unable to work since November 2014, the Burke’s financial security is uncertain. This family is too kind and private to make any fuss or complaints about the pile of bills growing on the countertop or the cost of potential modifications required when Jenni returns home. It is another example that as long as they have each other and their two healthy, happy children; Jenni and Tony have it all.
As their close friends, we would like to attempt to make Jenni and Tony’s life a little easier and possibly relieve some unwelcomed stress. To us, it doesn’t matter exactly how the money is spent. If it helps this deserving family pay some bills, build a ramp or modify a shower; anything that gives them the opportunity to focus on life after a stroke, it would be considered an appreciated success. Our lifetime friends have always been there for us, and now we need to be there for them. Please help Jenni and Tony reclaim their health, happiness and life together.