Richard's New Life

On September 9th, 2018 Richard Castellanos and our family began a very challenging journey. It all started Sunday morning with pain in his chest, lower back pain, and numbness in his legs. He stated that it felt like someone was choking him and he was hoping it would pass. Luckily while I was at the grocery store that morning I called to check if we needed something and I could tell in his voice something was wrong and called to tell Arielle to call 911. Richard was rushed to Medical City of Arlington where the pain increased severely, and we noticed pooling of blood in his lower back. They rushed him to have a CT scan. Within a few minutes of the scan the ER doctor came in and told him he had a medical emergency a “Aortic Dissection” (a tear in the inner layer of the large blood vessel branching off the heart). They were looking for a Vascular Doctor and the ER Doctor explain to him that they would go through his femoral artery and stent the aorta. Within 10 minutes of that conversation a care flight team was there to transport him to Medical City of Plano for immediate surgery.
On arrival to Plano the Surgeon explain after looking at his scans he will need his chest cracked open because his ascending and descending aorta has torn, and it will need to be grafted and stented. After 4 hours of surgery the Surgeon came out and talked with us and told us that the surgery went well, but during surgery they found a AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm). On Monday when Richard woke up and was taken off the ventilator he noticed he couldn’t feel anything from his umbilicus and down. The doctor order an MRI and that is where they confirmed that he had a spinal stroke, which was caused by the AAA because it blocked the oxygen and blood supply. The Neurosurgeon order a lumbar drain to help relieve some pressure around his spinal cord and it could allow Richard to get some feeling back in the lower part of his body. Richard had the lumbar drain in for 5 days and there wasn’t any change in his paralysis.
Richard spent 22 days at Medical City of Plano and then was transfer to a skilled nursing facility in Southlake, Texas. The goal for him at his current facility is to regain some strength, so he can go to intense rehabilitation and if necessary learn how to live life as paraplegic man. This all depends on God’s plan for him. Richard is in good spirit and hopes to walk again, but he has accepted that he may have to learn a new way to live and he wants to live it to the fullest.
With all that being said there are so many aspects that our family simply could not have ever been ready for. Being paralyzed there are many renovations at the house that is require for Richard to live a normal life. Friends and family have been asking us how they can help, we asked to please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Also, after talking with friends and family we have decided to make a GoFundMe account for anyone who would like to contribute to helping Richard live a productive life. The money that is donated will go strictly to help with the house and anything else that will help Richard live a productive life.
Everyone that knows Richard personally knows he is a very compassionate person that has a big heart that loves to help others in many different aspects of his life. We will continue to post updates on this site and if anyone would like to visit him please contact us and we can give you the information. Thank you to everyone that has reached out and helped along this long journey.
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Naomi Soria 
Arlington, TX
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