On November 19, 2017, Rick suffered a major stroke while driving his SUV. Luckily, the first responders got to him quickly. He was rushed to Lawrence Memorial Hospital, where he was stabilized. They tried to Medflight him to Boston, but could not because of the weather. Instead they took him by ambulance to Tufts New England Medical Center. He spent 3 weeks in the critical care and intensive care units, undergoing many tests and procedures, including brain surgery to relieve the pressure in his skull and placement of a feeding tube.
The first few days he was on a ventilator and unconscious and it was not clear if he would survive. He gradually regained consciousness and the ventilator was removed. He initially could only communicate with hand gestures, but eventually was able to speak. It was wonderful to hear his voice (even if a bit muffled)! His ability to communicate was also the first sign that the stroke did not impair his cognition. Unfortunately, he had almost complete paralysis on his left side.
On December 10th, he was moved to the Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, NH. Since arriving and starting physical, occupational, and speech therapy, he has made remarkable progress! He has regained some of his strength and is able to sit in a chair and chat. He can partially move his left leg and some of his fingers in his left hand. With a lot of assistance, he can also take a few steps! These are all things that seemed improbable just several weeks ago.
Rick has received great medical care and through it all Kristine has been by his side. She has taken weeks off from her job as a therapist to be with him. This devotion has helped Rick focus on getting better and getting home. Unfortunately, their income has suffered. In addition, there have been numerous expenses related to Rick’s hospital and rehab stays, and there will be many future expenses once Rick returns home, including modifications to the house. It is not clear when Rick will return to work.
Anything you can donate to help Rick, Kristine, and Justin will be most appreciated! It will go to paying for Rick’s care. Thank you so much! We will post updates on this page to keep people informed of Rick’s progress. Please share this on Facebook!
- Anne Pirrera
- Kristin Becker
- Kimberly Whitworth
- kathleen sargent
- Sheryl Elliott
Organizer and beneficiary
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