Smitty’s Fan’s

On the evening of 1/13/18 Smitty woke Jen up and told her she needed to call an ambulance and that he thought he was having a stroke. He was taken to the ER in Escanaba and then transported to Marquette Hospital and eventually to Green Bay. It was determined that John suffered a “pontine stroke”, not to be confused with “poutine” as John has been known to call it. This stroke has nothing to do with fries, gravy and cheese curds. I tell ya, Smitty always shares laughs even in some of life’s toughest battles. The tests they performed on him showed no permanent damage and was released from the hospital on until he was released on 1/16/18. He returned to work that following Monday 1/22/18. He battled exhaustion and not feeling well, thinking it could be from the stroke or quite possibly from the horrible flu virus that was spreading around.

Smitty also has a condition called “sarcoidosis” which is a disease involving abnormal collections of inflammatory cells that form lumps known as granulomas. The stroke may or may not been cause by his sarcoidosis so he was referred to a specialist in Ann Arbor at the UofM Hospital. He was set up to see the specialist to determine the cause of this stroke and to figure out how to treat this to prevent further problems.

He and Jen made their way downstate for the appointment and Smitty informed me that they had plans to see several of his “Martian” friends. His Martian friends are his high school buddies from his Goodrich High School days. Their mascot was a Martian. Again, leave it to the Smittmeister to keep us all laughing in a time of great concern.

The night before his appointment as they were in their motel room, he began having stroke symptoms and Jen called 911. He was brought to the ER and admitted that same day.

Right now the left side of his body is’t functioning properly. He is unable to move his left hand, those fingers, has very limited use of his left leg and he is unable to move his toes. His speech is a bit slurred as his left side of his face has some drooping. I do want to share that he was able, with assistance to get up and use a walker to walk to the restroom the other day.

His team of doctors are now in the process of figuring out if this stroke and it’s physical complications was caused by the sarcoidosis, stress or if these physicsal symptoms just took that long to show up after the stroke. There will be more tests and at least 4 weeks of in patient physical therapy for him.

Through all of this he smiles and tells his hilarious jokes and his beautiful Jen has been by his side. She has been sleeping in the chair beside his bed and helping him with everyday tasks that we all take for granted. Today, not because she wants to, she is making her way home so she can get some much needed rest and take care of things at home and return to work.

This is where we all come in...We all know how hard both Jen and Smitty work and how if anybody is in need of absolutely anything, they are the first to help. Smitty is not one to ever ask for anything, except maybe a hug and a smile. In fact, when discussing putting together this page he said we should name it, “Smile for Smitty.” He is always more concerned about others and sharing a smile even though he has his own struggles right now. He would never ask for help and I know it humbles them greatly that there are so many that want to do something. What can we say, everybody loves “Smitty” & its no secret the big guy is full of love for all his friends and family. Let’s help him out.

With their permission, I set this fundraiser up to help them with any of their expenses while Smitty is recovering and Jen takes whatever time off from her nursing job she can to be by his side. It is also my hope to help raise enough funds so that Jen doesn’t have to worry about any amount of time she takes off from work to be with him. These funds will help with travel, lodging, rehabilitation, and whatever other bills and expenses.


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Kathy Woodbury 
Escanaba, MI
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