Stroke Expenses for Karl Koenen

On October 8th, my dad awoke from a nap feeling uneasy. A numbness and dizziness came over him. He was having trouble seeing and could barely move. He knew he needed help quickly. Relying on muscle memory, he dialed his brother Tom for help. Tom drove across town to pick up dad to bring him to the hospital. Upon arrival at the house, he realized things were way worse than they thought.

After a CT scan and a series of other tests in the Emergency Room, the doctors were still hesitant to provide a diagnosis. An MRI was ordered and completed. Through slowed and slurred speech, dad uttered his fears, he told us he did not want to die. As the night wore on, his altertness was steadily declining. We awaited the results of the MRI in a quiet, open room while dad tried to get some rest.  Suddenly, his room filled with doctors and nurses. He had taken a turn for the worse. Dad had a seizure and he became unresponsive.

Doctors decided to conduct an emergency procedure to remove a blood clot in his brain stem. They needed to act quickly. The surgeon cautioned us that if there were any complications during the surgery, dad would only have a 5% chance of survival. We were terrified. 

The neurologist later told us dad had a Basilar Artery stroke, a very serious stroke. Rare,too, only 1% of strokes occur in this part of the brain. The fatality rate is between 75% to 91%. 

Miraculously, the surgery was successful. After spending a few days in the ICU, doctors uncovered an underlying heart issue along with his diabetes. His heart was only pumping at 10%. They explained that over time, his heart grew larger to compensate for this weakening. The cardiologists and neurologists believe this was the origin of the blood clot that traveled to his brain. 

There is a long road to recovery for my dad. We are still uncertain at this time about the degree of care he will require in the short-term and the long-term effects on his abilities. Though this is an overwhelmingly emotional time for our family, we are grateful he is still alive! We are appreciative of the support we’ve received from our friends and family and are extremely thankful for your prayers and donations.
  • Anonymous 
    • $50 
    • 34 mos
  • Antoinette Burkhart  
    • $75 
    • 34 mos
  • Tony Winick 
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Lillian Brion 
    • $100 
    • 34 mos
  • Dony Castillo 
    • $50 
    • 34 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Kat Mariel 
Minneapolis, MN
Josefina Koenen 
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