On December 16, 2020 Joel suffered a sudden hemorrhagic stroke (brain bleed). He was rushed to the hospital in Bermuda where he and his family currently reside. His condition deteriorated rapidly, becoming so severe that he was placed on life support and airlifted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.
Joel spent 12 days being cared for around the clock by the Johns Hopkins intensive care neurological team – one of the best in the world. While sedated and ventilated, the team measured the pressure on his brain continuously, hoping for improvement.
To the surprise of all, he woke up sooner than the doctors had anticipated. Amanda received a Christmas Day miracle when a zoom call with Joel - with his breathing tube removed - started with him saying, “Merry Christmas, I love you”.
Joel was transferred out of the ICU to the neurological ward this week where he now begins the next phase of his recovery process. The cause of the bleed remains unknown and is being explored by his medical team. The outcome of these investigations will determine the treatment course for the upcoming weeks and months.
Even before treating the underlying cause of his brain bleed, he must now begin the long process of recovery from the after effects of the stroke- which includes significant weakness on his right side. The extent of the challenges he faces have not fully been determined. He will require extensive rehabilitation to regain enough function to return home to his family.
This has been an extremely uncertain and stressful time for the whole family - Amanda especially.
Fortunately, Amanda’s parents were visiting Bermuda when Joel fell ill and were able to step in and care for the kids so Amanda could accompany Joel on the urgent airlift. While she has managed to stay in a hotel near the hospital in Baltimore, the pandemic has impacted her ability to be at his side. Amanda has only been able to visit a single time in person and otherwise interactions with Joel and his team have been over zoom or telephone.
While we are grateful that insurance is currently covering his medical care, we expect significant additional expenses ahead. These include additional flights, medical equipment purchases, and rehabilitation expenses. Furthermore, Amanda has had to take a leave from her job, reducing income to cover day-to-day expenses such as rent, utilities, childcare, and groceries.
We hope that others will join us in providing financial support for this deserving family as they navigate the difficult and uncertain times ahead. Your support will allow the family to focus more on healing and less on the financial burden they are facing. Let’s help them move even one step closer to where they need to be – playing with their children!
To ensure full transparency, as Joel and Amanda do not have online banking in Canada, Joel's sister, Arielle Boyd will act as the executor of the funds received over GoFundMe. She will ensure all funds are withdrawn and distributed directly to Joel and Amanda.
- Annie and Bernard Côté
- cg smith
- Sarah Kuhn
Organizer and beneficiary
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