Support for Gordon Kirby

On September 11, 2017 Gordon Kirby suffered a stroke. After a lengthy stay in the hospital and with physical therapy after he was discharged he regained his mobility. While we are extremely thankful for this improvement, he still suffers from Aphasia which is a communication disorder that impairs his ability to process language. While this does not affect intelligence, it does hinder him when processing speech, like a brain-fog so to speak. He understands what is being said to him but is unable to respond with more than simple answers and it takes him longer to process his thoughts. When trying to write, the letters get jumbled up so communicating in this way is also hindered. We have found a treatment center that has had a great success rate in helping stroke patients recover from this debilitating side effect from having a stroke.

The Institute of Neurological Recovery, in Boca Raton, Florida, has developed an innovative way of injecting a drug called Etanercept into a patient’s spinal fluid. The drug is currently licensed to treat Rheumatoid Arthritis but Dr. Tobinick discovered its positive effects for stroke patients. This pioneering treatment is not a cure for a stroke but has given many patients their speech and communication skills back. The treatment wakes up parts of the brain surrounded by the damaged area.

Many patients start to experience positive effects from the Etanercept injection within a few minutes while benefits can continue to increase for several weeks afterward. Results are very individual to each patient as the severity of the damaged tissue in the brain varies from person to person. Some of the improvements from the injection are: speech, swallowing, memory, concentration, taste, vision, hearing, mobility, recovery of areas of sensation loss, improvements in cognition, the list goes on and on!

The neurons in the brain don’t die but instead, current research shows that they go dormant. This treatment for neurological disorders reopens access to areas blocked off by the stroke even years after the stroke has happened.

Gordon has already had his medical records reviewed by the doctors at The Institute of Neurological Recovery and after a lengthy interview and consultation, they believe that he is a viable candidate for the Perispinal Etanercept treatment and they have accepted him as a patient.  We have been made aware that depending on the outcome of the first spinal injection, he may need a second injection a few weeks later. Gordon does not have insurance but even if he did, this treatment is not covered by insurance. It is expensive and although Gordon has been trying to come up with the money, he truly needs help to pay for the treatment. He has done so much for everyone he knows and now it is time for us to return the favor. We’re hoping that this GoFundMe account will generate the money he needs for his treatment from those that know and love him and also those that don’t know him but that are looking for a worthy cause to support.

The first injection is $7,600 and the second will be the same amount, so we are hoping this GoFundMe page will generate the funds he needs to have the treatment done as soon as possible. The doctors have said that the sooner the treatment is given after the stroke, the better the results tend to be. While they have had outstanding results, they say that 1 in 5 patients it will not work for. Because Gordon’s stroke was fairly recently, he is an excellent candidate and they expect he will see some improvement.

We love Gordon and any improvement over his current condition, the inability to communicate with his brothers, family, and friends, will be better than his current state. There is a summary of costs below as well as a link to the interview that originally aired on 60 Minutes back in April of 2014. The interview explains the treatment process and how the Etanercept is injected into the patient. It also shows the treatment being done to an actual patient. This video has given us hope, and given Gordon hope, that life can return to a new normal for him and for everyone that loves him. Please watch the video, it is amazing! It’s 25 minutes long but totally worth your time to view it.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read our letter and consider whether our cause is something you would like to support.  Small amounts add up so we are ever so grateful for anything you feel led to donate on Gordon’s behalf. 

Link to 60 Minutes interview:

Summary of costs:
Treatment 1:         $7,600.00
Treatment 2:         $7,600.00
Travel (Gas/Hotel)    $400.00
TOTAL:                $15,600.00
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John Prairie 
Norman Park, GA
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