On Wednesday, September 26th at approximately 5:30 am, my dad was getting ready for work just like any other day when he suddenly felt a spreading numbness in his body starting with his lip and left leg. He immediately knew what was happening when he repeatedly dropped his toothbrush and couldn't find his words. My mom knew too that he was having a stroke and needed immediate medical attention.
As it turns out, my dad has an extremely rare condition called an AVM, an abnormality in the blood vessels in his brain, which burst and bled into his brain causing a stroke. Luckily, he was treated quickly and all of his providers are optimistic about his recovery, however the damage is real and evident. He does not have the strength or coordination to walk or feed himself. He has a long road to recovering function to his left side, which is complicated by the fact that he is left-handed. For anyone who knows him, my dad’s determination is one of his defining characteristics. Only two days after his stroke, he was already pushing his doctors and nurses to allow him to start the physical therapy recovery process.
The Game Plan
For the next several weeks he will be in inpatient rehabilitation. He will receive 3 hours of intensive physical and occupational therapy every day. The goal of this therapy is to help him recover as much as possible before he will, most likely, undergo a procedure to correct the blood vessel abnormality that led to his stroke. The doctors will use his new "baseline" function, established after physical therapy, as the hopeful goal to which he will strive to return after the procedure, but only after more rehab.
What This All Means To A Carpenter and His Wife
My dad is the hardest working person I have ever met. He takes pride in everything he does. As a carpenter, his work is physically demanding and while I know it is tiring, I also know that it's the physical aspects of his work that he enjoys so much. He genuinely likes to create, to use his hands, and to physically engage with his work everyday.
Having had a stroke and losing (hopefully only temporarily) the use of his left side is completely crushing not only to who he is as a person - a physical, creative, and prideful man - but also to his ability to provide for himself and his loving wife. My dad is a wageworker and does not get paid unless he goes to work. He does not receive short or long-term disability. His recovery process will likely take several months time in the best-case scenario, during which the financial impact of his inability to return to work will surely be devastating.
What You Can Do
Please consider a donation to help my parents weather this storm. If there is anything you feel you can contribute, please do. I can't express how grateful we would be for your support. Donating or sharing this GoFundMe with your social network would mean so much!
Beth (and Eric and Dan)
DonationsSee top donations
- Elizabeth Sweeney
- John O'Rourke
- Risley Padula Construction
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