Yanni's Stroke Support

Hello! This page is for Yanni, my 37-year-old sister, a wife and mother to one 12-year-old son. On February 3, 2018, she had a stroke -- a massive intracranial hemorrhage -- while at dinner with colleagues from work. The cause was diagnosed as a form of AVM (Arteriovenous Malformation)  surrounding her right thalamus in the center of her brain, which ruptured due to high blood pressure. She immediately went into a coma due the pressure within her skull, and underwent multiple surgeries to drill holes to relieve the pressure. AVM is a rare occurrence and develops in babies during the formation of blood vessels in their brains; it is not a condition that is typically screened or identified.

Yanni has since woken up, but remains unresponsive. The left side of her body is affected, and her left leg and arm only respond to pain or other intense stimuli. She does not understand, does not make eye contact, cannot follow instructions, cannot speak, and remains bound to bed, requiring 24/7 care for feeding, rotation, and cleaning. Over the past few weeks she acquired multiple lung infections, and at one point required tracheostomy as her breathing had become weak.

Yanni has just been transferred to a larger hospital, one of the best for stroke recovery in the nation and which has more comprehensive care for her condition. Her husband has been with her the entire time, sleeping in chairs and couches at the hospital. Our mother has been staying at her home, helping to take care of her son, who is in school. Her short-term care plan is to keep her healthy until we observe improvement in her condition, in anticipation of her eventually becoming responsive again. Her health care provider will effectively cover approximately at most 50% of costs during hospitalization (we don't yet know how much for rehabilitation), and will kick in likely once we've paid all costs upfront, as reimbursements (Yanni is currently in Beijing, China, and that's how the medical insurance system appears to work there).

My sister Yanni is a hard working individual. Unlike me, she was unable to attend college (our mother saved enough for just one of us to attend) but worked extremely hard to further her career, earning training certificates and (online) degrees along the way, all in the area of automotive design and manufacturing. Two years ago, she had to relocate to a city six hours west of her home - leaving her husband, son, and mother - in pursuit of a better job, to help support everyone. She is the "go-getter" of the family, and is the primary income earner for her immediate family. Yanni has worked so hard to accomplish what she has. She is an extremely social and supportive person - colleagues at her work were able to gather a few thousand dollars to help with her initial surgeries within the first week after her stroke.

My husband, his brother and I just recently visited Yanni and her family over Christmas vacation. After returning to the US, she had the stroke, and I booked an emergency flight back to visit her. It is hard working across continents, not being able to visit, and with the timezone difference (9 hours).

Any support you can help with will go towards direct payments to the hospital she is in, the China Rehabilitation Research Center (中国康复研究中心)  in Beijing. We hope and look forward to her recovering, to her being back with her family, as she was and is one of the strong pillars of our family.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Yanwei Zhang
Hillsboro, OR
Yanwei Zhang

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