Frankie Chapa Brain Surgery/Medical
This GFM page will be an attempt to raise funds for medical bills and keep everyone up to date on Frankie's health without needing to trouble Kori or the Halls unnecessarily.
WHAT WE KNOW: Frankie went into the hospital Tuesday, April 11th, with pain thought to be an exercise-related injury. As that pain subsided he was still having level 10 pain in his head. A series of tests and a brain MRI later gave some information.
SHORT STORY: There was bleeding in his brain but it is currently under control. Surgery early next week, moderate risk of brain damage. He is in extreme pain. Prayers needed.
LONG STORY: Unknown to the Frankie, he was born with a condition only 1% of the population has called arteriovenous malformation (AVM). There is a cluster of vessels where arteries are directly connected to veins without going through brain tissue (his is behind his temples). The vessels dilate and break, causing the bleeding. Frankie’s original severe pain was caused by this kind of bleeding. Doctors say people do not survive a second bleed of this nature. The current plan is to operate to remove it. The surgery will be fairly deep and has a 20-30% chance of causing brain damage.
Doctors rate the severity of AVM from 1 to 5. 5 is the most severe. This is based on location, depth, size, pain level, bleeding, etc. Frankie’s AVM was rated a 5.
A team of doctors will meet on Monday to determine where and when surgery will take place. Current speculation is as early as Tuesday.
PAIN: Frankie originally said his pain level was a 10 of 10. The doctors have given him some medication to reduce that pain to a 9 but no further. This sounds crazy but it is for good reason. They need Frankie to remain conscious and communicative so they can tell if there are any changes in his neurological function. If there are, they’ll have to operate immediately.
FAMILY CONCERNS: Kori and Deacon are staying with the Halls (Kori's parents, Jim and Brenda). This allows Kori to bounce back and forth between the hospital and Deacon. Jim is with Frankie when Kori can't be.
VISITATION: Please understand that there is no visitation at the hospital. Frankie is in the ICU and we will provide an address for those that want to send well-wishes, etc., when it’s available.
NEEDS: Prayers please! You know Frankie knows the Lord and loves Jesus. As a family we are committing this situation to the Lord and inviting him to work through all of its many complicated facets. We believe Frankie can be supernaturally healed and made whole in Christ if it is God's will. Please join us in this prayer. We are also praying that God will give the doctors wisdom in diagnosing and creating a treatment plan. For Kori and Deacon we are praying for peace, local support for meals, childcare, and physical rest.
FINANCES: There are a lot of unknowns right now. One thing we do know is that Frankie will not be working while he recovers. Kori will be caring for both Frankie and Deacon. We do not yet know what recovery will look like. Additionally, there will be MEDICAL BILLS. If you are able, please consider making a donation small or large.
You made it to the end. Check back for updates and thanks for reading!
~ Joe & Megan Chapa
Brief, Two Month Recap:
Upon returning home from Texas, surgery and two weeks rehab, Frankie lost considerable physical function. Kori was able to get Frankie into Mary Free Bed after his rehab doctor saw his decline. The insurance approved his treatments until this past Thursday, February 14th. (Praise God!) Kori was able to stay with Frankie during the entire stay. She received great training on how to work with him upon returning home. Jim Hall was also able to receive training.
Frankie’s team says he has everything going for him to make good recovery, but you never know with brain injuries. His recovery arch is much longer than the typical patient his rehab doctor sees or has heard of. He is optimistic but said it’ll be a year before we see what deficits are still hanging around. We are, of course, praying for 100% restoration. The team credits Frankie’s progress in large part to Kori’s steadfastness and consistency. They are hoping a home environment will help accelerate Frankie’s healing.
It is imperative for Frankie to continue making progress for the next 12 months. During this time Kori will forfeit working to continue to focus entirely on Frankie’s rehab.
One last note is that Frankie has had very flat emotional responses to just about everything. We are praying diligently for his memory and personality to return. Kori reports that, although it is unpleasant, Frankie has regained some emotional response. He has yelled at Kori several times when she reminds him, for example, that he needs help to stand. This emotional response is, in fact, an answer to prayer. We’re now praying that Frankie will begin to exhibit additional emotions as he continues to recover.
THANK YOU everyone for your continued prayer support and financial blessings.
Kori would like to thank everyone that purchased items off of the Amazon wish list. Everything was put to immediate use. Kori will update the list for things that will be helpful now that they are home. If you feel led to make a purchase this a way to offer direct support.
Continued Prayer Requests:
~ Please continue to pray for Frankie’s memory to return to completely!
~ Strength specifically for Frankie’s left side
~ Endurance, renewed determination, patience and the Lord’s strength for Kori to press on with Frankie’s care
~ Pray for the Halls' as they help care for Deacon and Kori
~ Peace and patience for Mom and Dad Chapa as they are far away and plan a visit to see Frankie
~ Financial protection for Frankie and Kori while they are not working
Kori has asked me to post this update and prayer requests.
We’ve been home just over a week. My days are filled with caring for frankie and making phone calls to get the ball rolling with all the docs we need to connect with and update. Frankie has lost some of the progress he had made in rehab; not totally unexpected. Frankie’s left side is coming along much slower than anticipated. We're past the point where his team is confident he'll get movement back. Cognitively he is not much worse but has more flat affect since the surgeries. The connections in his brain have to be rebuilt to just about everything and Frankie has to be the one to really want it. The flat affect makes it so that you don't feel things and if you do it's not as deeply. This is something that time usually heals. The therapists in Texas were hoping that being home would help Frankie want to get better more. A lot of this is on him, he has to be more active and less passive. Our biggest hurdle right now is Frankie has hydrocephalus following the surgery. If this doesn't resolve in the next few weeks we have to discuss placing a VP shunt.
Our prayer requests:
Please pray that the hydrocephalus resolves itself and the cerebrospinal fluid goes back draining properly.
Continued strength as so much more has been added to my plate
My village to stay strong and healthy
Complete healing for Frankie
I’m working on ways other than money for people to help us. I’m not always sure what I need or what would help. I’ve been asked by multiple people for an Amazon list of everyday things and fun things. I was asked to include all price ranges and to put a few things that are dream house things. So here’s the link!
Thank you again for your continued support. This marathon seems unending and this incline is especially tough right now. Your prayers and support are sustaining us.
SURGERY IS NOW!
Kori’s FB Post:
Frankie Chapa is back for his second surgery to remove as much as they can of the AVM. The doctors are hopeful that they will be able to get a lot of it with acceptable damage; but reminded me that there’s always a risk of things going sideways at the drop of the hat. AVM’s are unpredictable and the brain is complex. I pray that the Lord uses the surgeon’s hands to deliver a miracle! I pray for an even bigger miracle of complete healing. I miss my best friend.”
Here is Kori’s update shared on Facebook. Just wanted to post here for those of you not on FB.
Per Frankie’s usual his team decided to do things differently than they originally planned. They prepared for resection by surgically cutting off some of the blood flow to the AVM. The nature of an AVM(especially Frankie’s) makes it very hard to have a solid idea of anything until the docs get in and see what’s going on. The team was pleased with today’s 10ish hour surgery and were able to identify future possible issues. There were a couple complications following yesterday’s embolization but we won’t know the full effect of any damage until he’s more alert possibly weeks from now. The next week will need to remain complication free and Frankie’s brain needs to tolerate these invasive surgeries and heal well. We reevaluate mid week.
-Prayers for speedy and complete recovery
-For me to be able to rest when I need to
-Continued health for my dad and I
-Peace for Frankie as he doesn’t remember what’s going on and gets disoriented
-For my Mom and my village to stay strong and healthy as I’m relying on them so heavily
-Wisdom and strength for Frankie’s medical team
God is doing great things in and through Frankie.
Praying for you especially today Frankie! Lord, please give each dr and nurse wisdom as the meet and make plans on how to treat Frankie. Help Frankie as he endures this tremendous pain, and being still, give him peace and joy in You. Help him to find favor in the hearts of each person he comes into contact with and give them a strong desire to search deeper and resolve this AVM. Heal him Lord. We give thanks to you for your provision, your love and peace. In Jesus name, Amen
At nearly a month into this 2nd, much more serious, AVM brain bleed (1st one was April 2017), we're praying, along with an army of others, that God will "wow" us with a complete healing, through whatever surgery or other means He chooses. That's the miracle we seek! Lord, protect this sweet family we love and hold them close through the storm! Your people seek your face, loving Father.
Glad to hear this surgery is over. Continuing to pray. Eager to hear Dr. Batjer's update after this first embolism. Praying for healing with no infection. Praying for comfort through the further process of surgeries. God knows and loves Frankie and Kori and we can trust His plan. So thankful for Dr. Batjer and his willingness to treat this difficult situation with all the wisdom and skill God has gifted him with!
Frankie, Kori and Deacon, I love you all so much and continue to pray unceasingly that God will heal Frankie completely, that He will continue to give strength to our wonderful Kori, and that He will continue to comfort Deacon and keep him close. I also pray for Brenda and Jim as they provide so much support on the front lines. God, You are good and You are sovereign. Thank You that You know what is best and will complete it all in Your time.
May G-d guide the hands of the surgeons during this delicate surgery. May he bestow health and healing on Frankie. And may he provide comfort and calm to all of Frankie's family. Amen.