Coach Walk’s Road To Recovery

$17,892 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 23 days
Created February 26, 2018
Coach Mike Walker, an amazing human, coach and mentor is hoping to focus more on recovery from emergency back surgery and less on financial stress. His youngest daughter, a standout track and volleyball student-athlete is on course to attend Clark College on a partial volleyball scholarship and to pursue a degree in journalism/environmental studies, but medical expenses will make it difficult for the family to provide adequate funding in the upcoming year. When Mike Walker played and coached football for Washington State University and the Canadian Football League, he did it with all his body, heart and soul. Now, he brings the same passion to middle schoolers in the Highline School District in his role as Dean of Student Success and coach. Unfortunately, while visiting his wife and youngest daughter who still live in Pullman, Mike found himself dealing with an emergency medical crisis. Mike was diagnosed with a spinal cord compression in 3 different locations, meaning he was born with vertebrae too large for his discs. Paralysis was imminent so Mike and his wife were flown to Seattle and Mike underwent a 12 hour emergency surgery to repair 2 of the 3 most critical issues. This first surgery will require months of recovery and physical therapy, which means missing nearly 2 months of work and mounting medical bills, in addition to transportation costs for his family to visit him since his daughter is graduating from Pullman High School 5 hours away. Additionally, Mike will also need a second surgery in the next few months to repair the spinal cord compression in his neck - this was identified as an emergency issue prior to the other spinal areas being deemed more critical and is still preventing full use of his hands. Mike’s family is working hard to be reunited in the Seattle/Tacoma area in order to assist him with his recovery this summer and help their daughter succeed in college. Please consider helping as you are able, and know how much every little bit is appreciated!

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Well, yesterday was disappointing and concerning. Mike was set to be discharged today and begin outpatient PT in Gig Harbor in order to get stronger before his neck surgery. But now, based on declining strength and coordination throughout his arms and legs, the doctors now believe they can not wait months and instead keep him at Swedish Cherry Hill, administer more steroids to hopefully diminish inflammation in his neck and look to do the neck surgery in 3-6 weeks. In an ideal world he would have time to get stronger, but clearly we are not dealing with ideals. Please know that he loves company and calls and notes of encouragement. Thank you to everyone who continues to give love and support.
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Mike and Kristen Celebrate their 30th Anniversary today, although it’s not where they planned on spending it, they continue to show that they are there for each other, in sickness and in health...

Coach Walk’s March Madness Update

Milestones: Walking 300 steps with a walker (hoping for a cane soon!), ascending a few stairs with assistance, blood sugars completely stable and more than ready to be discharged from the hospital on Tuesday (far too many blood draws, injections and interrupted moments of sleep - zero privacy!)

Challenges ahead: Walking without a walker, getting out of bed without assistance, getting to PT and appointments, being cleared to drive and return to work. Ascending stairs at home to shower. Being fully independent.

Worries: Bills arriving from Swedish Hospital before Mike has even been discharged. The amount of time away from work (entering week 6). Second surgery still pending. Hoping to make his daughter’s senior milestones 5 hours away - choir concerts, track meets, prom and graduation.

Blessings: Too many visitors to count! GoFundYou donations that bring tears to Mike’s eyes, Karla and John (they will welcome Mike home and assist him in the next phase of recovery), Spring Break on the horizon so Mike’s daughter and wife can travel 6 hours to spend time with him. Medical folks who will help all of us navigate the next phase.
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Weekend Update: Mike is getting settled into his temporary home away from home...This week he was continued to be blown away with the support and lv e he’s been shown from everyone...His spirits were lifted by multiple visits from friends and family...As always Mike and the rest of the Walker family thank you for the support!
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Update: After additional tests to find explanations for extreme pain in his ribs (no good answers here, except it is clear the car accident a year ago likely caused severe damage), multiple hurdles and frustrating delays getting insurance approval to move back to the acute rehabilitation floor at Swedish Cherry Hill, Michael Walker finally moved today to room 610! He is more than ready to embrace this phase of his recovery, but he has a long road ahead as his leg muscles need to remember how to receive messages from his brain (the "road blocks" on the spinal cord have significantly slowed communications!) This is hopefully a 1 to 2 week process, but we are well aware this may be a longer journey. Visitors are welcome, but check with Mike first since he has a busy schedule with 3 hours of PT and OT per day - healing is hard work physically, but the spirit needs help as well.

Words of encouragement can be sent to:

Swedish Cherry Hill Acute Rehabilitation
Attention: Mike Walker room 610
6th Floor East Tower
500 17th Ave
Seattle, WA 98122
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$17,892 of $25,000 goal

Raised by 124 people in 23 days
Created February 26, 2018
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