Our Fighting Irish
As many of you know, our Dad was rushed to the hospital on the morning of Saturday, September 12, 2015. The pain that started out as an excruciating headache from a fall in the bedroom escalated into a critical condition that required emergency brain surgery in order to stop the hemorrhaging in his brain. They removed a piece of his skull to allow the swelling to continue.
Our Dad was in a coma for a month, and when he woke up, he went through three more brain surgeries. After his second surgery, he was diagnosed with Transverse Myelitis--a rare disease characterized by severe swelling in the spinal cord. Slowly but surely, through multiple treatments and from the love & support from family and friends, the Transverse Myelitis symptoms were mostly eradicated. He is currently classified as a paraplegic; he has very weak muscle control in his arms and has no muscle control in his legs. Doctors are optimistic that he will regain muscle control in his legs if he goes through extended stays in rehabilitation. This is why we need your help.
Insurance will cover 100 days of rehabilitation & 16 days of in-home care. Outside of that, it is all out-of-pocket. It costs $12,000/month for rehabilitation and $18,000/month for in-home care.
Disability insurance is helpful but it's not enough right now. We plan to sell the house in order to cover his future care. It's worth it for our dad. We would rather sell the house, burn through all of his savings, and have to support our parents for years if it meant we could just get him back--but it's not that simple.
Our Dad worked so hard to build a good life and was able to experience everything he dreamed of until this point. He has a loving, dedicated wife, two kids with bachelor's degrees, and one waiting to go to college. He's supported each and every one of us through the good and bad. He was the rock of the family when our Mom had breast cancer. In his career, he had the reputation of working harder than almost anyone else - but right now, he isn't able to do anything more than face one day of physical therapy at a time.
We have been praying for a miracle to happen, but the truth is that he needs enough rehab and physical therapy for that miracle to happen. He's been fighting every step of the way and we firmly believe that if he gets the care he needs, he will walk again and will have a full life ahead of him.
Please help our family in this extremely difficult time. Help our dad get the care he needs so that he can walk again. We thank you all so much for your love and support!
Aurora, Kinnaird & Maria McQuade
P.S. The Care Page for our Dad is below, with updates starting from September 12, 2015. It is free to sign up for a CarePage account. With this site, you can keep track of our Dad's progress throughout his recovery process.
We are so happy to have Kinny at home, and he has significantly improved since he first awoke. Kinny is still confused most of the time, as his brain is still healing. The therapists have helped tremendously; the speech therapist has helped Kinny keep track of his progress by making a logbook where he records daily updates on food, exercise, activities, and time in the wheelchair. This reduces frustration and helps with memory. Physical therapy is going much better. For the first time in over 6 months, Kinny was able to roll from his back onto his stomach, then prop himself up on his elbows!
Back in September, Kinny’s doctors explained that if Kinny’s legs did not move by the first six months following his fall, then there would be no hope of walking. Recent test results have confirmed that the damage to his spinal cord was so extensive that it is impossible for him to be ambulatory. Susan is following up with contacts at Johns Hopkins and the National Institute of Health (NIH) to try to get Kinny into a study. Susan was in a study for several years following her breast cancer treatment, and was comforted by the idea that the study results would help others.
Kinny was transported on Tuesday from the rehabilitation facility to our house, and requested that his first meal home would be a homemade meal by Aurora. The family asked what meal Kinny wanted to celebrate his first day home in over 100 days, and he said: "Thanksgiving; turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy and most importantly (his favorite) cherry pie. Because I am thankful to be going home, and thankful for you all, and all the love and support. Couldn't have done it without you guys."
The wheelchair wasn't delivered until the day after Kinny was transported home, so Kinny had to eat dinner in the hospital bed that we set up in the family room for him. We have a full time caregiver, Margaret, who is absolutely wonderful and so kind. We set up a folding table by Kinny's bed so that we could all eat dinner together.
Susan couldn't help but notice that on the chest of drawers next to Kinny's bed, our Grandmother's white orchids were in full bloom, with over 8 flowers despite it being December. Our Grandmother--Kinny's mother--passed away the day after Aurora graduated college this past spring.
On Christmas Day, Kinny was able to join us at the kitchen table. Margaret has been a great addition to the family and we are so happy that she has joined us in helping Kinny recover.
Thank you so incredibly much to everyone who has helped our family in any way through this difficult time, whether it be a hug, smile, share, or donation. We could not be here, with Kinny finally home, without the love and support of you all. Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays to you and your families.
our New Year's wish: Kinny's first steps.
a real treat for our Dad: the rehabilitation facility is taking him on a trip to Five Guys! the first time leaving the hospital! buckled in, Five Guys, here we come!
last week, Kinny passed his swallow test and is now eating regular food. He thoroughly enjoyed his first test meal: a burger and fries. He was fitted for a power wheelchair, and he is tentatively set to be discharged just before Christmas. Susan is busy interviewing caregiver agencies and getting trained by the nurses and therapists.
We all can't wait to have Dad home. Thank you so much to everyone for the love and support, we feel so blessed to have each and every one of you in our lives.