Support for Brenda Henry Pandos
Brenda went into the hospital to have an aneurysm repaired, a somewhat standard procedure that should have had her home with her boys and planning for Christmas the next day. The doctors said the procedure went well, but when Brenda woke up, it became quickly obvious that it hadn't. She couldn't talk, and a CAT scan showed that she'd suffered a stroke.
The stroke affected her right side, leaving her unable to move her right leg and barely able to move her right arm and hand. It also affected her cognitive ability, speech, and emotions. As you can imagine, this was a hard blow to the family. Fortunately, Brenda started showing immediate improvement.
By that first evening, she was beginning to talk a little and her right leg moved. Over the next couple of days, she showed promising progress, so they moved her out of ICU and into a rehab facility. She now undergoes 3-4 hours a day of occupational, physical, and speech therapy. It leaves her exhausted, but she shows improvements every day. She's regaining use of her arm and hand, her cognitive functions are returning as her brain reprograms itself, and she's talking and laughing again. Her leg continues to be stubborn, but we know she'll walk again soon.
It goes without saying that the medical bills are piling up and will continue to for quite a while. While they do have medical insurance, it does not cover 100% of the expenses, which in this case, means tens of thousands of dollars out of their pockets. Add to that loss of work for both Brenda and her husband and extra care for their young boys. We don't know yet when Brenda will be able to return to her writing and her publishing business, which means the loss of income will continue to grow long before it improves. We do know that she still has weeks of being in the rehab facility and months afterward of therapy.
The family can use every little bit of financial help we can provide to fill the gap and help with those bills. Your donation, however big or small, would be greatly appreciated. It will put a smile on Brenda's face, who puts smiles on so many others'. In fact, it would make all of us who know her smile as it provides a little relief to the mountain of stress and worries her family is going through. We know that not everyone has even $2 to give, but your help in spreading the word about this GoFundMe campaign would also be appreciated. With lots of prayers, love, encouraging words, and support, we'll have our Brenda back home with her family and back to writing her beloved stories. Thank you in advance for whatever it is you can do.
Dear Friends, Family and Fans -
It humbles me from the bottom of my heart that I have so much support and love during this time of need. My husband Mike and I are overwhelmed with your generosity. I'm happy to say that I'm on the mend and those interested in the details of my progress can follow the updates that my mom (Renee Henry) is doing through her Facebook account. Some of the highlights since my release from the rehab center I was at for 19 days are as follows:
I was sent home with a brace for my right foot and a walker, both of which I no longer need. Initially I had no movement in my right arm or right leg and now I have complete movement in my right arm and most of the movement in my right leg. At first, I wasn't speaking but a few words and since then my ability to speak has almost completely returned, however I still struggle with word-finding and proper expression of my thoughts. This coming week, I'll be starting outpatient therapy (physical and speech) for continued support in my recovery.
A BIG thanks to Kristie Cook (my BAFF - Best Author Friend Forever) for setting up this site, keeping in close touch with me throughout my recovery and continually cheering me on. And once again, everyone's financial support thus far has been a huge encouragement and has lessened the overall stress of the situation. We are deeply grateful for you all and ask for your continued prayer as we move forward in this recovery process
Hugs & Fist-Bumps,
Brenda and Mike Pandos
Unfortunately, I didn't get to chat with Brenda or Renee this evening to get my daily update, but here's what Renee posted on her Facebook page:
"Brenda had an exceptional day. She graduated from several different therapies today. She no longer has a therapist sitting with her during her meals, and she can make transfers by herself from the bed to the wheelchair and back. This is huge!!"
This put a ginormous smile on my face, and I hope yours, too. Brenda is making her way back to us, and as she does with everything, she's giving it her all. Thank you again, not only for the financial support, but for the words of encouragement, the prayers, and the kind thoughts, as well. Each one motivates Brenda more to keep on working so she can get home to her children and husband. So again, thank you from us all.
The family met with her medical and rehab team. The goal is to have her home by Christmas, so prayers and positive thoughts for that would be greatly appreciated. I know her boys would be thrilled and so would she. Making sure that her body is ready is most important, though. Once she does get home, she could have months of therapy ahead of her. The brain is a funny thing, though, so it's hard for anyone to predict how her healing will go.
Thank you for your support and prayers! They're working, so please keep them going.