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Stroke Recovery Support For Buck

$32,266 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 218 people in 6 months
Created September 5, 2018
My dear friends (family of the heart) Maurice Buck Reidy and Fae Kontje Gibbs need help while recovering from and readjusting to life in the aftermath of the unexpected difficulties of Buck's stroke.  

In Fae's own words:

"On Saturday night, 8/18/18, Buck finished his shift on the Chappy ferry and headed toward Oak Bluffs to see 2 of his granddaughters in a dance performance.  He made it into his seat a couple of dances before intermission. When the lights came up he asked me if his eyes looked funny because, on the way there, his vision had suddenly gone all wonky.  I grabbed him by the arm and said 'We're going to the ER.'

Buck was having a thalamic stroke. Thanks to swift, compassionate collaboration between the MVH ER & MGH Neurological unit via skype, a clot busting medication was administered, stemming the tide of increased damage.
He was air lifted to MGH where the doctors noted his progress over the following days as 'remarkable', due in no small part to the many loving, healing wishes that were aimed our way.

Buck was back home within 4 days, and outpatient therapies continue.  Physically, he is in great shape. Socially, he is his happy-to-see you self.  Cognitively, there is more to go, and we're looking for a good Neurologist to help guide us through this next part of his recovery.

It is crucial that the stress of his over-extended life style be renovated. In light of that, he is resigning from his law work. He hopes to eventually continue driving boats, and most especially to return to leading the meditation classes for prisoners in Barnstable & Plymouth County jails. The latter has been primarily self-funded and the former is highly seasonal. We are not sure when the doctors will give the ok for his return to work, or indeed what that work will be as we move into the colder months. I have also been less able to work during this time, as I support Buck in his recovery and take care of the daily tasks of our household. 

We don't yet know exactly how much the medical bills will be.  Medicare covers all but 20%, and that may be a hefty sum.  And then there's the helicopter to MGH.

We have only a small buffer.   Being primarily self-employed, neither of us has a pension or retirement plan.  We took for granted that we were strong and healthy enough to just keep working in order to meet our financial needs.  But life surprised us, and now we are scrambling to re-adjust.  Some big changes lie ahead.

We figure that between his lost income and my reduced one we need around $50,000  to cover our known expenses for the next year.
 
So, here we are, rich in love and friendship,  poor in cash. 

Things will sort out, and we will get through. We appreciate, more profoundly than it is possible to express, the deeply meaningful help and care that is continually given us from you, our family and friends.

Thank you."
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An update from Fae on the very happy occasion of Buck’s Birthday

21 September, 2018

Today is Buck’s 67th birthday and he is still here. All his limbs work and thanks to our therapeutic daily constitutionals he has become a fast walker. Today he told me, “I feel myself getting stronger.”

The physical affects of the stroke all came right very quickly. The guy has an amazingly strong constitution. Socially, he is as happy to see and speak with people as ever. Cognitively, he makes daily, incremental progress on the way to full brightness. Memory has never been his strong suit, and we’re aiming to regain not only lost ground, but to also develop new tracts! Thank goodness for Qi Gong, meditation, brain games, and long naps.

Our biggest task, beyond his immediate recovery, is the renovation of our life style. Decreasing stress is the first priority which relies on both reducing expenses and radically simplifying everything. Time to teach us old dogs some new tricks.

He is just beginning to address, in small doses, some of the paperwork piled on his desk. It is slow going and the challenge in returning to this activity is the stress it generates. The risk of a second stroke is heightened after this first one, and that is something we both are working hard to prevent. So, we are aiming for “easy does it” attitudes and practicing more patience than either of us ever imagined possessing. Thank goodness for the counsel of good friends, therapists, and professionals. People have been so kind and patient with us.

We still don’t know when he will be able to work or what he’ll be doing. The cash raised in this Go Fund Me campaign has literally bought us time, something we very nearly ran out of. It has given us room to breathe, to pause and reassess, to stop running from the tiger. Because of your generosity, we are able to mindfully consider “what’s next,” without the anxiety and pressure of needing to have gotten there yesterday.


Taking this time together to sort things out is only possible because of the support we’ve been receiving from all of you, our community. Ever since that first night when word of his stroke started circulating, there has been a palpable experience of light and love all around us. This has been the strongest medicine of all.

Please never underestimate the power of your giving. The shock and chaos in the wake of Buck’s stroke and its implications for our lives felt like a giant wave that was going to swamp and sink us. Instead, because of what you’ve done for us, it is a wave that can carry us safely to a new shore.

That each of you has paused in your own busy lives to send a note, make a call, bring a meal, offer a ride, run an errand, slip us cash, touches me to the marrow of my bones and the roots of my soul.

This is a special birthday for Buck. As he comes around to celebrating another year he feels, more than ever, a deep appreciation for the support of this community.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart to the top,

always,
fae
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Fae wanted me to pass along the following update: “I am breathless with awe and gratitude.”
Thank you so much to everyone who has donated and shared
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$32,266 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 218 people in 6 months
Created September 5, 2018
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