Support Stroke Boy & Seizure Girl

$14,320 of $48k goal

Raised by 102 people in 14 months
Phil Knowlton
on behalf of Eric L Knowlton
 ANCHORAGE, AK
Too many seizures & surgeries / Help for Heidi & Eric
Eric Knowlton and his family could use your help. Over the past few years Eric has been struggling with a sensitive medical issue that has required several surgeries and procedures to treat. He is currently laid up from his most recent surgery and will need further treatment before this can be resolved. Each procedure leaves him bed-fast for a minimum of one to two week and often times much longer if the severity is high enough.

That is bad enough for anyone to have to deal with, but things become even more complicated when you consider he is the sole provider for his wife and daughter. His wife, Heidi, has suffered from seizures since childhood and as a result cannot drive or work a steady job. Eric has been there to support and care for her as any good spouse would want to be; often taking on two to three different jobs at once for much of their married life. Together they have given their daughter, Brooke, everything a teenage girl could hope for; not the least of which is a loving family.
A fantastic artist, Eric has made a good amount of his income carving and painting life like fish and other pieces of wildlife and out door, but even that has taken a back seat to these health issues. The complications from having laid him up to the point of not even being able to do the simplest of tasks involved in his craft. Eric is naturally looking forward to getting back to work, but that still takes time.

What we are hoping to do is raise $15,000.00 to assist with the loss of income Eric and his family have suffered during this ordeal. I , for one, know how difficult sudden and dramatic medical troubles (usually accompanied with chronic pain) can be on your life. Finances are one of the first to suffer in these situations and can be the most daunting to recovery from. We are hoping this we provide him with the means to focus on healing and getting back to work in a timely, but above all safe manner.

How soon? I don't think there is a time that's soon enough. My brother has always been a generous human being and has always worked hard to take care of his family and loved ones. He's not one to ask for help like this, which is why I'm taking the lead in asking for help on his behalf. This isn't some foundation where you don't know where your dollar is going and how much is eaten up in overhead before getting to the people in need. No. This is a husband and father trying to take care of his family. This is an artist and craftsman working to better himself as he struggles. This is a good man trying to what is right. Let's help make that happen.
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Update 5
Posted by Phil Knowlton
12 days ago
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Eric has continues working on recovery from the stroke he suffered a year ago after several surgeries. However, last week, he found he no longer had coverage for much needed pool therapy or occupational therapy.
His carpal tunnel surgery on right hand appears successful (follow up this week) but the Drs aren't sure if it's wise to do the surgery on his left hand due to lack of feeling and Parkinsonism symptoms that make it difficult to hold his hand steady.
Eric still isn't able to walk more than a few feet and has chronic pain & fatigue. His balance still needs much improvement, he can only stand a little over a minute without assistance.
Heidi has been Eric's home nurse through this whole ordeal. We'd hoped to secure disability benefits for her (not much, but every bit helps), however we learned last week she was denied. This is typical, and even with an automatic appeal, it usually takes 2 years to secure the much needed funds.
Due to their ongoing struggle and Eric still waiting on a motorized wheelchair (not sure if that's going to happen with loss of benefit), we're asking for help to get Eric more mobile (he's only gone to Drs, therapy and a handful of stores over the last year) and to support Heidi as she appeals for her disability, which she clearly qualifies for under their own rules.
Heidi's neurologist is suggesting either further brain surgery to excise epileptic area of brain or an implant similar to her VNS that would go directly on her brain to hopefully prevent seizures.
She's been experiencing double or back to back seizures the last few years, which often lead to SUDEP (sudden death epileptic). Our desire is to see her seizure free, however, even the drs are still looking for a solution as she's not responding as well as hoped to double medications and the VNS implant.
In addition, Eric desperately needs improvements to their home:
Replace old decks and add ramps for safe access; walk in (roll in) shower; additional handicap railing for attempting to walk and to pull himself up if he falls. We'd also like to install a garage door on the shop to prevent falls in Alaska's long winter months. Eric let all but one of his large shop tools go to keep them in their home this past winter.
Anything at all is helpful. We appreciate everyone and every donation, monetary or otherwise.
Eric was really hoping to 'prove the drs wrong' by walking normally by now, however, they've been sadly very accurate on the recovery and caution him that this is very likely his new normal.
We're very grateful to his brother Brian & sister in law Angie for helping make it possible to get the family into a vehicle that is much easier for Eric to get in and out of, and will easily hold a motorized wheelchair.
Bouncer motorized wheelchair for Eric
Pride Jazzy motorized wheelchair
Bounder folds for easy transport in car
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Update 4
Posted by Phil Knowlton
9 months ago
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Hi folks - I am still going through both physical and occupational therapy. I can walk short distances (50 - 150'), with a cane and stand for as long as 10 minutes. The hand (Lefty!) has made the most progress - I can oppose all the fingers finally - still thick and sluggish but I managed!
Thanks to all who have helped our family - you have kept us from losing our home and car - our only 'assets' left - we've sold off everything accept my shop tools in hope that I can someday (soon?!) return to carving with the ability I had before.
Heidi's seizures have sadly not improved - she continues to have seizures weekly, sometimes 2 or 3 in a week or back to back, which is very scary. Her implant is working, but unable to prevent the seizures. Her meds have been doubled in an attempt to help, but still having no effect as she had 2 seizures just this week. I am grateful I can at least assist her and comfort her.
I was able to actually go fishing! Thanks to local friends Mike and Derick for taking me. I wore out after 2 hours (had to rest a lot in that time period) but I was on a river! I didn't hook anything which is good - I don't know how I'd retrieve it as reeling is still wonky with Lefty.
On our financial front - we're tapped. Heidi used the funds carefully to allow us to survive these last 4 months - all thanks to YOU!
I am trying to see what may be possible with self publishing with Kickstarter for adult and kids Alaskan and fishing themed coloring books. Still in the idea phase, then I have to create samples, but maybe a way to provide for my family.
I had a rural mail contract route before the stroke, but its impossible for me to work currently - it is very physical, standing, lifting, driving, in and out of the vehicle, door delivery of packages - I loved the job, being a people person (no sales!) - and I wish I could do it now.
On the plus side, I have been able to help TWO needy and local families by providing them income through the routes I had. I feel very good about that.
I'll try to post more updates. I wish I had more positive news. We're still waiting on Social Security Disability, even though I am told I should have no issues with qualifying.
It would greatly help until I am able to ease back in to working - it may take a year or two until I can work ONE full time job, not two, as I have done for over 17 years. I love providing for my family.
A lot of you have asked how our daughter is doing - she is incredible in her helping both of her parents.
But she is a kid - still in her mid teens, this hits hard, She's had to grow up to fast with mom having epilepsy and scary seizures - the one that still stabs at my heart is a voice mail from her at 3 years old pleading for daddy to please answer as she tried to comfort her mommy and reassure her she was calling for help.
She needs to have some fun - we are grateful for her friends taking her to things like the Renn Faire, I'd love to see her get to the fair - I can't go unless I'm in a wheel chair at this point.
Thank you all again. Eric
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Update 3
Posted by Phil Knowlton
13 months ago
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Update (for those not aware): The good news is Eric is home! His recovery has been more than impressive, but that brings us to the less than great news. There is still a long ways to go and as much as he's done so far it's going to be a fierce uphill battle. He did have a stroke after all. He's able to walk with a cane on his own (mostly) and is expected to do better in familiar surroundings. The part that makes this really not great news right now is he's still not able to work (not that he hasn't been trying).

He's a hard working man of integrity and work ethic I aspire to, but right now he needs to be able to focus on recovering so he can be in that much better shape when it's time to get back out there in the "work force". That's why I'm asking you to like and share and get the word out. So many people have done so much and he (most of all Eric) are eternally grateful and I only continue to ask for him because the situation calls for me to and... he's my brother. Thank you for reading.
Lefty: Keep fighting the good fight!
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Update 2
Posted by Phil Knowlton
13 months ago
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Eric has suffered a stroke. He cannot feel his left side below the neck. Not much is known at this point but I will update soon. Thank you again for your generosity!
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Read a Previous Update
Nick Laferriere
14 months ago
2
2

Best wishes buddy and I hope you have a speedy recovery! :) Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

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Arthur Ofieldstream
13 months ago
1
1

All the best Eric - safe and sucessful surgery with a speedy recovery. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Kudos Bru.

+ Read More
Walter Koda
4 months ago

Keep up the good spirits Eric. Wishing you and your family the best in the coming year.

+ Read More
Eric L Knowlton
9 months ago

Hi folks - I am still going through both physical and occupational therapy. I can walk short distances (50 - 150'), with a cane and stand for as long as 10 minutes. The hand (Lefty!) has made the most progress - I can oppose all the fingers finally - still thick and sluggish but I managed! Thanks to all who have helped our family - you have kept us from losing our home and car - our only 'assets' left - we've sold off everything accept my shop tools in hope that I can someday (soon?!) return to carving with the ability I had before. Heidi's seizures have sadly not improved - she continues to have seizures weekly, sometimes 2 or 3 in a week or back to back, which is very scary. Her implant is working, but unable to prevent the seizures. Her meds have been doubled in an attempt to help, but still having no effect as she had 2 seizures just this week. I am grateful I can at least assist her and comfort her. I was able to actually go fishing! Thanks to local friends Mike and Derick for taking me. I wore out after 2 hours (had to rest a lot in that time period) but I was on a river! I didn't hook anything which is good - I don't know how I'd retrieve it as reeling is still wonky with Lefty. On our financial front - we're tapped. Heidi used the funds carefully to allow us to survive these last 4 months - all thanks to YOU! I am trying to see what may be possible with self publishing with Kickstarter for adult and kids Alaskan and fishing themed coloring books. Still in the idea phase, then I have to create samples, but maybe a way to provide for my family. I had a rural mail contract route before the stroke, but its impossible for me to work currently - it is very physical, standing, lifting, driving, in and out of the vehicle, door delivery of packages - I loved the job, being a people person (no sales!) - and I wish I could do it now. On the plus side, I have been able to help TWO needy and local families by providing them income through the routes I had. I feel very good about that. I'll try to post more updates. I wish I had more positive news. We're still waiting on Social Security Disability, even though I am told I should have no issues with qualifying. It would greatly help until I am able to ease back in to working - it may take a year or two until I can work ONE full time job, not two, as I have done for over 17 years. I love providing for my family. A lot of you have asked how our daughter is doing - she is incredible in her helping both of her parents. But she is a kid - still in her mid teens, this hits hard, She's had to grow up to fast with mom having epilepsy and scary seizures - the one that still stabs at my heart is a voice mail from her at 3 years old pleading for daddy to please answer as she tried to comfort her mommy and reassure her she was calling for help. She needs to have some fun - we are grateful for her friends taking her to things like the Renn Faire, I'd love to see her get to the fair - I can't go unless I'm in a wheel chair at this point. Thank you all again. Eric

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$14,320 of $48k goal

Raised by 102 people in 14 months
Created February 21, 2016
Phil Knowlton  
on behalf of Eric L Knowlton
$100
KC Elliott
17 days ago
2
2
$150
Anonymous
1 month ago
2
2
MD
$500
Mike Dahlager
3 months ago
2
2
PM
$400
P. & M. Michaloski
3 months ago
2
2

sending some electronic hugs.

$100
Anonymous
4 months ago
2
2
LP
$100
Linda & Jerry Pendergrass
4 months ago
2
2

Merry Christmas to you and your family. Wishing you the best in 2017.

$300
Anonymous
4 months ago
2
2
SK
$50
Sue K.
4 months ago
2
2
BB
$100
Brett Bakner
4 months ago
2
2
AD
$200
Amy Dahm
4 months ago
2
2
Nick Laferriere
14 months ago
2
2

Best wishes buddy and I hope you have a speedy recovery! :) Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

+ Read More
Arthur Ofieldstream
13 months ago
1
1

All the best Eric - safe and sucessful surgery with a speedy recovery. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Kudos Bru.

+ Read More
Walter Koda
4 months ago

Keep up the good spirits Eric. Wishing you and your family the best in the coming year.

+ Read More
Eric L Knowlton
9 months ago

Hi folks - I am still going through both physical and occupational therapy. I can walk short distances (50 - 150'), with a cane and stand for as long as 10 minutes. The hand (Lefty!) has made the most progress - I can oppose all the fingers finally - still thick and sluggish but I managed! Thanks to all who have helped our family - you have kept us from losing our home and car - our only 'assets' left - we've sold off everything accept my shop tools in hope that I can someday (soon?!) return to carving with the ability I had before. Heidi's seizures have sadly not improved - she continues to have seizures weekly, sometimes 2 or 3 in a week or back to back, which is very scary. Her implant is working, but unable to prevent the seizures. Her meds have been doubled in an attempt to help, but still having no effect as she had 2 seizures just this week. I am grateful I can at least assist her and comfort her. I was able to actually go fishing! Thanks to local friends Mike and Derick for taking me. I wore out after 2 hours (had to rest a lot in that time period) but I was on a river! I didn't hook anything which is good - I don't know how I'd retrieve it as reeling is still wonky with Lefty. On our financial front - we're tapped. Heidi used the funds carefully to allow us to survive these last 4 months - all thanks to YOU! I am trying to see what may be possible with self publishing with Kickstarter for adult and kids Alaskan and fishing themed coloring books. Still in the idea phase, then I have to create samples, but maybe a way to provide for my family. I had a rural mail contract route before the stroke, but its impossible for me to work currently - it is very physical, standing, lifting, driving, in and out of the vehicle, door delivery of packages - I loved the job, being a people person (no sales!) - and I wish I could do it now. On the plus side, I have been able to help TWO needy and local families by providing them income through the routes I had. I feel very good about that. I'll try to post more updates. I wish I had more positive news. We're still waiting on Social Security Disability, even though I am told I should have no issues with qualifying. It would greatly help until I am able to ease back in to working - it may take a year or two until I can work ONE full time job, not two, as I have done for over 17 years. I love providing for my family. A lot of you have asked how our daughter is doing - she is incredible in her helping both of her parents. But she is a kid - still in her mid teens, this hits hard, She's had to grow up to fast with mom having epilepsy and scary seizures - the one that still stabs at my heart is a voice mail from her at 3 years old pleading for daddy to please answer as she tried to comfort her mommy and reassure her she was calling for help. She needs to have some fun - we are grateful for her friends taking her to things like the Renn Faire, I'd love to see her get to the fair - I can't go unless I'm in a wheel chair at this point. Thank you all again. Eric

+ Read More
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