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June Peterson H.


My mom and dad happily had retired totally to Florida in 1998 from New England. Previously, they were snowbirds. They were quite active playing nine hole and 18 hole golf where they lived, playing bridge and attending social events at their club. 

In 2001, my dad was celebrating his 65th anniversary from Dartmouth College. Mom drove him up to Hanover, NH from Florida and they had a wonderful time. They drove home and my daughter helped from Maryland to FL. Mom had been told she had a cataract in one eye and that it potentially could lead to problems if not removed. As she was the driver, she worried that her eyesight should be good. 

She trusted her doctors: family, heart doctor and eye doctor. They took her off Coumadin for the week during surgery. Wednesday was her surgery. Friday, she was allowed to restart Coumadin, but that evening, while at an 80th birthday party for a friend, she suffered a massive stroke. The paramedics were wonderful and came immediately. She was in time to have the work done in the first three hours of stroke. She bled from this so it made it worse. This turned her life upside down and that of my father's. Why did they have to take her off Coumadin and not put her in the hospital and use Heparin? She went to physical rehab for a few months and ended up in the hospital several times with pneumonia.

She and Dad relocated, Mom to a nursing home and Dad to the Assisted Living section. I quit my teaching job in Maryland in 2002 and moved to Florida to assist. She was on a feeding tube for one year. During that year, Dad passed away. Mom was such a fighter, got off the feeding tube and even could go to church and out to lunch with me. However, her paralysis on her right side did not change. She was brave; it was as if her real person was trapped inside a sick body. She had aphasia, but still tried to greet people with a smile and, "Hello, I'm fine.” I never knew how devastating strokes could be, even though my grandfather had one.


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