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Debbie B.

Caregiver & Family

Stroke Saved My Husband's Life

If the stroke had not happened he would have probably died from the infection that they didn't know he had.

My husband was a hard working very athletic 57 yr. old when he had a stroke in Jan. of 2010. Flu like symptoms for six months, loss of weight and then his back just gave out. Nothing showed in any test they ran on him. Nothing in the back to cause his pain. Nothing in his blood to make them test further. You see he also has Hep-C. It is was non active so they kept saying it was the Hep-C and he needed treatments. We saw the doctor for that and was scheduled for treatments to start Jan. 8th. His first visit the doctor questioned about his overall health and he said what he is having is not Hep-C related. His liver hasn't changed in two years so lets do some scans. The day before he was to have these he had severe headaches and slowness in his movements. I had fully intended to call the doctor the following morning but at 5:30 am our border collie woke me which she never did, she always woke my husband. My husband had gotten up and she followed him to the bathroom and then back to bed and just guarded him so I went to his side of the bed because he was not answering me when I spoke to him. His eyes looked helpless. He stood then went to the floor like a wet noodle. Only his eyes responded but he did get up with my help. I called 911 and said I think he is having a stroke.

After all the test they ran, they told me he did have a stroke but he also had a brain tumor. They needed to biopsy because his white cells were so elevated that it had to be cancer.They explained that this would make his stroke symptoms more pronounced. The biopsy was done and what they found was not a tumor but an abscess. They cleaned it out and he spent the next 24 hrs in ICU. The infection was also on the heart. He spent two months in the hospital on IV antibiotics for what they discovered was bacterial from DIRT!!! He started slowly improving.

After the rehab stint in the hospital we did outpatient rehab at a nearby Wellness Center. In five months he was able to walk and to say maybe three or four words and to barely move his right arm.

I spent countless hours on the computer researching what I could do to help him. I made things for him to use at home similar to what they had used in therapy and his softball friends came once or twice a week to get him outside and walking, swinging a golf club and a bat. They have been awesome. Along with the will to play with his grandsons he continues to improve daily. He can almost eat right handed again and can slowly speak in sentences. They do not offer Hyperbaric Oxygen treatments so after much searching we got an affordable home unit. He goes in daily and it has made a huge difference.

So I say to all of you just never ever give up on this. Yes it is tiring and emotional but the recovery is so worth all of those hours of your life...Get all the help you can..it is a forever job but I truly believe my husband's quality of life will return to normal or as close as possible.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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