Alan is a beloved husband, father, grandaddy, brother, son and friend. He truly has a beautiful soul; one of kindness, patience, generosity and good humor. Each time Alan visits a church or cathedral, he quietly steps away to light candles for his loved ones. This is a ritual we never really spoke about and one we caught on film unbeknownst to him. This act of love is a true testament to the character of his soul. It felt fitting here as we are asking for the same loving thoughts for him and our family during this difficult time.
Most of you know Alan suffered a mild stroke in November 2018. He was recovering nicely, working with a speech therapist and had even returned to work part time. Our Dad is a fighter and this was no exception. He often had his doctors laughing with his quick wit and sense of humor. His tenacity gave our mom comfort that his spirit was not broken.
On February 1st 2019 our Dad suffered another stroke, this one was much more severe.
He is now paralyzed on the right side of his body and has cognitive damage to left side of his brain. Our mom was alone in the Netherlands fighting for him...fighting with him. Thank you to the friends who were close by and able to visit and help our mom through the first couple of weeks. Our Dad continued to go through testing while in the Netherlands with no answers as to why this keeps happening. During previous tests it was discovered that these are not the only 2 strokes he has suffered. There were undetected mini strokes leading up to this. Our mom was finally able to secure medical transport to Germany where they took a military medical plane to the Walter Reed hospital in Washington DC. This is were they are currently staying.
Our Dad's new team of doctors are working diligently to find the cause of these clots that keep making their way to his brain causing the strokes. Ultimately though, the reality is that our father, grandaddy, husband, son, brother and friend, will never be the same. The damage the recent stroke has taken on him will impair him for life. He recognizes our mom and communicates very basic feelings on occasion but having a conversation is out of reach. In addition the paralysis will limit his ability to take care of his daily needs.
We are taking each day slowly awaiting new information as tests come in and his doctors present new insights. The goal is to transition him to a hospital in Georgia closer to our family. But for now, we need more information to determine the best fit for our Dad's needs.
Please post your supporting comments here. For now, please do not reach out directly to his wife and our mom Marty, unless she is already in contact with you. If you have pressing questions please reach out to one of his daughters, Samantha or Alie McElheney. Thank you.