Alex Slawski

First post: Feb 21, 2018 Latest post: Apr 23, 2019
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. 
After feeling bad for several days last week with what seemed to be primarily severe abdominal pain, Alex was diagnosed with a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH).  Last Thursday, Feb 15th, he was supposed to have an endoscopy to figure out what the pain was all about. Nothing added up to explain the severity of his pain. I even told him they were going to find something on endoscopy that people don’t typically walk around with. He has a high pain tolerance and I knew it was something big based on how much pain he was having. That morning, shortly after the 3 big kids left for school, Alex developed a severe headache and vomiting. He saved his life by telling me to call 911.  As scary as it was, I still never considered anything wrong with his head because he was having the stomach pain. I thought he was probably dehydrated. He was brought to the nearest ER in Frisco, and they treated him with IV fluids and pain medications. The doctor wasn’t too impressed with the abdominal CT and talked about sending him home. Once again, Alex saved his life by stating that he absolutely was not going home. So they started making plans to admit him. Not long after that he experienced the same headache and vomiting that happened at home, and thankfully the ER doc ordered a head CT. They saw the SAH and immediately began transferring him to their sister hospital in Plano, which just happens to be the best place to be north of Dallas if you have a brain injury. I was greeted in the ER by very skilled and very caring doctors explaining the severity of his condition and quickly moving to get him stabilized. Through this all, he never had any cognitive deficits and essentially “walked” into the hospital with a GCS of 15 (google it).  That’s a miracle in itself as 30% of people with a SAH never make it to the hospital, and those who do are generally much more compromised than he was.   Things would be much different if he had gotten back in bed Thursday morning. I’m convinced God had a hand in getting Alex in front of the people who needed to see him. 
So what caused this? The SAH was caused by an atypical aneurysm.  This is fitting for a man who is anything but typical. I don’t think we will ever know what caused the aneurysm. There are risk factors, but nothing that stands out as a likely cause for Alex. More specifically, he had a dissecting pseudo aneurysm of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery (PICA). The area of his brain that is affected by this is his left cerebellum, which controls muscle coordination and balance. I think it’s a pretty safe bet that he will need some physical rehab after he gets through this, but I’ve been told repeatedly that the brain is amazing and can adapt. I’m so thankful he hasn’t been affected cognitively and once he’s through this critical phase, I know he will be driven to recover and get back to his busy and full life. He’s always had a go big or go home attitude, and this attitude and determination is going to carry him far. 
We have been prepared by every doctor that this is a tough diagnosis and a tough recovery, with many of the obstacles being your body’s response to the blood around your brain. They will keep him in the neuro icu for at least 14 days, or more if he needs it, because it takes that long to be “out of the woods.”
Obviously this is tough on our family, but we are lifted up by everyone’s prayers, words of encouragement, and generosity. I’m not surprised by the size of the troops rallied to help us/Alex because he’s a special guy to so many people.  

With love and gratitude,