Baher Malek was admitted to the hospital Tuesday, April 22, 2014, after having unexplained seizures. He had been experiencing flu-like symptoms for a few days, and the doctors expected to arrive at a diagnosis of meningitis or viral encephalitis, but no diagnostic cause was ever determined after exhaustive tests at several institutions, including many lumbar punctures and a brain biopsy. Diagnosis remains as best hypothesis: viral encephalitis or a post infectious autoimmune encephalitis, possibly with parvovirus trigger. After 7 weeks in a medically induced coma due to continuous seizures (status epilepticus), during which time he sustained a brain hemorrhage, on the backbone of God's grace using diligent doctors and a profound movement of prayer, Baher began to awake, breathe off the ventilator, and begin a long journey towards - what we now know to be - a very limited recovery. These have been years characterized by frequent mental anguish and confusion, yet he never forgets to articulate the foundation that sustains a life: Hope in Jesus. The miracle that we have witnessed is that long days of mental toil and a continuous need for re-orientation are always rooted within a consistent framework of love and concern for his family and precious Trust in the Lord. We have many stories of how our Heavenly Father has provided for His children, even though it has been (and remains) so painful. After months and years of hospitalizations, Baher still suffers from medically refractory seizures that require numerous sedating medications, complicated by amnestic syndrome. He lives with severe short-term and long term memory loss due to great damage to his hippocampus and temporal lobes which creates a baseline of confusion and repetition. Despite the severe TBI he sustained, his verbal skills are tremendous and faith is strong. His rehabilitation and healing remain a very dependent journey in God's good hands and will be complete when He finally sees His Savior. Since 2016, Baher has been cared for at Spring Mill Meadows Nursing facility on 86th street where he maintains his wonderful sense of humor with bingo wins, visits from those he loves and practicing Christ-like compassion for other residents as he himself receives care.
Baher and Bess, have four adorable children: Clara, Benjamin, Zachary, and Theodore.
Thank you to everyone who has given to the family over the course of this journey. Your generosity has been overwhelming, and the family is extremely grateful. We are deeply thankful for the friends who continue to remember Baher and our family in prayer and are cheered by those who bestow visits on this dearly beloved father and friend.