On December 2nd, Chris was out kiting in Los Barilles (Baja, Mexico). He was having an excellent session when he started to feel a little off. Not totally knowing what was happening, he kited back towards the beach and was able to make it mostly to shore. With the help of his daughter, Ashley, and a couple of good people on the beach, Ashley and Debbie were able to get him quickly to the local hospital. There it was determined that Chris had suffered a major stroke.
He was then transferred to a state-of-the-art hospital in Los Cabos (Hospital H+) where he underwent 2 surgeries to help lessen the effects of the stroke. He was put into an induced coma to allow his brain to start healing. As he was weened off of the sedating medication, he was able to start being alert and trying to talk squeezing our hands upon command and able to communicate some things through gestures and some “yups." He started PT in Cabo and worked really hard on talking better and swallowing.
From here Chris was transferred to the Providence Portland Medical Center. Once there, they did more evaluations to figure out the best course of action for his health and rehabilitation. Chris continued to run a fever off and on (mainly on) last week. Late in the week they did another scan and more blood work. Due to the consistently elevated white blood cell counts (and red too), they figured that it was definitely an infection. On Christmas Eve, they took him back into surgery to explore the area around the craniotomy. Unfortunately, there was infection. They cleaned up as much as they could and had to take out part of his skull that had been infected. The doctors said that the antibiotics for his infection were working, but was hard to tell at what speed.
The next few months were a rollercoaster with Chris moving from one hospital back to Providence where it was found he had another infection which postponed his cranioplasty surgery for another month.
Finally the neurosurgeon was able to perform the surgery to replace the bone flap and place a VP shunt which caused some miraculous side effects including increased strength and energy and my personal favorite, the ability to speak at a volume above a harsh whisper.
He has finally made it back to Hood River and is being very well taken care of by the staff at the Hood River Care Center where he has started his rehabilitation. The last two weeks, Chris has regained some independence and is working on walking.
He is looking forward to seeing you all and share in your memories. Please sign up to go see him in the Planner. We are hoping to get more visitors in the evening.
Thank you all for your kind words and support! We are feeling the love!