On November 16, 2016 around 7:00 PM Dee suffered a hemorrhagic stroke at home. Robin came home after running an errand and discovered him semi-conscious. She immediately called 911. Dee was taken by ambulance to Petaluma Valley Hospital.
The cause of Dee's stroke was determined to be hypertension and it was centered in the left side of the brain in the Basal Ganglia . When the brain bleeds it causes injury. The centers in the brain most affected in Dee's stroke are motor (right side) , language, writing and cognition.
After his initial admission to Petaluma Valley Hospital and a couple of hours there, he was taken to Kaiser Redwood City. This ride was in an ICU transport ambulance . There he was admitted to the Neuro ICU. The staff there worked diligently to stabilize the brain bleed/swelling and all his vitals. About midweek he moved across the hall to Neuro Observation , spending a total of 8 days in Redwood City. While in this facility he received excellent care by the clinical staff, all of whom were specially trained and experienced with patients that have had stroke/brain injuries.
On Wednesday, November 23rd the staff determined that he had enough of his IV's out to transfer him to his "home" hospital. After enduring a 4 hour ambulance ride in holiday traffic (the evening before Thanksgiving) he arrived at Kaiser Santa Rosa. We were thrilled to finally have him off that transport gurney and closer to home. Here too, he was cared for by some of the kindest nurses and medical staff. We are eternally grateful for their expertise, knowledge and huge hearts.
On Monday, November 28th the care team at Santa Rosa finally had all his vitals stable, and recommended Dee for admission to the Kaiser Foundation Rehabilitation Center in Vallejo. He was accepted at 10 am, transport arrived at noon and he had ambulance ride #4. This acute rehab facility specializes in rehabilitation of patients with brain injuries and has an intensive therapy schedule. It is designed to help patients improve as quickly as possible and only accepts patients who are very vital, have the best chance of reintegrating into their community, and a supportive family to help them with daily living. He will have 6 classes a day there and at least 3 hours of therapy, including: speech, physical, and occupational. We think Dee would strongly approve of this approach to his care and "getting the job done" correctly and as quickly as possible.
Dee has continued to get stronger every day; he is finding more and more words and putting the pieces back together. His inability to move his right side is a challenge, but we are hopeful that this will continue to improve. We are so grateful he lived through this explosion in his brain and we found him quickly.
Our family has stayed with Dee 24/7 for these 2 weeks. We felt he would be more at ease with us near. All facilities welcomed us and provided us with a pull out or cot and some basics to get thru the night/days. It has taken us all, it has been a crazy ride and we know this next year will demand much from all of us in order to support Dee. We are learning so much. We love him so much.
Thank you all for the outpouring of well wishes, good thoughts, prayers, cards, and gifts of food and your time. Your love for Dee is palpable. We know his strong will, strong body, and unbreakable determination will help him pull through this difficult time. We are so grateful to have you in this circle.