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Gary had a watershed stroke on Sunday, July 17th and was brought to Hibbing hospital where he was immediately airlifted by helicopter to United Hospital in Saint Paul. He was heavily sedated, and when he was brought down from sedation he did not talk to us or respond to any commands to move his limbs or nod his head, although he did reflex to pinches and tickles and moved his head back and forth when people talked to him. The following days were very scary as he underwent many tests and procedures. Both of his carotid arteries in his neck were 95% blocked, so they put a stent in the left artery and waited on the right side because of a clot in it that they were concerned about. Soon after he started being more responsive by moving his hands and nodding his head. He wasn't breathing on his own or able to eat so he had a tracheostomy and a feeding tube inserted.
Over the next few weeks he started moving his limbs and mouthing words. Since then he has been moved to Regency Hospital in Golden Valley (Minneapolis) and started talking and walking with a walker, and also has had his breathing tubes removed and is breathing all on his own. He is being transferred to Essentia Health Rehab Hospital in Virginia which is significantly closer to home.
Gary came a long way in a short amount of time, but there is still a lot to do ahead of him! He has to get his right artery cleaned up, his feeding tube removed, and lots of physical and occupational therapy to do. Thank you for all of your love and support!