Glen VanderKooi

First post: Dec 17, 2017 Latest post: May 9, 2024
On July 17, 2014, Glen very unexpectedly suffered a massive stroke to the right side of his brain.  It was caused by a dissection of his carotid artery which threw a blood clot, which in turn traveled upward and settled at the base of the MCA (main artery to the right side of the brain).  An attempt at removing the blood clot surgically failed, and also caused a bleed on his brain.  A few short days after his stroke began, part of his skull had to be removed because the swelling on his brain was so severe.  After 21 days in the hospital, he was transfered to Spectrum Neuro Rehab, where he stayed for 3 months before leaving to have his skull put back in place.  After that surgery, he was admitted to Mary Free Bed, where he spent 2 more months before finally coming home on December 18, 2014.  During his time at Mary Free Bed, he also underwent yet another surgery to implant a pump that gives a continuous supply of baclofen directly to his spine;  this helps to control his spasticity and enables him to ambulate.  During the 5 months while Glen was gone, the Body of Christ took such good care of our family.  Our home had to be remodled, I needed help getting kids to practices, church, etc. We had an overwhelming abundance of meals to help us through what was such a dark time in our lives.  Three and a half years later, life is still very challenging for Glen, especially, but also for the rest of us, as we have had to adjust to a husband/dad who is disabled.  This Fall we had felt like we were finally finding some sort of rythm to our new circumstance when Glen experienced a very lengthy (8 minutes) seizure  that, at the time, we weren't sure was not another stroke.  He was taken to the ER and admitted to the hospital where they not only confirmed it was a seizure, but also discovered a tear and pseudoanuerism in his other carotid artery in the exact same location as the one that caused his previous stroke.  A couple of weeks later, he underwent surgery to place a stent in the hopes of preventing a second stroke, which would take away the good side of his brain.  We are so thankful for a community that continues to support us as the road of brain injury is long.  We are thankful to God who continues to teach us, to comfort us, and to lead us each step of the way.  

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