Harriet Goedert | CaringBridge

Harriet Goedert

First post: Mar 31, 2018 Latest post: Apr 12, 2018

This is an update for  family and friends to keep you in the loop on Harriet's progress after an extensive stroke on Thursday 3/29/2018.


In advance, the family appreciates your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting and feel free to leave questions or comments.


Harriet was at the Storm Lake Walmart around 5 PM on Thursday March 29th when she had a massive left-sided brain stroke. She had compassionate care by good Samaritans who were shopping at the time, along with Walmart employees. Within less than 1/2 hour, she was transported to Buena Vista Medical Center where the Emergency Department staff did the appropriate brain scans to determine if the stroke was caused by a 'clot' or by a 'bleed'. This information is critical to have before decisions can be made about the possible TPA use. This was immediately administered when the imaging showed an extensive clot in the left hemisphere of the brain, (right sided paralysis for Harriet and no ability to speak at that time). Life-flight was requested from University of Nebraska Medical Center, and the transport quickly got Harriet to surgery to remove the brain vessel clot around 9 PM. 


This update is to let you know that there is some progress in her recovery, although she remains to have very little movement of her right arm, and aphasia (an inability to speak). Today the tasks will be for speech therapy to evaluate her ability to swallow. She does have some response to questions from her children, who are at the bedside.


The news this morning, is comparing the brain images from the first CT scan and angiogram that was done on Thursday and the scan late last night.  The news is that a large portion of the left brain was affected, including the speech center. There is a very delayed swallow reflex that takes over 7 seconds.
She is not responding to vocal commands immediately, but there is some response to touch and commands from loved ones. The brain has extensive swelling and the changes over the next 48 hours will continue to show Harriet's recovery and the prognosis of her abilities for rehabilitation.


The cause of the stroke appears to have been atrial fibrillation, as she had A Fib last night while in the neuro ICU that was promptly treated. She does not appear to be in pain and is sitting in the bed, with excellent nursing care with positioning and re-positioning, to allow her optimal comfort. She saw a photo of Loretta who is recovering, saw a newlywed photos of Sarah and Brian through the wedding link early this week.


Family is all arriving in town, and we will be working alongside the medical, nursing, PT, speech therapy, OT and ministerial teams to make the best decisions for Harriet and for the life she has indicated that she wants to live. 


Harriet is in Clarkson Tower in the neuro ICU. She will be moved to another room probably on Tuesday or Wednesday. 
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