On Wed, Jan 30th, 2019 at 7:45am, Jack had a massive embolic stroke. Carol was home at the time and was able to call 9-1-1. EMS got to the house in minutes, as all the emergency vehicles were patrolling that day due to extreme cold temperatures in MN. He made it to the hospital in 15 minutes and was admitted through the ER. After an initial CT scan he was given iv TPA to assist with breaking up clots. Another MRA (an MRI with an angiogram) showed a large clot in his Middle Cerebral Artery. He was given an Interventional Radiology procedure and they were able to get the MCA clot. There were two smaller clots in smaller cerebral arteries that they were unable to get, but hoped the TPA would break up. He was intubated, vented and on Propofol by 11:30am.
On Thursday (1/31), a repeat MRA showed significant left hemisphere damage with swelling and a slight left to right shift. He had a right field cut and was not moving his right extremities. After he became less responsive another MRA showed no additional swelling, however, they put him on Mannitol to try to reduce the swelling. The hospital team prepared the family that interventional neurosurgery may be necessary, and that a team was on call.
On Friday (2/1), an early morning MRA showed that the swelling in his brain hadn’t changed, but they were able to extubate him and he was breathing on his own. When the family arrived, he was sitting up and awake and responsive. He looked so much better and his eyes were clear. He recognized his family and was visibly responding. He wanted to talk but couldn’t due to the extended intubation and brain swelling. He was visibly emotional when we told him what happened. But he laughed when his son, Paul, cracked a joke which was so encouraging to everyone.
On Saturday (2/2), although he was still in the ICU and the brain swelling had not gone down, he was definitely understanding and attempting to communicate. He was responding to some stimuli to his right leg. He even laughed a little when Carol tickled his foot. Jenni got him to respond to her from across the room to his right. He looked over and responded to her asking if he could see her. This encouraged everyone that the field cut was diminishing. He also passed a swallow study and began eating nectar thickened food and liquids. After the swallow study, he began to verbalize a few words, such as "I want" and "Umm." This encouraged his family that he has found his voice and is working so hard to communicate.
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