Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
As many of you may already know, Jack Russell suffered a severe stroke on Wednesday afternoon, Jan 27, 2016. He was just relaxing on the bed, enjoying a phone conversation with his daughter, Nicole, when all of the sudden he lost consciousness. Kerry was right by his side, briefly thinking that Jack was just joking around (my dad is a bit of a prankster, so it wouldn't be completely unheard of for him to do something silly like that), but quickly realized that something was wrong and immediately called 911. My dad was still unresponsive when the paramedics arrived and was quickly rushed to emergency at Loma Linda Hospital. He was intubated to assist with his breathing, put on light sedation to aid with comfort, and had a battery of tests and scans. Even though he got to the hospital within the crucial 3 hour window to treat a stroke, they were unable to give him the needed stroke medicine due to the Atrial fibrillation medication he was on (ironically to help prevent a stroke). The results of the MRI showed that the left part of the brain affected by the stroke was already dead and surgery was also not an option. It is too early to say what the extent of the damage is, but we do know that this area of the brain primarily affects speech and recognition. There may also be some paralysis on the right side of his body and possible blindness in his right eye. Right now our biggest concern is the potential of a brain bleed or swelling of the brain; stroke patients are at the highest risk of developing these problems 3 - 5 days after the stroke. My dad was also not showing any signs of waking when they would lighten his sedation and this was becoming a growing concern for the doctor... we were delighted when he open his eyes for the first time on Friday morning! Unable to focus and still not responding to any commands... but he woke up!
Dad was stable enough to be transported to the ICU at Kaiser Fontana on Friday evening. On Saturday they were able to take him off of the ventilator and remove the tube form his throat. It was a relief to know that he was able to breath on his own! This also means that he no longer needs to be on light sedation. Unfortunately he is unable to swallow on his own, so for right now he is having to be tube fed. He is still unable to fully respond when given commands, but he is definitely trying. And unlike yesterday, today it seemed like there were moments when he actually looked at us! Today we could see the fight in him and we know that he hasn't given up! Everyday is going to be a tough fight for him, but we have faith that he can do it. We are all rallying behind him and we will continue to be by his side daily to give him strength and support.
We will try to keep you posted on his progression through CaringBridge. Thank you all for your well wishes and prayers!