Jim Brahm

First post: May 20, 2022 Latest post: Jan 13, 2023
On Sunday morning, Jim suffered two minor strokes.  He was taken to the hospital by ambulance, admitted to the ER and ultimately stayed overnight.  Tests confirmed these strokes were impairing his vision and affecting his memory.  His other functions were fine, and he was able to walk and talk.  The initial plan was that he would stay for the next 48 hours. On Monday morning, he was informed he would actually be going home that day, ahead of schedule.   I was in the room Monday morning  before we were headed home when he had a third stroke. This time it was major.  

Fortunately, we were already in a stroke center.  People flooded to his room and he was rushed for an MRI.  Within minutes, doctors were asking my permission to intubate and to perform a life saving procedure. I was told he was in really bad shape and his chances of survival were not good.  Jim's family, Carroll (mom), John (brother), Gina (John’s wife) and Matt (nephew), were immediately on their way, driving from Arizona and Colorado.  My brother, Matt, arrived to be with me by the time he was out of surgery.

Within two hours, we learned the surgery was a success. However, restoring blood to the area of the brain did not bring back his function.  When I first saw him, it was surreal.  It could not be the same guy who took a huge mountain bike ride two days before and had dinner with me on Saturday night.  He had a little movement in his left hand and foot, and nothing on the right.  

That evening, he was taken for an MRI, and the results from that showed some fluid building up- there was a possibility he needed a second risky procedure to drain the fluid.  His responsiveness was declining.  The procedure added risk of another stroke, but without it, the fluid would continue to build and the decline would continue.  This second procedure was also a success, and he began responding again almost immediately.  His condition since has remained relatively stable with no decline and modest improvements each day - exactly what we want to see.  He spiked a fever with concerns of a lung infection that has been addressed with antibiotics. We are still waiting on some test results from the infection.

As of today, he has been in stable condition for the last 24 hours.  His fever seems to have subsided due to the antibiotics.  His neurological response is better on the left and very minimal on the right.  

For now, he will remain in the ICU with low stimulation (low lights and noise) and no visitors, except family. Between his brother, John, and I, we have been staying with Jim around the clock.  Brendan and Griffin did get to have their first visit this morning.

The outpouring of love and support has been amazing - so many prayers for everyone’s favorite guy.  Our family appreciates all the offers for help and prayers.  It is going to be a long, long road.  In time, I promise to take everyone up on their offers. We will need it. :)