Jan 16, 2018 Latest post:
May 20, 2018
Hello, this is Brittany and Regina, Joe's daughter and wife. Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. To start from the beginning, my dad was at home with my mom Friday morning (thank goodness), when he got very dizzy and fell against the wall. This happened around 8:30-9:00. My mom called 911, who was there within 15 minutes. In the ambulance on the way to Northside Hospital, he starting having facial drooping, a sign of a stroke. They got to Northside quickly and started TPA, which is a clot buster and protocol for stroke patients. He was doing ok in the ER, having some slurred speech, but able to talk and cracking jokes (typical Joe). Around 1:00 or 1:30, his speech got more slurred and he could not raise his right arm and leg. They rushed him to get a CT scan and in the CT room, seized up so they had to intubate him. We believe this second stroke was the "massive one" that has created the most damage. Since the intubation, he has been sedated because the tube going down his throat. He was transferred to Wellstar Kennestone Friday night and has been in their neuro ICU since then. He has neurological checks about every hour and can move his left leg and left arm some on command and can squeeze his left hand somewhat on command. He had to have an emergency craniotomy on Saturday to decrease swelling to his brain. The surgery was successful in doing so. Unfortunately, in addition to battling a stroke and brain surgery, he now has aspiration pneumonia and a UTI, waxing and waning fever, and high blood pressure. They are doing a great job around the clock here at Wellstar Kennestone and we are very thankful for that. We have been told that five days following a stroke, there will be swelling on the brain, which can affect cognitive function. We are getting close to being out of that five day window and hope that after that, over the next couple of weeks the swelling will go down and his cognitive function will improve.
We know he can hear us because he will respond. I played a video of the girls and asked if he heard it to move his leg and he did. He cannot focus his eyes currently and of course is exhausted, especially because he is getting poked and prodded every hour. The doctors are encouraged by his cognitive responses at this point, which have been steady for the last several days. The biggest thing we hope is that he does not have another stroke. As long as he has that and gets through this swelling period, we will be much relieved. They cannot do surgery to prevent another stroke with the condition he is in, so we have to just hope nothing happens. That is why they are checking his cognitive function so frequently.
My dad is one of the strongest, toughest guys we all know so if anyone can make it out of this, he can. We have heard success stories similar to his, where people are able to eat, talk, walk and function much like they used to after this situation. He is currently considered "critically ill" but we believe that he will definitely get better. Those who know have been praying like crazy for him and I think the more prayers out there, the better chance he has. I will do my best to keep everyone posted by through this website. It is too hard to inform everyone by text and phone calls. We hope that in the near future, Joe will be in a position to accept visitors, but now is not the time. If you send a message to me, I will read it to him--as I told you--he can hear us and I am pretty sure he can understand us. My dad is a huge social butterfly so the more he hears from people, the happier he will be.
Thank you to all of those who have reached out to me and my mom during this incredibly difficult, stressful time. We have hope that things will improve. My dad is a great guy and he'll be back to tell us Boudreaux jokes, cheer on USM, cook some more great meals and go fishing.