John R

First post: Dec 31, 2019 Latest post: Mar 28, 2020
Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting.

John had a massive stroke on Tuesday morning, December 24 in Lutsen, MN.  He, his brother Tom and his wife Barb, along with Tom’s son Nolan and his wife and their kids, went to Lutsen for a skiing Christmas.  At around 8:30 Tuesday morning John had the stroke while at his truck getting ready to go get his lift ticket.  Paramedics took John to the hospital in Grand Marais, MN.  The Grand Marais hospital was not fully equipped to handle someone in John’s condition so they airlifted him to St Mary’s in Duluth.  They believe they got the clot out of his brain in less than 3 hours from the time of the stroke.
John was initially admitted to St Mary’s Nuero ICU unit but was recently moved to a new room.  Testing revealed he had a blockage in his left ventricle and a piece of that dislodged, flowed to his brain, and caused the stroke.  The right side of John’s body has limited function but his left side is pretty good.
He is receiving therapy and while he still cannot speak, he can open and close his eyes on command.  He has stood up during therapy and he is also able to feed himself.  When Tom was left Duluth on the day after Christmas John was able to give him a firm left handed hand shake.
How things go from here is up to John and God, but as Bill Burns said (in a more colorful way), John is a tough, stubborn Irishman who spent 30 years in the hole (digging ditches for water and sewer pipe) and if anyone can recover from this John can.  Tom thinks he might be in Duluth for a while as they figure out where to bring him to in the cities and how to get him there.  If you happen to find yourself passing through Duluth in the near future feel free to stop by and pay John a visit.