Thank you so much for visiting Kent's CaringBridge site. This is his oldest daughter, Sarah, posting this first entry. If you know my dad, you will know that he is one of the most loyal, hardworking, passionate men you could ever meet. We have had a rough 48 hours, but we thank everyone who has reached out with phone calls, emails and texts sharing their prayers and good wishes.
Yesterday, on August 22nd, underwent a scheduled carotid endarterectomy to remove a blockage in the artery on the left side of his neck. The surgery was to be routine. The procedure was initially thought to be successful, but in the process microscopic pieces of plaque broke off from the artery and resulted in a stroke on the left side of dad's brain. The chances of this happening are about 2%.
We are in the very early stages of understanding the extent of his injuries. An MRI today showed quite a lot of damage on the left side and back of the brain. The left side of the brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body and is also responsible for understanding speech, listening and speaking.
We are buoyed that he recognizes all of us (mom, Meredith, Thomas and I) and is following simple instructions, such as making a fist. However, he is unable to speak and/or have any movement on his right side. It's our understanding that this is a common starting point for stroke injuries and each day will bring progress. If anyone will fight to regain what the stroke has taken, it will be Kent! I'm sure the thought of participating in another season of farm work will keep him motivated all winter in his rehab endeavors.
Dad is currently in the intensive care unit at Altru in Grand Forks. He will spend one or two more nights in intensive care before his is moved to a standard room in the hospital. From there he will spend about a week before being transferred to a facility where he can begin the arduous task of rehabilitation. Our goal is to have him transferred to Fargo for this part of his recovery. Everyone is very positive that with time and care from Nurse Brenda, dad will return to be the Kent we know and love.
Thanks to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. It's in these difficult times you are so grateful for good friends and neighbors like those that dad has.