On the evening of November 20 2019, our lives changed forever. Lori was alone overnight when she had a stoke from a brain clot, likely from a 1990s car accident that damaged a neck artery where the clot formed undetected. Given it was a miracle Lori survived, we are grateful for all we have gained back with a better appreciation for miracles. Our oldest son made an intuitive wellness check the next morning to save her life. Lori was rushed to hospital but it was too late for reverse meds and the attempt to remove the clot failed. Lori was unconscious and the prognosis was not good when I returned to her bedside in Omaha. We suddenly understood how devastating strokes can be. The hospital gave her medicine to slow the brain bleeding but all we could do was wait and watch the damage continue. Lori spent the next 200 hours in ICU with hourly MRI scans and frequent blood testing. As our family prayed over Lori with pastors Craig and Leandra ... she survived! After 4 days she began to swallow, later able to speak and began to have body movement. The early prognosis was bad and the neurosurgeons prepared me that she would never walk again and would likely need a feeding tube.
From Day 1 many family and friends responded to help. The support from our kids(+ Kirsten, Brie) has been awesome. The support from friends, pastors, bible study friends from the waters edge have been there for Lori. Forever grateful to Claire for providing consistent support that made a positive difference.
Lori was at Immanuel in ICU for 10 days followed by 4 days in a post ICU room waiting for a room at Madonna. Lori was at Madonna in-patient for 42 days. Next, she was a QLI resident for 21 days, followed by Madonna's Extended Day Program and then 1 year of outpatient therapy at Madonna. Lori continues to improve and we are hopeful for continued improvement.
Day by day these are my heartfelt notes from her first days in ICU. November 21: Lori is resting comfortably tonight but had a major non dominant stroke overnight. She is in ICU at Immanuel. with a brain clot that could not be removed. The staff has prepared me that the next 48 hours are very important in her prognosis as she will be dealing with swelling. I was out of town last night but Tyler found her this morning at home after an intuitive well check. It was too late for the reversal Meds and the Invasive procedure to remove clot was unsuccessful. They are checking on her neurological behavior every 2 hours. Not much change. best case we are expecting paralysis on her left side. Once we make it through the swelling she will eventually need lots of physical therapy. She has not talked but was giving out a couple smiles when the kids were here earlier taking turns holding her hand. All is quite now. Earlier she was blessed having all 6 kids by her side and Craig praying. Lori’s mom is also here. I was in Burlington when we got the tragic news arriving back to Omaha at 4 pm. Nov 22 - It’s been a busy morning talking to staff and let out my heartbreak with the chaplain. Not much change in Lori from last night. She slept comfortably last night and is in and out of consciousness, mostly out. They are doing another MRI today to monitor the swelling. Claire is visiting now. Appreciating all the love! Nov 22: We brought her favorite pillow from home and Lori is resting comfortable as today ends. Grateful for the love and support from you all and for my warrior kids. Expecting a busy Saturday and critical 24 hours starting with another scan at 6. We had some good signs today and staying optimistic. We had good prayer circles surrounding Lori. The prayers and visits are good for Lori. I am leaving this in God’s hands and the medical team praying for progress tomorrow Night 2 at ICU. At 1:30 am we had a false alarm resulting from nurses intuition. They did a stat Scan and stat analysis. Ended a couple hours later when the nurse was apologetic to the brain doctors for waking them up. I am part of the nurse turnover at 7 am. They are monitoring her every hour reporting very little change. Nurse Olivia is on now, checking her out now. Her vitals remain strong. Blood pressure and heart are good. Her eyes movement and pupils are consistent. She still has extremity feeling in hands and feet. Yes, good news. I am so concerned because the swelling continues to build. We need to pray for the swelling to stop or she will most likely need more surgery. Expecting to visit with the surgeons later this morning or as the swelling intensifies. Kids will be arriving soon to lift her spirits. Appreciate all the kind words. When the kids get here I want to pray with them circled around Lori and share the kind words from you all. Nov 23 daytime: Positive news. Lori is more interactive and took first swallow this afternoon. We wore her out with our family circle of encouragement and she’s resting now. I am no doctor but recognize this as recovery through the power of God and the miraculous spirit of healing. Nov 24: Lori has started physical and speech therapy. She has no more cat scans scheduled as we are very likely past needing to consider the cranium surgery and likely will start lowering her sodium levels tomorrow. Hopefully out of ICU in a couple days. Appreciate all the love and support from everyone involved. Nov 25: Her children, friends, faith team and family have all been making tremendous contributions as we help her recover, expecting 2 more nights in ICU. She is still very tired and continued saline drip as they continue to check vitals hourly. We are expecting one final scan and MRI on Day 5 (tomorrow). Incredible medical team is doing everything possible and we are witnessing better recovery than normal after a massive stroke.