Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using this site to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your continued prayers and words of hope and encouragement.
On Monday, March 19th, Mak went unconscious while at weight training class at school. His friends and the Lacrosse trainer immediately called 911 and he was rushed to Kennestone Hospital where scans indicated there was bleeding on his brain. Emergency surgery was performed to relieve the pressure on his brain and Mak remained stable. It has been determined that Mak has a brain AVM, ( arteriovenous malformation.) You can read more about an AVM : https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brain-avm/symptoms-causes/syc-20350260
))) Mak will need another surgery at some point to remove the AVM and he will need extensive rehab due to the brain injury to his left frontal lobe.
Mak was immediately intubated to assist with his breathing. He was also not awake and not expected to emerge from this "coma like" state right away.
On April 9th, Mak was considered medically stable and admitted to the Shepherd Center ICU because he was still on the ventilator. Within an hour of being there, Shepherd had him off the ventilator and he was able to breathe on his own! Hallelujah! Mak was moved out of ICU on April 11th to regular room in the Acquired Brain Injury Unit. On April 20th, Mak was determined to have emerged from his "coma like" state. Praise God!
As of April 30th, Mak was still on a feeding tube, but was starting to have some movement in his extremities. He could wiggle his toes, stretch his fingers and give a thumbs up. He also has was fully aware of what was going on and recognized us! He frequently smiled at his friends and grinned at jokes. He totally was getting funny situations and he was grinning when we teased him. His biggest challenge was to learn to swallow again so that the trach and the feeding tube could be removed. He was also not able to talk due to the trach. He was also challenged with painful muscle spasms that his medical team were trying to figure out how to rid him of or manage them. Because he had much to relearn regarding mobility and movement of his limbs, he was confined to his bed and his wheelchair. On June 7th, Mak was able to have the trach removed and began re-learning to eat, drink and just generally swallow so that he could have his feeding tube removed. Due to where his injury was in the left from lobe, Mak's speech was impaired and we learned that even without the trach, talking again would be a challenge. However, on July 26th we heard Mak's voice for the first time since the injury when he sang with his sister, Jadyn. A different part of the brain is used when singing versus talking and it was a glorious day to hear his voice again! Tears of joy to hear his sweet voice!
Six months after his injury, on Sept 7th, Mak was discharged home from Shepherd Center. He began outpatient therapy at Shepherd Pathways in Decatur on Sept. 10th. On Sept. 20th, Mak underwent stereotactic radio surgery to treat the avm in his brain. The doctor says it could take up to three years for the avm to disappear and on average it takes two years. He will regularly have to be checked via MRI and MRA to monitor progress. Until it is gone there is always a chance of a re-bleed so we ask that everyone please faithfully pray that the avm disappears quickly and there is no rebleed as it will further damage his brain or worse be fatal.
After focusing and working really hard on learning to swalllow again, on Nov. 11th, Mak had his feeding tube removed as he was able to master swallowing enough food and liquids to sustain himself. Hallelujah!
As of Nov. 30th, Mak is still learning how to speak, walk, use his arms and hands, and move himself while laying down or while seated. He is challenged with apraxia which is a motor planning and coordination issue. Basically it means, his brain knows what he needs to do, but it is having trouble communicating to his body parts so they can do what his brain is trying to tell them to do. We are being told time and lots of repetition are primarily what it will take for him to overcome these challenges. Because of the apraxia, it is difficult for Mak to feed himself food or beverages sufficiently, move his legs well enough to walk, and speak loudly or clearly. Despite these challenges, he remains positive and courageous and for that we are so thankful.