Wednesday, October 18, mom and dad were traveling to Canada, to a silent retreat. Mom had a headache that became progressively worse. Wednesday evening she was taken to a small hospital in Port Huron, Michigan. A CT of her head revealed that she had an extensive brain bleed. The hospital immediately contacted the trauma center 45 minutes away and spoke with the neurosurgeon. Mom was transferred via ambulance, sirens wailing, lights flashing, at 85 miles an hour… with dad in the front seat! Helen and Mary traveled from Wheaton to Michigan, arriving just in time to hear the neurosurgeon’s evaluation. He determined that mom had significant bleeding in her brain. He did not know the cause of the bleeding, but suggested it might be melanoma that had metastasized. He was clear that the situation was dire, and that Mom was rapidly deteriorating neurologically. He indicated that a craniotomy might give her a chance and that without the surgery she would die within hours. Dad was asked to make a choice, with no assurances that anything would work. Dad prayed, we spoke with our sister Elizabeth. We decided to move forward with the surgery. We all said our good byes to Mom as she was taken off to surgery, each of us wondering if we would ever see her on this side of heaven again. She went in to surgery around 8 am, and a little over two hours later the surgeon came out. He looked directly at Dad, and with a smile on his face said, “You made the right choice”. He went on to tell us that surgery had gone better than expected- they had removed two large clots and drained all the fluid. All that was left was healthy brain tissue. She was taken to ICU, where she is recovering.
Today, Friday, October 20, she is alert, opening her eyes and responding to requests. The medical staff are very pleased with her progress!