Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated on Michael's condition. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting--and thanks for checking out the meal train information at the end of this message!
It's been a wild couple of months. As of March 20, Michael is back at his La Selva Beach home, and we are all just getting our bearings. We're hoping to use this Caring Bridge website to communicate how Michael is doing, connect him with his supportive community, and ask for help.
On January 30th, Michael suffered his first stroke at home, and luckily his roommate heard a call for help to call an ambulance. After receiving TPA (the clot busting medication), he stayed at Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz overnight and appeared to suffer no lasting deficits. Around noon the following day, he apparently suffered a second massive stroke in his basilar artery, which feeds the brainstem--very important real estate for vital functioning. He was flown to Stanford Hospital to undergo a procedure to dislodge the clot, but the procedure failed, and the prognosis was grim. Over the next couple of days, Michael did regain consciousness, gave us thumbs up, though he was paralyzed on the right side. He eventually graduated off the respirator and out of the ICU, but became largely somnolent for the next couple of weeks, during which he was apparently suffering other smaller strokes, and then having complications owing to his underlying heart condition (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) that booted him back into the ICU. He did become more awake, however, and then by the end of February he was discharged from Stanford to the Acute Rehab unit of Dominican Hospital. He made tremendous progress there through the help of the therapists and doctors: he is eating and talking, both of which had seemed beyond our hopes. In terms of cognition, he is mostly the same as before (and he's with-it enough that he would needle me for equivocating on that point!). Throughout the whole ordeal, we have felt the love from family and friends.
Largely because his right side remains paralyzed, Michael needs 24/7 care and assistance with any daily activity, including getting from bed to his wheelchair. It is a blessing that he is back home, making jokes. The journey ahead is challenging in every way; for the immediate term, Brook has moved in as full-time caregiver. Your support means everything to us!
For right now, we're asking if folks can help participate in a meal train to take some pressure off of Brook and her family (especially during the shelter-in-place pandemic circumstances). Information can be found at this link: https://www.TakeThemAMeal.com/ISFH6279