Rita Alexander

First post: Mar 5, 2022 Latest post: Sep 26, 2022
On February 19th, for reasons we don’t yet understand, Rita got into her car and drove west. At some point she ended up on the side of a road in Pine, CO. Someone reported that a car was there and the Jefferson, CO Sherriff’s department responded.

The Sherriff found that Rita had her eyes open but was not responding and would not open the doors. The Sherriff was concerned that she could be having a diabetic low blood sugar episode, so broke the rear window to safely gain entry to the car to perform a blood sugar test.

Once the blood sugar test showed normal, due to her unresponsiveness and the remoteness of the location, they decided to airlift her to a trauma center. Because of her condition she was sedated and intubated to protect her airways.

Once at St. Anthony’s hospital, an MRI was performed. Rita had been scheduled for surgery on an existing recurrent meningioma growth for early April. Given that history and the MRI findings, the recommendation was to perform the planned surgery immediately.

Rita’s children, Kate and Michael gave consent for the surgery (with inputs from some close friends), and the surgery was performed February 21st. 

The surgeon reported that the surgery was more complicated than anticipated, however he was confident that they had been able to successfully take out the growths and that she could recover.

Since surgery until March 3rd, Rita was mostly unresponsive. She would occasionally open her eyes but not really focus on anything. Her medical team attributed this to post-surgical swelling (edema) and overall trauma to the brain.

On March 4th, Rita began being more responsive. She will open her eyes and make eye contact, and will sometimes look at other objects if you point to them. She is moving her feet and right arm randomly, and seems to be trying to make facial expressions. The medical team has explained that given the amount of brain manipulation and swelling in the brain it can take some time for her to wake up Her original neurosurgeon (Dr. Thoman) reviewed her case and believes that it will take time but she can recover.