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Our Dad, Robert had brain surgery on Thursday 13th July at McKennan Hospital. On Tuesday 11th July, he fainted outside the Seed Plant. Matt called the ambulance as he fell forward and was bleeding quite a lot. However, he did get up and walked himself to the house to wait on the ambulance. He was taken to the Granite Falls Emergency Room. He felt okay but they brought him for a CT scan just to check everything out.
They found a small bleed on the brain from the fall but they weren't concerned about it as they said the blood thinners that he took for his heart condition would be enough to fix the bleed. Then they decided to transfer to Sioux Falls only as a precautionary measure due to previous heart surgery and because they couldn't figure out why he fainted. Since he was feeling okay, we decided Krystal wouldn't fly home from Ireland as she planned to come at the end of the summer. The doctors talked like he would only be in a day or two. They scheduled a surgery to change the battery of his pacemaker for Thursday afternoon. It was considered a minor, very straightforward procedure.
However, Thursday morning he started feeling weak on his left side so they did another CT scan and the bleed on the brain had rapidly increased. They transfer him from the Heart Hospital to the main McKennan Hospital. Initially, they were going to try medication to get the bleeding under control. Jon and our Mom were there when Robert arrived and noticed a drastic change from the night before, even from an hour or two earlier when Jon chatted to Dad on the phone. So Jon pushed for another CT scan and that is when they saw even more bleeding.
We had to make the most difficult decision to go ahead with the brain surgery. It was high risk but we felt it was the best option. I was able to talk to him on the phone and felt confident that he understood what was happening.
He can no longer be on blood thinners so he is now high risk for a blood clot in his heart so we are praying against that and praying that his heart has gotten strong enough over the past 11 years (his major heart surgery) that it will continue to work properly without the blood thinners. He had been doing really well over the past 11 years with his blood levels.
He is still looking pretty rough from falling forward after fainting but daily we see improvements. He has movement on the right side of his body but we are still praying for movement on his left side. The Neurosurgeon said after the surgery that the bleeding was much worse, but the doctors have been pleased with how he woke up after the surgery and his progress this far.
His CT scan on Fri morning that showed some blood but it wasn't bleeding so that was really good. He likes talking and visiting with us. All of us are here now. Krystal was able to get home from Ireland within 24 hours of getting the plane ticket so we were really grateful for that. She also had intermittent internet during her Dublin to Chicago flight so could get updates from Jon and Matt which helped the journey across. Robert's memory is very good so we are happy about that. He also was able to eat puréed foods. And he was moved out of ICU to a Step Down room on Saturday. It is much quieter here so he likes that and has been getting a good rest as we write this update.
He will have a long recovery but we just continue to reassure him that he is being very brave and strong, and that he needs to take a day at a time. We don't know what the future will bring but we are thankful each day.