Sandra Gerrard Sandra Bartch Gerrard

First post: Aug 31, 2022 Latest post: Sep 7, 2022
Welcome to our CaringBridge website for our beautiful and sweet mom, Sandra (Bartch) Gerrard. We are using this to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate all of the love and support that is being sent to Mom,  as well as to the rest of our family. 

Mom has been struggling with health issues over the last several years, which have been largely mysterious in terms of the symptoms she's struggled with. We suspected that she was showing signs of dementia, and it was confirmed early this year that she was suffering from seizures. She and our Dad came down to Andrea and Dan's house in Minnesota to be close to bigger medical facilities in hopes that we could get some concrete answers and help for her. 

However,  it became clear that something else was going on when she started to experience falls. She fell numerous times and ended up dislocating her shoulder in February of this year. She was doing physical therapy and doing pretty well, but the falls continued as well as increased confusion and memory issues. Things really began to worsen over those months, and in July she had two significant falls - the day before Independence Day, she fell and fractured two ribs and two days later she took a tumble down the stairs which resulted in fluid around her brain. From there, she spent more days in the hospital in July than out of the hospital. They tried every test under the sun with no answers besides seizures and dementia. 

Little did we know that the dementia was really settling in and taking over. it presents as Lewy Body Dementia.

In late July, we began to notice that something was different and that she was declining rapidly. Over the past several weeks, she has lost her ability to be independent and relies on Julie and Andrea for everything and is sleeping all but an hour or so each day.

Hospice was enlisted a couple of weeks ago, and we find comfort knowing that our mom will live out the rest of her days with us by her side - caring for her, loving her up, and treating her with the dignity she deserves. 

Mom is enjoying the little things when she is alert - neck massages, comfy blankets, soothing music at nighttime, comfortable pajamas, and loads of love from her husband Bruce. She waves to him each morning and looks forward to sitting with him when she is feeling up to it.

Dementia can be cruel, and it is. But there have been so many beautiful moments in-between the painful ones ... and that is what we are holding onto. When you think of our mom, remember her as you knew her - FULL of life, spunk, laughter, and love.  That is how we are choosing to approach this. Our mom is not this disease. She is a special soul that will occupy the most special place in our hearts forever. 

Andrea & Julie