Shawn Swinford

First post: Oct 12, 2021 Latest post: Nov 30, 2021
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. You can read Shawn’s story below; visit often for updates throughout Shawn’s road to recovery. We appreciate your support & words of hope & encouragement!

On Saturday, October 9th Shawn suffered a stroke caused by a vertebral artery tear.

We were driving home from Clintonville with the boys & his neck was stiff so he stretched it. He heard what he thought was his neck cracking, which turned out to be a tear in one of the walls of his vertebral artery. Searing pain quickly followed on the right side of his head, face and body & he pulled over for me to drive. By the time we got home he was experiencing weakness on the right side of his body, but we thought maybe a pinched nerve because of his ongoing back & neck problems. Never in a million years did we think it was a stroke.

I drove him to the closest ER, where they did a CT scan & got in contact with a neurologist at Thedacare Regional Medical Center in Neenah. Even though his symptoms indicated a stroke, there wasn’t evidence of one on the CT so they ordered 2 MRIs & 2 MRAs, which finally showed the tear in one of the 3 layers of the artery wall. The tear in the artery caused blood to leak between the layers of the artery wall (kind of like wet plywood). He was transported to Theda in Neenah where they put him on a blood thinner.

He’s unable to feel anything besides pressure & pins & needles on the right side of his body, has limited movement of his right arm & leg, & his sense of temperature on his left side was also affected. They said the part of his brain that was damaged is what controls sensation on his right side.

Despite the circumstances, we count our blessings for so many reasons. Shawn’s speech & vision weren’t affected & we were lucky he wasn’t alone when it happened. He’s strong and this is one of the few times I’m very thankful he has the stubbornness of a Swinford! ♥️