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Mark Sam, Sr.
Team Mark Sam
4/17/2017 Latest post:
And so it begins.....
Family is everything...last week our family was dealt a difficult diagnosis that has put us on a journey we never imagined we would travel. Mark Sr. was diagnosed with a lemon size brain tumor. He has had some neurological deficits over the last 3 weeks beginning March 27th and deteriorated rapidly Wednesday (4/12) and Thursday (4/13) of last week. We entered the emergency room on April 13th at 10:12 am and by 11:30 we received the news that Mark had a mass in his brain and the neurosurgeons wanted to do surgery.
Diagnosis to Post-Op Day 2:
The morning of surgery, Mark deteriorated and was unable to move his left arm or leg. He was confused about the day and thought he had been in the hospital for 4 or 5 days and was upset that surgery had been so delayed (yet we are less than 24 hours after the initial diagnosis!). The neurosurgeon prepared us for left sided weakness that would remain after surgery and quoted a 5% risk of permanent deficit (5 times the normal risk due to the location of the tumor).
After hugs and kisses from his family Mark Sr. headed off to the operating room with the a large team of anesthesiologists, nurses and other OR team members. His neurosurgeon would soon begin the five hour surgery to remove the lemon size mass in his brain that was the culprit of all his symptoms.
The surgeon comes out to report the tumor has successfully been resected and he thinks there will be very little motor loss. Hallelujah- Thank you Jesus!
Mark heads out of the operating room and moves to the recovery room in PACU. Within a few hours Mark is wheeled to his room in the ICU. Over the next two hours he begins to wake up and is able to Facetime Domenique, Mark Jr., Shelly and Andrew with wild tales of his anesthesia induced dreams! God is Good!
This day was a blur, so it is hard to put a time line to events.
Suffice it to say, that the PT and OT therapists were at Mark's bedside at 0730 to get him out of bed and walk the hall using a walker. He actually walked around the unit with assistance less than 14 hours after brain surgery! They evaluated his left sided fine motor skills and noted that he had very little control or coordination.
The entire family and a few close friends spent the rest of the day at his bedside playing "bat the ball" with a blown up glove for Mark to hit with his left hand. I won't tell you who won the game, but let's just say that Mark Sr. was better than SEVERAL other family members!
He continued to progress and improve in movement with his left hand and leg throughout the day and night.
Easter Sunday 4/16/2017:
He is risen! He is risen indeed! and so did Mark Sr.! Bright and early at 0500 when Becky woke and found him standing at the side of the hospital bed attempting to walk to the bathroom alone. Becky shrieked and the nurse ran into the room all at the same time....and so it continued throughout the day. Mark continued to reach the goals set for him and worked very hard with his juggling blocks to improve his left sided coordination and ability.
By 1230 in the afternoon Mark was moved out of the ICU and into a regular floor room. The doctor came in around 1530 and examined Mark's motor control and strength, then took him on two laps around the unit WITHOUT USING HIS WALKER! Mark still has deficits with his left side in relation to the rest of his body (like when he tries to reach for something and misses the object by 3 inches) and will need to use a walker for a little while longer. These feats are amazing for him being less than 48 hours post-op! We are ecstatic about his progress!
The type of Mark's tumor was not able to be identified in the OR at the time of surgery, so we are waiting 3 or 4 more days for the official pathology report. Please pray that the tumor is benign. Mark has come so far in such a short time and we believe miracles are at work in his body and that all of the prayers on his behalf have come to fruition. We covet your continued prayers, your friendship and your support. We will try to keep daily updates so you can continue to pray and support Mark on this journey.