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3/8/2016 Latest post:
Please note that no donations are necessary to access Tim's story on Caring Bridge!!! Bill has donated to cover costs. It is unfortunate how the site operates.
Welcome to our CaringBridge site. We've created it to keep friends and family updated. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement during this time when it matters most.
On Saturday, March 5, Tim suffered a stroke. His 14 year old daughter Suzy found him in the backyard. He was unable to move his right side and he was not able to talk. Luckily, he had not been there for long and paramedics were able to get him to the hospital quickly.
At the hospital, the doctors did extensive testing to determine the issues, and gave him TPA (a clot-buster). The medical team discovered that Tim had a blood clot in his brain and a mass in his heart. He was then immediately transferred by a team of medical professionals to meet a neurological team at Duke Hospital in Raleigh. He was rushed into surgery and the neurosurgeon extracted a blood clot from the left side of his brain.
Tim was diagnosed with a myxoma, a rare condition in which a tumor (non-cancerous) grows in the heart. It's so rare that his cardiologist has only seen two cases in his career. Also, Tim's mass is in the right atrium of his heart. 75-85% of myxomas are on the left side. He had no symptoms before the stroke, although it has probably been growing for years. The myxoma gathered a blood clot which went to the brain, causing the stroke.
Tim will be undergoing open heart surgery to remove the tumor in his heart. Due to a small, slow bleed, his heart surgery won't be scheduled until the bleed ceases completely. Once that happens, he can be given Heparin and the surgery can take place, hopefully in about a week. It's a complicated balance between the clotting issues and the tumor. The upside is, this break between surgeries allows for physical & speech therapy, which Tim started today. The time will also allow him to regain some strength before the heart surgery. Between the stroke and the brain surgery, his body has been through an incredible ordeal.
Tim is so strong, and has already begun to make progress. After his brain surgery, he was able to lift his right arm and move his right leg. This is incredibly positive. Monday morning, the doctors removed his feeding tube as he can now swallow. All of these things are excellent signs for his recovery.
Tim is still not able to speak. He recognizes people and as Mom/Jane says, "he still has that twinkle in his eyes…he hasn’t lost his personality".
Tim will have a long road of recovery ahead of him, but we know that when he puts his mind to it, he can accomplish anything. He's such a great guy, and he's only 47 years old. He can do this.
We ask for prayers for him, his family and his caregivers. Thank you all for your support and kindness.