Tom Demelio

First post: Aug 14, 2021 Latest post: Aug 28, 2021

In the wee hours of the morning on August 2, Not able to sleep, Tom got up, got himself a drink and sat down to watch TV (pretty typical). A few minutes after turning on the TV he noticed his vision was a little blurry after squinting and rubbing his eyes a few times, thinking he just wasn’t quite awake, his right hand began feeling tingly and numb (like when your hand or foot is asleep) he tried to stand up but at that point the vision was causing extreme vertigo, and he knew if he stood up he would likely fall. I (Leslie) was sound asleep in the bedroom and woke suddenly to Tom calling my name. Thinking I was dreaming, I got up, went to to living room and asked if he was calling me. I knew it was serious when Tom said - “I have a problem you need to call 911”as Tom is not a run to the doctor kind of guy. About 12 min later the ambulance arrived and Tom was rushed to the hospital. After a series of tests, cat scans, and an MRI, we learned that Tom had suffered two strokes to the medulla (brain stem), leaving his vision drastically impaired, his entire right side numb/tingly, including the ability to swallow and minor slurred speech.

Tom spent 5 days in the hospital being closely observed. At that point the largest concern was that he wasn’t able to eat or drink anything. After 48+ hours the docs were discussing the necessity of a feeding tube. Tom begged off, saying “give me 24 hours” (to work on swallowing). As you can imagine, he was not jazzed at all about the idea of a feeding tube! He worked his tail off re-training himself to swallow starting with melted ice chips, then applesauce. The docs were impressed with his progress and called off the feeding tube. 🙌🏻

Having Kelly and Chase nearby has been a tremendous blessing and we were also joined by Toms sister Kathy last week, which was a great comfort and saving grace as Kelly and myself had a extensive pre-planned business trip we had to attend last weekend in Cleveland.

Tom was moved to a rehab facility on Friday evening August 6th, which is where he is now.
His projected discharge date is August 27th.

At this point we are unsure how much of the damage done can/will be recovered. Tom has approx three grueling hours of PT, OT and speech/swallowing therapy a day and although slow, we are seeing some progress and baby steps of improvement, which we are grateful for. Some of his progress related to standing/walking is hampered by the excruciating pain in his right hip, knee and elbow that he already had related to his RA (rheumatoid arthritis), so that will be an additional obstacle to overcome.

Throughout this whole ordeal, Tom‘s spirits have been up (for the most part), and he has remained firmly grounded in his faith. We are doing our best to stay positive and hopeful, claiming complete healing for a full recovery! We are relying heavily on God Almighty for comfort and peace through this crazy and uncertain time, as He promises -“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

We can not express our gratitude and appreciation enough for all the kind words of encouragement, messages, checking in, and most importantly your prayers on our behalf. We definitely feel it and that is what is carrying us through! So.... thank you, thank you, thank you! Keep them coming! 💙🙏🏻💙

We will do our best to keep you all updated here as much as possible, so keep checking back.

Love you ALL!
-The Demelio Fam

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