Dan’s Story

Site created on July 13, 2018

Our dear brother, son, husband and father, Dan Lutter suffered a debilitating hemorrhagic stroke in the early morning of July 6th, landing him in the ICU at Condell Hospital in Libertyville in a relatively comatose state. For the first few days, given the seriousness of the injury and the grim prognoses of the various neurologists, neurosurgeons and pulmonologists working on his case, we really thought we had lost Dan. Our hearts were so heavy for several days, with all of us wondering how our world would be without this wonderful, generous, brilliant human being. 

On the morning of July 11th he began to show significant improvement, opening his eyes, moving his left hand and arm and both of his feet. On July 12th he managed to breathe entirely on his own, without the aide of the ventilator. These improvements shocked the doctors and gave us renewed hope for Dan's eventual recovery. Despite these improvements, we understand that the damage to his pons (the "little brain" between his main brain and his spinal column) is very serious indeed and that his road to recovery will be a long and unpredictable one, with many potential hazards along the way. Yet we hold out hope that he will continue to show improvement in the coming weeks and months. 

Dan is making a remarkable recovery at Presence Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines, IL!  He is gaining more mobility in his right side; working with the speech pathologist to vocalize more and more each day; greeting friends and family with a wave; and even high-fiving with his son Austin! All this improvement gives us great hope for Dan's continued recovery and has us celebrating the miracle of God's grace (and Dan's tenacity!). A heartfelt THANK YOU! to all who have prayed for Dan, meditated on his healing and visited and been in his presence. He is blessed to have such a loving community of friends around him. (And we, as his family, are blessed in turn!) Let us continue to keep Dan in our thoughts and prayers and hold him in the Light of the Creator's healing power. Feel free to come and visit Dan to encourage him in his recovery. Check-in with the front desk to assure that he's not particularly tuckered-out, as he sometimes needs to simply rest, as he continues his trek along this long and winding road of healing.
- heart

Newest Update

Journal entry by Christopher Lutter-Gardella

We are so fortunate that the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab of Chicago has accepted Dan into their locked-in program. He has been there since Aug 24th and has been making incredible progress--though he has a LONG road ahead of him. A recent milestone is that he was able to swallow some apple sauce, which is a significant step towards being freed from the feeding and tracheostomy tubes. With the intensive therapy programs at Shirley Ryan, Dan has been able to speak the names of family members (albeit through the speaking valve) to gain ability in sitting upright and to increase mobility in his arms and hands. Thank you to all of the excellent staff at Shirley Ryan for their amazing work with Dan! Please keep Dan in your thoughts and prayers and consider visiting him to encourage him on his path to recovery. He has been working like the dickens to get his mobility back! Keep up the amazing work Dan. You are an inspiration to us all!!
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