Debbie (DeDe)’s Story

Site created on March 9, 2020

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Newest Update

Journal entry by Kristin Kirk

Good afternoon.  Thank you for all of the calls, text and prayers.  They mean the world to us!
Catching everyone up on the last 3 days - so lots off information in this post.  I promise to keep the updates that follow much more concise ;).

From the beginning... On Saturday, March 7th, Mom (Debbie) and Dad (Tommy) were in Oxford visiting Ronnie (Dad's brother) who just had a heart attack last week.  Late Saturday evening, DeDe (she prefers her grandmother name :),  had an increasingly bad head ache, followed by severe perspiration.   Dad went to get her a cool rag and returned to find her in convulsions.   The ambulance arrived and brought her to hospital (that Ronnie is at) in Oxford.  They immediately identified this as a brain aneurism and air lifted her to Baptist Memorial in Memphis, TN. 

The neurosurgeon recommended immediate, emergency brain surgery.  The outlook was not good.  However, being the fighter she is, she's made it through the surgery.  The surgery successfully clipped both vessels that were the origin of the aneurysm/rupture.  The change in the surgeon's outlook post-surgery was highly improved - which we are VERY THANKFUL for.  

The days that have followed have been a slow and steady process.  We have seen little accomplishments each day/night/hour that are adding up to big steps toward recovery.  She has gradually been breathing better/more on her own - we are expecting the breathing tube to be removed bright and early tomorrow morning (3/11/20).  Her CT scans are looking good - with no signs of "shifting" - which we have learned is a good thing! Her heart, which was previously in AFIB upon arrival for the surgery, is beating at a normal rhythm and her echo grams show it looking like a perfectly normal heart :).  She has begun eating through a feeding tube, and is responding well to the intake of food and digestion.  

With the rupture of the aneurysm being on the LEFT side of her brain - she is currently much more mobile on her left side, and showing minimal mobility on her right - which is to be expected.  She is following verbal commands ('squeeze my hand", "wave", etc) well, and showing an increase in 'purposeful movement' on her left side.  While her right side continues to have very minimal mobility, a consultation with physical and occupational therapists today have assured us that the right side is still "strong" - which shows good possibility for recovery through rehabilitation.  

She is continuing to open her eyes more and more, and is responding to sounds and movement around her.  She has good movement in her left leg, and is beginning to show some response in her right ( tightening & relaxing her foot, pushing back against our hands). She has begun to lift her head and shoulder as well.  As we all know, she is one strong and determined lady ;).

We have many, many miles to go, but we are so encouraged by the daily progress she is making.  The outpouring of love, support, calls & texts from friends and family who are checking in on us continuously has been so unbelievable! We are truly lucky to have such a great support system around us! Our sweet friends, family, and school in Shreveport are loving on and spoiling our 2 sweet girls while we are here in Memphis.  Knowing they are being well loved and cared for while we are away is a such a blessing.  

DeDe is getting lots of love and care from Chris, myself, Brian and Savanna, as well as the wonderful doctors, nurses and staff here at Baptist Memorial  Dad has been a true champ through everything - not leaving Mom's side for a moment and steadfastly making sure her every need is met.  He is a living testament to 40 years of marriage, love, friendship, and devotion looks like.  

Thanks again to everyone for the love, help, and support! Keep sending prayers our way for continued progress and recovery! We will get there day by day!

Much love to all

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