Gayle’s Story

Site created on January 12, 2020


Welcome to our CaringBridge website. We are using it to keep family and friends updated in one place. We appreciate your support and words of hope and encouragement. Thank you for visiting
On January 5th, Gayle had a brain hemorrhage. She was admitted to the UVA hospital in the Neuro ICU.  The doctors determined that she has an AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that ruptured.  They performed two angiograms to prevent further bleeding in the areas that it burst. They were able to do this in three areas, but the fourth will have to be done surgically or through radiation.  Gayle is currently recovering and resting in the ICU, where she is being monitored very closely. She has a stint in to drain the extra fluid/blood from her brain  to reduce the pressure.  She is off all sedation, but she is still unconscious. Doctors are regularly checking her reflexes. We are hopeful that her brain needs time to rest from this trauma, and she will be up and moving in her own time. 
Thank you for your thoughts, and love. They have been felt. 
"I lift up my eyes to the hills. 
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel 
will neither slumber nor sleep."
Psalm 121:1-4

Newest Update

Journal entry by Pamela Sprouse

Hi friends and family,

Thank you for checking on Gayle.  She remains at UVa Hospital.  I took the morning shift, and Tom took the afternoon and evening shifts.  She was still asleep when I came in this morning, and the nurses had not been able to rouse her.  I lowered the blinds as her eyes are very sensitive to light, and she eventually opened her eyes and woke up.  Both the Neurosurgery Resident, Dr. Desai whom we know from her original AVM, and the Neurology Attending, Dr. Lapides came by.  Dr. Desai thought her reactions were better this morning and said her shunt looks fine.  Dr. Lapides said that her EEG showed nothing significant and that although she has a slight UTI, it was not serious enough to cause drowsiness.  He thinks that it is perhaps related to medication toxicity since they increased her medication dose after her most recent seizure.

The day was a mix of sleeping/awake time, time in the Stryker chair (formerly known as the Torture Chair when she was in the hospital in January, but she sat up in it much better this time), refusing ice chips from the Speech Therapist in the morning and accepting ginger ale to drink from the nurse in the afternoon, and moving from the big single room in the Neurology Step Down Unit to a double room on the Neurology floor. She still has her EEG leads which was surprising because I understood that they were going to remove them, but perhaps they want to monitor her while they change her medication.  That’s the next course of action.  They are going to try a seizure medication that is given once every 24-hours and at night.

We are so blessed by the Neurology and Neurosurgery team at UVa.  Gayle’s nurse this afternoon is someone who had cared for her during her last stay.  Another Nurse Practitioner whom we met when Gayle first had her AVM saw Gayle’s name on the inpatient list and came by to see her while Tom was there.  She said that she would check on Gayle tonight for us.  Thank you, Lord, for such wonderful, caring professionals.

If you will, please continue to pray for wisdom for the team working to get Gayle back on track on her marathon.  Please pray that they will know soon whether this new medication will work for her, control her seizures, and allow her to be alert during the day so she can work on therapy.  Please pray for protection from Covid-19 for that staff, the staff at AHRC, and all of us.

Thank you again for all you do to support Gayle and to support us.  Have peace, Pam 

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