When I arrived at my parents the ambulance and the Ohio Township Command vehicle were in the driveway and my dad was laying on the floor in the living room. This will be a vision that haunts me to this day just seeing the fear in his eyes. I can remember him only being able to move his eyes, I didn't want to breakdown in front of him and remember telling him to stay strong and that we loved him. They loaded him in the ambulance and to this day I cannot tell you who the first responders were personally but I can tell you the looks on their faces were filled with concern but they also knew they had a job that needed to be done. I can remember the medic when he seen me start to cry telling me that I needed to stop because my job was to be there to support my dad and mom. I still hear these words to this day.
Mom and I arrived at Gateway Hospital and we were not allowed to see him right away. I began calling family members to let them know what was going on, I don't think that the whole thing really had hit home yet and honestly as I set here typing this two months later I still wonder if it has. Uncle Danny was the first to arrive at the hospital and by this time we were allowed to go back and see him as they had the results of the CT Scan. We were told in front of my dad that a surgeon was on their way and that there was no way out of going in for emergency surgery to remove the blood clot that caused the stroke. I can remember the fear in his face growing as he still was not able to move his limbs and he honestly had no control over what was happening to his body. I sit outside his room and prayed as I did not want him to see how weak I was at that moment and I thank God for Uncle Danny being there for my mom and holding her together. I don't remember who exactly showed up or in what order or even who was able to see dad prior to him being taken into surgery, I only remember them saying that it was VERY serious.
Dad was in surgery by 2:15 and having requested the Chaplin to come pray with us it seemed like no time before the surgeon came out and told us that the blood clot had been successfully removed and that there was little of the brain affected but the part that was important parts that COULD control swallowing, speech, vision, and breathing (but it was stated that even though this was a possibility and that dad was placed on a ventilator dad was showing great signs by breathing over the ventilator). Dads stroke was on his left side so this meant that his right side is where we would see problems. Dad's right eye was fixated after surgery and we also found out that he had little to no movement in his right limbs. We were advised that it was going to be very touch and go for the next 48 to 72 hours, those words were like someone taking a torch and embedding it into our skulls. There were MANY more prayers said by wonderful family members and friends that came to be by our side and even though the PRACTICING doctors stated one thing mom and I could feel the true healer taking control. Mom did not leave dads side the whole day and I only left to take care of their fur-baby that mom and I credited for being the first saver of dad by alerting mom to get up which is when she found dad. I personally was determined that Chico was going to be taken care of and the thought that he was near helped me, but even though it was thankfully not real hot we also had to come to the realization that it was not fair or safe for him to be kept in the vehicle (I had the small air conditioners that plugged into the car plugs). Mom made the decision to let Aunt Karen take Chico to mamaw's house.
The day of July 18th was spent with many positives being told to us but so much of it going over our heads because it was as if we were living a dream. Dad did wake up and he recognized us and puckered his lips for the both of us to give him kisses. They however also kept him sedated a lot because sleeping is/was a very important step to his recovery.