John Willis' Medical Expenses
Organized by: Liz Cook
On Thursday May 5, 2016, my dad, John, had a stroke causing a intraparenchymal hemorrhage at the age of 53. It left him aphasiac and paralyzed on his right side. He was at work when he realized something was wrong, and luckily was able to tell someone quickly to call 911. When the ambulance got there he was still able to walk and make a few words, but by the time he made it to the hospital the paralysis and aphasia had completely set in. He was in the NSSU at UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL for eight long days. At this point he was still completely paralyzed on his right side, and making little sense, but he was clearly progressing. On May 13 he was moved to Spain Rehabilitation in Birmingham where he received the best in-patient rehab anyone could ask for! He worked extremely hard in therapy there, three times a day for four weeks . He was discharged from in-patient rehab on June 10, still with very little movement on his right side, but ready to continue to work hard towards getting better. Since then, though, he has continued to progress. He can walk with a hemi-walker for short distances, and is regaining movement in his right arm and hand. He has been diagnosed with global aphasia, which means he has a hard time comprehending and speaking. He does know what he wants to say, but sometimes, no matter how hard he tries, the wrong word comes out. The comprehension, though, is what is making him the most frustrated. He used to read 100 books a year, and he is working hard to be able to read a new one soon. My mom has become his full-time caregiver, and she wouldn't have it any other way. They have been married for 34 years as of February 5, 2016. They started dating when they were 13 years old, and married when dad was 18 and mom had been 19 for less than two months. Dad has worked since he was 6 years old. His family owned cattle, and he worked in the pasture with his dad from then until he was around 20. After that he started working in the car business where he was a finance manager. He did that up until the moment before he had his stroke. He worked six days a week for sometimes 12 hours or more a day. He has always made sure our family was 100% comfortable, enough so that mom stayed home with my two sisters and I almost our whole adolescent lives. Mom now has a part-time job as a bus aide on a special needs bus. She loves her kids and they have become part of her family. She has to keep her job because that is who my family has health insurance with. She doesn't bring home much money. Dad's disability had not been approved yet, and they say it could be December before it goes through. Dad goes to out-patient therapy 4 times a week. Each time he goes he owes a $30 co-pay, which is really beginning to add up. He has never asked for a handout in his life. Throughout these last 4 months we have seen the Lord move through Dad, and also through generous people helping our family. We have been SO blessed. Many of you have asked how you can help out. This is the last thing mom or dad wanted to do, but at this point, other than prayer, this is where they need help the most. He and my mom have taken care of us, and other members of our family their whole lives. They both deserve so much more than we can give them. Please, if you feel led to give, know that every dollar we receive has been prayed for and is considered a blessing. We are beyond thankful for all of your love and support.