A Life Forever Changed
It was just a normal Sunday afternoon. A day off from work, no school, full of possibilities. Finally a few moments to relax, watch a little TV, fold some laundry and wait for that familiar “mommy” call from the kitchen for a snack and a hug. This is how 24-year-old Chrissy planned to spend her Sunday at the home of her parents with her four-year-old son. Her weekdays were typically filled with caring for patients during the day and attending college at night to become an occupational therapist.
After watching TV for a while, Chrissy called her mom. Chrissy was complaining that she couldn’t hear very well and she “felt funny.” Upon first glimpse of her daughter, Chrissy’s mom knew something was terribly wrong. Chrissy’s speech was slurred, her face was dropping, and she couldn’t get up from the couch. In that moment, this employee’s life changed forever. She was having a stroke. But not just a stroke; it was a brain stem stroke.
Within 24 hours, her eyes were the only part of her body that was functioning properly. The mind was performing properly, but the body was unable to function at all. Chrissy’s stroke caused complete paralysis from the nose down.
After many weeks in three different hospitals, Chrissy’s supportive parents brought Chrissy and her son into their home to live. They felt that the best place for Chrissy would be with the family she loved, surrounded by the daily noises of her little boy’s activity. The family has not had much time to reflect on the events surrounding their daughter’s devastating illness, because they immediately began to prepare their home to accommodate all of Chrissy’s needs, as well as the needs of a rambunctious four-year-old boy. Their home needed substantial modifications to provide accessibility for their daughter. However, this family’s finances were not prepared for this financial burden.
Due to employee donations to the Hug Fund, you, the employees of HCR ManorCare were able to help this family during their time of catastrophic need. Chrissy will need years of therapy, home health assistance durable medical equipment, much of which is not covered by health insurance. The family will also need a specially equipped van to transport Chrissy to physician appointments and therapies not provided in home. The Hug Fund grant that was awarded to this family will help to cover the expense of equipment desperately needed to provide a good quality of life for Chrissy.
The Hug Fund staff is in contact with Chrissy’s parents periodically. They are adjusting to a new life that focuses on their daughter’s every need. Chrissy’s dad says, “It is an honor for Chrissy’s mom and I to care for our daughter and our grandson. Our daughter was going to school to become an occupational therapist….and now she will have firsthand experience.” They are grateful for the generous support of HCR ManorCare employees, and they are not losing hope. The goal is to help Chrissy regain her independence so she can hug her little boy, go to school and return to the work she loves – caring for patients.