Starting October 25 of 2011, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office. The largest two strokes were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live (near death experience) nor recover, but if she even survived, she was slated to live out her days in a nursing home or, best case, to maybe come home but wheelchair-bound and needing 24-hour care (please read more and watch short video). Jenni is now walking (with a cane or wheeled walker), has recovered much eye-sight, some hearing, partial use of her hands, cares for most of her own personal/toiletry needs, and is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Near the five-year recovery mark, Jenni has renewed her pre-stroke excitement about the unique Lilla Rose hair Flexi eight jewelry she sells and has finally regained enough hand/arm function to regularly use! (The biggest ongoing losses at the 4 1/2-year point of recovery are left-side nerve pain, inability to drive, loss of homeschool teaching capability, significant sound processing issues (often triggering nausea), and some profound physical ability limitations such as a limp, balance challenges, clumsy use of right hand and only large motor function in left hand.) Here is her resume.

Since Jenni's chiropractor carried no insurance and moved out of the country soon after the accident (thus avoiding any legal or financial consequences), if you would like to help contribute to the Saake (pronounced like the two small words, say and key) family's massive financial needs (medical expenses alone are estimated to cost between $1- and $1.5- Million in Jenni's lifetime), please visit Jennifer Saake's Stroke Survivor GoFundMe Page. (This support information has been added in direct response to several reader requests.) The Saakes sincerely thank you for your prayers and if God prompts and equipts you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Jenni is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. Here is her unfolding story, documented in her own words (typing with only her right hand), as she perceives it happening in real time, messy, honest and to the glory of God...

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Promised Videos

OK, I don't DREAD the camera or mirrors anywhere near as much as I used to, but today I'm still being quite vulnerable to let you have a look. I couldn't do it until acne cleared a lot, I got pretty confident with my walking and talking, and got past several other insecurities, so here you go.

<iframe src="https://www.facebook.com/video/embed?video_id=3494383568250" width="720" height="1280" frameborder="0"></iframe> was me need 2 theripist and constant supervision to walk, last March. Here is our interview video (double click on "Saake Family," December 30, 2011, then the play button) recorded by our church, late last year. (Anyone know how to embed either of these videos here?) Here is both my walking and talking this week. Idon't have the endurance to stay on my feet much longer than the length of this video, but compared to not being able to take even one step without the heavy-duty specialty walker (that I drove into walls every day) at this time last year, it is certainly amazing progress. To God be the glory!


Here's a video I did for a Hannah's Prayer retreat, a few years before the strokes, for comparison. Unfortunately, I was sick when I recorded it, so it won't give an absolutely true benchmark of all I lost anyway, but at least some idea of where I am as compared to where I was before. I can no longer manage the robe I was wearing here - our daughter has inherited it, because I can' get/keep it on nor manage the tie now - and I sure wouldn't be able to climb over the side of the bathtub or perch or the edge, like I did here:
 


Here's my fun pink, rose pattered cane with pink and purple bicycle horn (thank to my brother and his family who found me a fun one when I kept saying, "I need a horn for this thing!" when I was still using my walker). I figured if I was going to need to start using a cane in my 30s, at least it was going to be a pretty one! - Jennifer Saake StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com
   

And here is a still shot from Tuesday. Not bad for someone, a year ago, who couldn't even sit up in a chair without arms, and in an arm chair had to hold on to the handles with a white-knuckled death grip just to hope to keep from falling over or falling out! (Oh, and even just wearing jeans is a huge accomplishment as the texture used to leave me in tears.) It's not perfect, but I did the clip in my hair myself too! So much improvement, in so very many areas, I can't even hope to capture it in words!!!

Here are close up at about 6 weeks after the initial strokes and current (15 months):
In rehab hospital, December, 2011. - Jennifer Saake StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com
 About 15 months into recovery. January, 2013- Jennifer Saake StrokeOfGrace.blogspot.com

Psalm 41:3

The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed and restore him from his bed of illness.






























 Edited to add: If you are feeling too terrible about yourself to want to be photographed, read this article to put things in perspective.

5 comments:

  1. You look amazing, Jenni! And your voice is so sweet and soothing. :) Great job walking!

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  2. Oh my goodness! That is so awesome. Your voice sounds completely normal, and your walk is great. I dream about being able to do that.

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    1. Five or six months ago, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me I would be posting any of this today! Only God knows exactly how your story will unfold, and on what timeline, but I am convinced that someday you will look back in utter awe too. {hug} You have already come so very far, my friend! It is all way slower than we wish it would be, but your hard work is noticeable and is paying off!!!

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  3. Jenni - You look and sound FANTASTIC!!!! You are an inspiration to so many - and your story has blessed MANY hearts.

    Michele P

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