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...

Friday, October 25, 2013

First Memories & Medical Expectations

I shared the details of my story on my two year stroke-a-versary, but since that posy was SO long, here's the third section (out of 8 sections) of the main body of the post, for your easier reference. If anything here confuses you or you want more information, please remember to visit the original post for full context!


3. What I Remember Next And What Was Expected

Apparently, Rick, both parents, my in-laws, my kids and my pastor all met me at the hospital that first day, but by the time I was aware enough to remember anything, several days had already passed and my in-laws and the kids were already back down in Fallon for the rest of the school year. I have no other memories from my fist several days in ICU (on ventilator and feeding tube down my nose, having to be strapped down to my bed with restraint straps so I didn't pull out my IV or other tubes - not sad I don't remember these at all!), and have very few, very vague, sketchy memories of my first 6 days in ICU at all.


I do remember being shocked and thinking she must be mistaken when my mom finally got through to me that I had a stroke (well, strokes actually, but that took longer for me to comprehend). At that time I thought strokes only happened to "old people" and that she must be mistaken since I was in my 30s! I have been told that several people had been explaining this news to me, over and over again, for days, but I just never comprehended nor remembered before the time I finally remember being so shocked. From my earliest memories, the medical explanation for my strokes has always been my chiropractic adjustment and I had no other risk factors.


My doctors did not expect me to survive at all (and this just after the first two strokes I experienced that morning at the chiropractic office). When I defied their prediction there, I certainly was never going to walk again (said almost all, save one resident who offered my husband a glimmer of hope that it would take at least two years, but there might be some possibility at some measure of relearning to walk again - so it is good to know that one medical "expert" thought there might be a possibility to, sometime after today, maybe do what I've been already doing (with a cane) for well over a year now). At least twice in that second week, out of ICU and down in the main neurology floor, my husband heatedly went to combat for me when doctors told him there was no chance for any quality of life nor rehabilitation, so he might as well give up the notion for a therapy hospital for me and send me to a long-term nursing facility (nursing home) instead, where I would live out my days in a bed, hooked up to machines.

If you would like to read more of my story, please select from Basics and Why I've Not Shared Before and Story DetailsManipulation Mechanics, GoalsLegal, Reflections on Forgiveness, or My Victory Declaration. Thank you for walking a little piece of this journey with me.

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