Jenni Saake, about 16 months post-stroke.
On October 25 of 2011, and over the next month, "InfertilityMom," 39-year-old Jennifer (Camp) Saake (founder of Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced multiple catastrophic strokes, all due to vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office (not linked to prior health struggles). The largest two strokes (that either one "should" have been fatal) were brain stem and cerebellum bleeds. Jenni (resume link) remained hospitalized until nearly Christmas and was not expected to live 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. Friends and strangers around the world overwhelmingly united in prayer. Her living children were 5, 8 and 11 at the time and had to live away from home for nearly eight months after the accident.
December, 2011, about 6 weeks after strokes started.
Jenni is now walking almost full time (usually with cane or other assistance devices) but has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the circumstances surrounding her injury (counseling is greatly aiding improvement) and continues to battle pseudobulbar affect (PBA) (slowly improving over time, but still hard), clinical depression (currently fairly well controlled with medication), partially paralyzed limbs (especially on her left), vision issues (praising God for His work in that her double vision is greatly improved as of June, 2012), hearing loss (the left being the more severely injured ear even after three surgeries), left shoulder subluxation and tendinitis, severe jaw and face pain (including TMJ and atypical trigeminal nerve involvement), mouth numbness, Central Pain Syndrome (also called photo-sensitvity (allergy to the sun, brought on by medications after the strokes), hypoPARAthyroidism (likely also linked to post-stroke medication), deep/painful/scaring/cystic acne due to a stroke's impact on all bodily systems including skin, digestive system paralysis complications, hormonal disturbances, severe weight loss followed by significant and uncontrollable gain, and much more.
Fall, 2013, around 2 years post-strokes, finding art that was once much-beloved, tedious now!
While highly dependent on her husband and mother and faithful friends (for driving and many household tasks such as laundry folding and general cleaning), she now spends many hours per day as the only responsible adult at home (wearing an emergency call button) and has resumed care of many of her own personal needs (hair being the most notable exception) and the primary care of her children, though the stroke deficits have changed the family dynamics from homeschooling to traditional classrooms. Jenni is currently writing three books, maintains multiple blogs, and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest.
Picture taken about 5 months after initial strokes.
She is clinging to God's grace through the entire experience. The Stroke Of Grace blog is her unfolding story 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...
Video recorded for WEGO Health nomination (written transcript is half way down page, at this link), February, 2014.
[Edited to add, remake from one year later may be easier to understand.]
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