Update: Stroke of Grace has become In Darkness Sing and has moved to JenniferSaake.com.

Thirty-nine-year-old Jennifer Saake (founder, Hannah's Prayer Ministries), experienced 6 strokes via vertebral dissection at a chiropractic office, including brain stem and cerebellum bleeds, in Oct. 2011. Jenni remained hospitalized for nearly 2 months 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. At 5 years, 7 months God showed how He was writing her story from the beginning.

Jenni is currently writing more books and stays active on both Facebook and Pinterest. Stroke of Grace became In Darkness Sing in early 2018 and has moved, along with all five of Jennifer's active blogs, to one location at JenniferSaake.com.

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 equips you to send any monetary assistance as well, this is a significant added blessing.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

On the Road

I wasn't going to post about Mom again until I had more to actually tell you. But Mom is wanting to be sure that everyone, all her HP ladies especially, get the message to thank you for praying and that she is on the road to improvement. Since my newer computer (replaced last year I think?) doesn't like the Community Forum over at Hannah's Prayer, I rarely manage to get in there any more, but know if I post to my blog, it will cross-post to Facebook where several HP ladies will read it and the update will get posted on the Forums for me! :)

Today is a "sandwich generation" day for me. I'm home with a sick daughter (sent home from school twice within the past week! Rick coming home early to take her to the doctor this afternoon.) while Dad is sitting with Mom at the hospital. Please pray extra hard for my dad (Ralph) as the hospital cot he has slept on for the past 4 nights is really hard on his body. He was already in physical therapy for the past several weeks for a shoulder injury and yesterday the therapist says he has undone all the progress he was making, as bad yesterday as the first time he walked into therapy. :( Last night he tried to roll over and the shoulder made a loud pop and feels even worse today. I told him he has got to go home and sleep in his own bed soon! Even my mom made a comment this morning that they have got to figure something else out, so I'm thankful that she is becoming more aware of the situation as well.

What I was planning to wait to share until we had more clear direction, is that mom is in the computer and awaiting insurance approval for transfer to the rehabilitation hospital, hopefully sometime yet today! I think they were telling me "today or tomorrow" for about three days (at least that seems to be my memory, but I had very little clear time perception, so I don't know if that is a valid memory or not) before I actually got moved, but at least being in the cue is making progress!

I think mom is physically ready to make the move, and certainly has the spunk and gumption for recovery. Part of what they really work on is the cognitive there so that will be great! Last night, my dad heard her toilet flush, only to discover she had gotten herself out of bed and used the walker to get to the restroom without any aid whatsoever! She has been repeatedly cautioned not to get out of bed without aid, so either she simply didn't remember or she was just too determined and decided she didn't need help. She still should have at least one adult on stand-by assist any time she is getting up or trying to move.

I keep being asked how I am doing with all of this. Surprisingly, pretty well. I KNOW I am stressed by all the acne that has broken out on my face this week. And I am distracted, am realizing I am not at all being "fully present" with my kids when I am actually home. I had some PTSD triggers that first day in the hospital, but never a full-blown panic attack. I know I have several friends praying specifically for me emotionally and thank you so much. I have talked to my therapist by phone a couple times this week and one thing she asked is if I was worried about watching my mom's therapy bringing back tons of bad memories. I told her I sure hope not but honestly didn't know how I would react to all of that yet.

I do think about many things that are not pleasant memories, but thankfully it is stopping there, just remembering and not obsessing in re-living those horrid events over and over in my mind. Instead, new memories are awakening, like the joy and wonder I saw on Mom's face yesterday when she stepped out of her room, into the hallway, for the first time yesterday afternoon and saw the big world beyond her hospital cubbie again for the first time! I remember that feeling of amazement and freedom and got to re-live that joy through her. I was overwhelmed at that moment and stopped to send the Lord a prayer of thanks for His peace, protection, guarding of my heart and mind, through a season I thought would be so much more destructive! Thank you for praying specifically about this! I had to pass along the praise after several have mentioned specific concern for me here!

Physically, I have have had 2 good night's sleep in a row, so I know I am doing much better than my dad on this front. For the first time in my life, I simply have no desire for food or memory to eat and drink consistently, so while I fuss at Dad to take care of these things for himself, it took our 11-year-old sweetheart to make sure I finally ate a cheese stick and some V8 juice for breakfast/lunch before I went up to the hospital yesterday. My left leg is really sore, especially the knee and tendon down the back of my ankle both have quite sharp pain when I step and the whole leg aches all the time, but my overall body is just slightly achy, and as long as I stay off my right hip (an issue for a few months now) I'm doing surprisingly well yesterday and this morning.

I would ask that you continue to cover the emotions of our entire family in prayer, especially as we make yet another new transition to the rehab facility soon. Emotionally I expect this to be rather traumatic for Mom, as I remember the sense of abandonment that came with less family involvement (like Dad will not be able to stay nights, limited daytime visiting hours, learning to eat in a room full of strangers...). I think there is a very big portion that Dad and I just aren't even processing our emotions fully yet, just living on auto-pilot and getting through what needs to be done. Please pray for healthy processing when the time comes to actually feel everything and work through it all. I would also ask for prayers for swift and smooth insurance approval.

- Update since I started this post, I just got a phone call FROM MOM (what an amazing surprise!) and they are telling her she will be transferred to the rehab hospital later this afternoon. I already knew from Dad this morning that was the hope for today and he is doing some needed errands at the moment so not with her, but I hope that they are telling her this now means the insurance is approved! :) I would say the phone conversation was about 98% close to being a normal chat with my mom!


  1. Soap box: I "love" how insurance trumps medical need....

  2. Praise God! We're praying for your whole family!
    -Emily (emilybatt from HP). :)