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...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Same Woman???

Thank you for all the prayers for my mom. Please keep them coming! God's hearing and she is being restored to us.

Sunday, in ER:


Today, sitting up in chair:


I got to her room just after lunch. Immediately I was stunned by the dramatic improvement in her coloring. Then she began to talk, and talk, and talk. I was STUNNED to put it mildly! In the entire 4 hours I was there, I only heard her slow or hesitate over her words a couple dozen times and actually flub words maybe a half dozen times! I kept asking if this was even the same woman I just left last night. The improvement goes way beyond remarkable!!! THANK YOU, LORD!!!!!!

I don't know if we will ever get true answers about what happened, but as long as these kinds of improvements continue and it does not become a recurrent issue, do we really even need to know why or just be thankful to have the trial behind us?

In addition to talking clearly, she demonstrated a sharp, acute long-term memory several time today, speaking of family history 3 years or 3 decades ago! (Short term still needs some work as we answered the same question and addressed some of the same more immediate topics multiple times today.) She got up with a walker and walked half way down the long hospital hall and back again with only minimal stand-by assistance from one therapist. She had a shower. We did a 45 minute Bible study DVD together and she talked about it with me afterwards. She sat upright in a regular chair for about half an hour. She fed herself all her own meals and snacks.

Even the CNA (nurse's assistant, who was just changing her bedpan yesterday and could help her walk to the restroom several different times and get her first real shower today) was stunned! We both agreed that if it was a TAI (Transient Ischemic Attack) it is very much "transienting" away, and is leaving quite rapidly at that!

There is apparently conflict between her doctors over when and where she should be discharged. We (family) would like to see her go to the rehabilitation hospital for a few days while Mom says the neurologist wants to let her come directly home. (Maybe she is basing this on his thought of discharging her yesterday? I was not around when any other direct mention of home was suggested, though I am thinking there was another neurology visit this morning that I missed. Dad wanted to know all the latest news from me and I didn't ever talk to a doctor today, so we only have Mom's word to go on at the moment. I hope to get more clarification from him about what doctors said to him, or at least in his hearing, today, as we hardly got to talk today with crazy schedules.)

When I first got there this morning Mom was very excited about the idea that she might be headed for the rehab hospital soon (both because she is doing so much better and because my doctor there has become a dear friend over the years since I was a resident there). This afternoon she was suddenly very upset over the possibility and anxious about the whole idea, saying that she should go directly home and giving a list of reasons why. It will be very interesting to see what the next few days hold!

Bottom line, she still has a long road before her, but I am SO encouraged and just want to cry for joy over having my Mommy back! Please continue to pray foe my Dad as three days of constant care and three nights on a hospital cot are really starting to take their toll.


For those who wonder, it is my mom's right side impacted, but not so much from weakness now, as much as from heightened tone. Her muscle and resistant tests are show nearly equal strength on both sides now! Her right leg works fairly well, but her gait is still rather stiff with that leg. She seems to have to work harder to get that leg lifted as high as her left. She is still kind of stiff (all over) but moving so much better today, like doing all her own feeding, consistent ability to rub her own face, ability to slowly put on both of her own socks. Tonight I even say her put both hands behind her head for a moment!

She wanted me to take pictures of her hair before she washed the blue EEG gel out, so she could tell our friend Susan she had blue hair at the moment. :)


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