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...

Monday, August 15, 2016

24 Years

Sweetheart, thank you first for asking me to be your wife (even when the non-stroke-related medical questions of that season were big and unknown), then for sticking by my side for the past 24 year of marriage!


Through chronic illness, miscarriages, infertility, business failures, surgeries and recoveries, moves, seasons of writing where words outrank housekeeping in my priorities, family health needs, extream latex allergy that often dictates our plans, six strokes, rigors of therapy life, and the ongoing realities of living with a no-longer-driving, brain injured spouse with PTSD, depression, compulsive spending, and short term memory loss, you have remained faithful.


Though the grit-our-teeth and stay-together seasons when we stayed only because of the promise we made to God, thank you for staying, for trying, for doing, for persevering, for providing! For acting out love when it was purely a decision and not a feeling or emotion.


Through the joyful blessed seasons when feelings of love abound, thank you too. Winking. The wedding of my dreams. Opening my eyes to new places and experience. All the sushi! ;) Waves lapping. Sea otters (and otter earrings). Bears. Feeding geese (and "not feeding" squirrels). Stocky. Sterling. Butterflies. RVing. Tickle fights. Pulling just a few long hairs. The births of three miracle babies (and fighting so hard with me to get them here). Parenting adventures that caused us stress at the time but now are woven into the laughter that is our family's unique collection of stories. Learning to appreciate each other's parenting strengths. Carving train track. Flying kites. Providing for the kids and I to enjoy a decade of home education together 24/7. Checking to see if things in the fridge were available or science experiments for school. Watching these children grow and prepare for their futures. All the driving you do to provide for us all.


Always making God a priority in our schedules, plans and lives. Not giving up without finding the church that meets our needs in each season of life.


A sweet first home. The fish pond you dug by hand. Weekends spent choosing fish. A move to a beautiful, big second home in a neighborhood beyond anything I ever dared hope for. Steady jobs and an amazing work ethic. Being proud to introduce me to your co-workers. Medical provision. Avocados. Roses (the plants, the hole digging and planting, the yard space dedicated to my garden, and the occasional surprises delivered to our front door or carried home in your own hands).

I wrote the above sentence BEFORE you totally surprised me with two dozen roses for 24 years this weekend! Thank you!
And then a surprise dinner date too!

Family photos, trips, memories. Meals around our table with the t.v. turned off. Chocolate. Gummy worms. Supporting my latest eating adventure, be it a new diet or a Pinterest recipe.


Reading together. "Potty Paper" folds. God's transportation provisions you have obtained for us, starting with Kermie and Flower, all the way to Lander. Dressing up and Date Nights. Relaxing on Lazy Saturdays with no plans. Grocery Outlet and Sam's Club specials. Monterrey. Plenty of fresh fruit.


Artichokes. Birds. Orchids. Stanford getaways. Books and an introduction to with Christian publication market. Wedding Rings and the Mediterranean Sea. Hot Air balloons. Lake Tahoe. Computers and your technological cutting edge and know how! Learning to paint together.


Neighborhood walks. Unexpected texts, email or phone calls in the middle of the day. B12. Pushing for therapy, then bringing me home from the hospital when the doctors were ready to write me off and ship me to a nursing home. Bringing our kids back home. Domain names. Making me laugh at every doctor's appointment, even when you are feeling stressed. Belting out Amy Grant songs all the way to CBD that year. Getting safely over the pass in that blinding blizzard. The hills up and down all around that CBD expo and the fun we had with my wheelchair. Underground Atlanta. Cherry tomatoes. Mowed lawns. Bills paid. "Warming the covers". Hitting the snooze alarm for 9 minutes to cuddle. Handing me your teddy bear (who smells like you!) when you need to actually get out of bed.


For everything, THANK YOU! Happy anniversary, my love.

In the hospital you frequently would say, "We will get through this. We will figure this out. We are..." Then you would wait for me to fill in the words "a team". 


I am blessed to be your partner. Thank you for being mine.

1 comment:

  1. Happy Anniversary to our very special daughter and son-in love, Jennifer and Rick Saake.

    ReplyDelete