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...

Sunday, October 30, 2016

5 Years Since My Haircut

The memories keep flooding. This was day 6 of the stroke journey, 5 years back, the day we cut all brain scan gel out of my matted, waist length hair. 

Best pre-stroke hair picture I have, taken about a year prior to stokes, so add a few inches in your mind to see what was cut that day.
Rick Saake with Jenni Saake at Renown Regional Medical Center.
Quick Update:
Jenni was just moved from ICU to the neurological floor. PM me if you need the room number. She will not be seeing visitors, until at least tomorrow afternoon, at the earliest.
October 30, 2011 hair cut, picture take several weeks later, over in rehab hospital.

If you've read the draft version of my stroke book introduction, it was on this day that I received the two mylar balloons that were my companions for the next several weeks. Those balloons passed along by my hospital roommate of only a few hours, hope that I too would leave this hospital as she just had!

Mid-December my hubby hunted down a friend who came to the hospital and took even more length, transforming my hair with some style!
I once wrote about the healing process likely taking about as long as it would take to re-grow my hair. I asked the question who/what would determine when my hair was "long" again? I'm probably close in length to that above pre-stroke picture again today. I'm a LONG way towards healing, far from where I was, so far beyond all the medical "shoulds" that it's not even funny! 

Me today, October 30, 2016.

And yet, I'm not where I want to be yet. Better, not fully restored/recovered. Am I pushing for what will never be? Am I pushing for Rapunzel-length locks? I sometimes get seriously frustrated both with the snail, frozen snot, pace or recovery. I sometimes really get frustrated and consider cutting my hair again. I know myself well enough to know I would not be OK with either decision in the long run. I think there are just days I long for a break from being me.

My hair's too long to even fully fit in the picture today! I's growing!


  1. Funny...not in a ha ha way....more of a hmmm way...
    My hair had gotten really long too, now I keep it a little past my shoulders. I showed my current stylist (they have all been Air Force wives ) a picture of my post stroke hair....she almost had a fit.

  2. I definitely like your hair longer! And you are beautiful.

  3. You are beautiful too, Miss Kendra!