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 18, 2016

But For The Grace of God

My level of improvement, my amount of recovery when contrasted to the amount of brain injury I started with (even before my final three strokes!) is nothing short of astounding, miraculous, defying medical odds. There is absolutely no explanation beyond the work of God Himself!

When I broke rule after rule, shatter expectations on every level, left the doctors marveling and questioning their own medical training, the default answer became, "It's got to be your age. Your recovery is only because you have youth on your side." When God's not in your thought process, you scramble for whatever logic allows you peace of mind.

Remember how I wasn't going to survive at all? Not the first day or night, not the first week, never come home from the hospital except maybe to a nursing home...

Here's a boy who stroked the very same week I did, 6 days after my first two strokes. He's only 21 now, so was 16 when he stroked (my oldest son's age now!), a full 23 years YOUNGER than I am. Here he is a little over a week ago. His reality today is a realistic example of the significantly optimistic prediction of my best case scenario!

Teenager with Locked in Syndrome 

- The first video snippet is about 20 seconds long. To get a better feel for Howard Wicks' story, be sure to scroll down and watch the bottom, 3-minute video!

Am I saying God would have been any less powerful, divine, in control, full of grace, if this (or worse) were my reality today? Am I saying I have some sort of corner on faith and can take credit for a life that broke the rules? Am I saying there is any lack in Howard to be so young and yet still so physically damaged, that he hasn't trusted God enough or tried hard enough in his therapies?

NO! Absolutely NOT!!!

What I am saying, is let's give credit where credit is due!

Sure, I have youth on my side, and that certainly didn't hurt in the brain rewiring department. Yes, I had thousands of people praying for me, cheering me on, dozens directly encouraging me and hands-on helping our family. My doctor and therapy teams were amazing. All of that was to my advantage!

But bottom line, the only reason my story doesn't match Howard's story, is because God wrote a different script for me than the medical textbooks said my story was slated to look like. 

Why me? Why not Howard? I don't know.

I'm thankful to be the recipient of this miracle, but I sure don't deserve it.

God can bring glory to Himself through an undamaged mind locked inside a broken body. He can bring glory to Himself through a damaged brain learning to function in a surprisingly recovered body. He could bring glory to Himself through total recovery of all levels of brain, body and spirit. I'm thankful He's making the decisions about who is entrusted with what outcome!

1 comment:

  1. Praising God for you and your remarkable, miraculous recovery EVERY DAY