Immediately following the procedure on April 1st, Kerry was experiencing severe abdominal pain in the area near the point where the angiogram was performed. She had several types of ultrasounds done to see if there was any internal bleeding; the test results showed that was not internal bleeding or clotting. Praise God! Saturday morning, April 10th, Kerry was awoken to have her eye drops put in and it was discovered that she had stoke-like symptoms. Her speech was slurred and she had great difficulty moving the left side of her body.
She was rushed the West Hills Hospital ER and was immediately admitted. After a battery of tests it was determined that Kerry had had two small strokes in the left frontal lobe; it was determined that the blood clots had come directly from the heart. We give thanks to God that Kerry immediately began to show signs of recovery and within a couple of days her speech was almost normal again. Also, her movements or her left side returned to normal.
Kerry was in the hospital for a week and was put on an IV medication to speed the process of thinning her blood so that there would be no further blood clots. She was also put on a medication that is similar to Coumadin to prevent further blood clotting. During that hospital visit her right foot was healed enough that she could begin walking on it again. The first time that Kerry walked around the nurse’s station using a walker she kept focusing down at her feet. The PT told her to look up to see where she was going; it came to her (Kerry) that she had been blind for so long that she was not used to not having to look where she was going. The PT told her to start looking up! As Kerry looked up she began to cry because she could see so many things that she had not been able to see for a long time. God is so good! Kerry was so encourage that day considering all the things she was going through. Even when things seem grave God always gives us some sunshine to brighten our day.
Kerry was discharged on April 16th. We praise God that He as led us to a very good heart specialist (Dr. Levy) who has been doing the follow-up care. Kerry is still very weak and gets tired very easily. Her heart tends to race (90+ BPM) even when she is at rest. Dr. Levy has Kerry on a new medication that intended to strengthen her heart and help it to return to normal size. After 2 1/2 months, she still can only lift about ten pounds (Kerry's cat weighs just under ten pounds, so, thankfully, she can lift Sophie and give her all the necessary love she needs).
The doctors have said that it is going to take quite awhile for this condition to heal and she continues to need a lot of help to perform everyday tasks. On a more sober note, Dr. Levy has stated that he should know by the end of June timeframe which direction Kerry’s heart condition (prognosis) is going: either toward recovery or toward having a heart transplant.
Kerry's left eye is still doing very well and healing nicely. Also, on a very upbeat note: in the midst of all the medical problems that have occurred over the past several weeks, the Philpot and Lawrence families, including all grandparents, celebrated Emily’s graduation from The Master’s College.
- Please pray that God will be glorified in the midst of this difficult situation. It’s all about Him!
- Please pray that Kerry's heart will fully heal and return to normal size.
- Please pray that Kerry’s endurance will return to normal so that she can resume normal day-to-day activities
- Please pray specifically that Kerry’s prognosis will be the one involving recovery, not the one involving a heart transplant.
- Please pray that Kerry can maintain a positive outlook in the midst of a great trial. The recovery is so slow that Kerry struggles with anxiety and depression on a regular basis. Also, being on so many drugs results in side effects that are sometimes difficult to deal with.
- Please pray for Dennis, Emily and Craig that they will be strong and fully able to support Kerry as she continues through the healing process
Kerry would like to express her thanks for all the people who have been praying for her, sending her encouraging notes and calling her on the phone. She was also very blessed by the folks who came by to visit her while she was in the hospital. Your love and thoughtfulness are very much appreciated by Kerry and our whole family.
May God richly bless you!