Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Stroke

My husband had a stroke on January 5, 2011 at the age of 37. To say that it was "unexpected" is an understatement.

Al, however, said he had always felt like a ticking time-bomb, as if he knew in the back of his mind that something like this was bound to happen to him.

When Al was 6 years old, he had an inoperable brain tumor, a cystic astrocytoma, to be exact. It was too deep in his brain to be removed surgically, and there was a cyst attached to it that continued to fill up with fluid and press on the motor nerves for the left side of his body. After the first surgery, the doctors put a shunt in so that they could more easily drain the cyst. That was all they could do, or so they thought. But his parents consulted the best surgeons in the business and eventually convinced one of them to do radiation on Al's tumor, even though the medical evidence at the time showed that radiation would be useless on that particular type of tumor. The bottom line is that after a year of treatment and surgeries to drain the cyst, the tumor was completely gone. Even the doctors agreed that it was miraculous - there was no reason that the radiation should have worked, but it did!

For 31 years, Al has been tumor free. We often used the large, horseshoe-shaped scar on Al's head to witness to others about God's healing power.

However, Al had always wondered if his past would come back to haunt him.

And in a way, it did.

Once the doctors determined that he was indeed experiencing a stroke, they told us that it was in the exact location of his tumor 30 years ago. Our doctor explained that the radiation must have damaged the vessels in that part of his brain so that the stroke was inevitable.

Now, we are working on Al's rehabilitation once again. And we are actively putting our hope in the God that saved Al's life 31 years ago!

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