First thing this morning I received an email from Mary Council informing me that Lee Perkins was in Forsyth Hospital, he had a stroke, and was asking for me. Remember, it was a little over three years ago that Lee had a fairly severe stroke, went through rehab in the Wilmington area and recovered very nicely.
On the way to the parsonage this morning I stopped by the hospital while Shirley continued on to the house. When I peeked into his room Lee was nowhere to be found. After a few moments a nurse came by and I asked about Lee. I was informed that he was down having tests – several tests that would probably take some time. I decided that I would come back and visit later on this afternoon.
I went on to the church, worked on the bulletins, and a little on the sermon, and then went over to help Shirley at the parsonage. We were able to almost finish packing up the kitchen. We worked at the parsonage till around 6:00pm and then she headed for the mall and I to the hospital.
I found Lee in his room wanting ice chips. But I also found how serious his stroke was this time. It seems that Lee had been in his basement since maybe Thursday or Friday some time, and was not found until Sunday afternoon. He would not have been found then had it not been for the fact that he was a regular church goer and had a friend (Mary Council) who missed him not being at church. Chris and someone else went to the house and found him, 911 was called, and he was taken to the hospital.
The really sad news is that Lee failed the swallow test, will need a feeding tube, and will be sent to either a nursing home or hospice. He is paralyzed on his right side, has trouble talking, cannot swallow, and has some paralysis on the left side of his face.
I cannot imagine laying in the basement from Thursday night (perhaps) till Sunday afternoon unable to move enough to get to a phone, to food or water. Would his prognosis have been better had he been noticed right away… we may never know? My heart goes out to Lee and his family and friends. The decision about the next step should be made sometime Wednesday.
Let me make a suggestion to anyone who is living alone and is in the parameters of having a TIA or stroke – please, please consider one of those medical alert buttons you wear around your neck. If something were to happen, it may be the way you can communicate with someone who could save your life or get help there quickly enough to lessen the severity of your travail. Please consider this or a way someone will check on you every single day.
Dear Lord, please be with Lee and his family. Guide them to good and frank discussions with the medical professionals who can bring this family to a better place of comfort and peace, in and through Jesus. Amen.
Grace and Peace