“So the MRI did determine
that it was a stroke.”
The doctor confirmed what Gemma had already knew when she woke the morning after having gone to the hospital and her face was crooked, not to mention she’d lost her ability completely on the right side of her body.
It was Gemma’s second day admitted into the hospital.
Her father and step mother were thankfully able to take care of their baby
while Caleb stayed in the hospital with Gemma during this devastating and confusing
o r d e a l .
And the thing that was tearing Gemma’s heart to pieces was being away from her son
for the first time.
These past few night have been horribly difficult for him to adapt to..
.being away from his mother and father,
from being breast-fed full time on demand to being suddenly fed from a bottle
and only being breast fed for a few hours a day whenever her parents were able to bring him to
But her heart soared for the two who took loving care of her child, and made certain that he was never alone. Her father and step mother were the ones who were there for her in the city, after the hospital when she reached out to come home, and they were here every step of the way now.
“We are working to get you a room
in the rehab center downstairs,
where you will begin physiotherapy,
speech therapy and occupational therapy
He looked at the disappointment in her face and took a deep breath,
“Look, I don’t know why this happened.
It doesn’t make any sense for a
healthy twenty five year old to go through this..
.with a nine month old baby no less.
But your stroke occurred in a
very plastic part of the brain
which is still developing and a quick healer.
We can’t say how long you will be here,
or if you will make a full recovery,
but your chances are good,
and you have your youth on your side.”
She gave a small lopsided smile and thanked him.
They were brought to a room in the critical care unit until a space became available to her where in the rehabilitation unit. Caleb remained with her every step of the way, coaching and encouraging and loving her with all of himself.
She was visited daily by her family, a physiotherapist
and some friends or acquaintances from her past.
Her brother, who was fighting Leukemia and undergoing
invasive and crippling chemotherapy treatments,
made the time to visit her
and it strengthened her more than he could ever know.
After three days in intensive care, they’d finally found a place for her in the rehabilitation unit, where Caleb would no longer be with her, but at home taking care of their son.
She was making unbelievable progress and her
s p i r i t
She had trouble thinking of her husband and son and so she limited their visits to only an hour a day so that she could focus on her recovery in order to
return home as soon as possible.
The nurses in the Mother and Children’s Unit came together to help support Gemma in her decision to continue breastfeeding her son and allowed her to use one of the hospital’s hand-free electric pumps that Gemma used every two hours, to have a porter come and take it to store in the freezer so that Caleb could pick it up to then bring home during his daily visits.
By her third day in rehab, a week since she was admitted,
her speech was almost normal,
she was allowed to consume solid foods,
and she didn’t need to call a nurse to bring her into the bathroom.
Her therapists were awed by her positivity and unheard-of progress in such a short time.
Gemma had a goal.
To be home within two weeks.
She needed to be with her baby.
She needed to mother.