At 12:20 on March 28, 2017, my phone rang with the news that my beloved sister Melody, had suffered a life-threatening brain aneurysm and was being taken into surgery. Trying to make sense of what I was hearing, my thoughts ran wild. As a nurse, I knew that her prognosis was grave and that she had less than a 30% chance of survival. As a sister, I was terrified as we had already lost our oldest sister to a fatal aneurysm. I grabbed a flight out of Oklahoma to Seattle with a heavy heart.
Melody's 16 day stay in ICU was full of major setbacks. While her initial surgery to clip the brain, bleed was successful, the most dangerous phase of her recovery was the next 12 days’ post-surgery. Irritated by the blood on her brain, her arteries were prone to spasms and unfortunately an additional stroke occurred on the 4th day requiring additional surgery. She suffered some physical impairment on her right side and cognitive deficiencies. There are no words to express my appreciation for the skill, knowledge and foresight provided by the physicians and nursing staff monitoring her throughout the long days and nights of waiting for a positive prognosis.
Let me tell you about my sister. Melody is the youngest of four daughters. Even though she is the baby, she is fiercely loyal to her family. She will go to great lengths to help or protect all her siblings. She is a tried and true Florida State Seminole fan. She loves spending time exploring the great outdoors of the Northwest with her husband and scoundrel of a dog Jasper. Her idea of fun is packing up their off-road truck and small camper to explorer the back country of Washington State. Putzing around in her garden, drinking champagne while spending time with friends is a one her favorite ways to relax. Melody is an event and wedding planner, loved by her clients and held in deep respect by the entire event community of colleagues. She’s detail oriented, is extremely creative, and has a true inspirational spirit.
My prayer is that with time and rehabilitation, Melody will fully recover and return to all her beloved activities. Physicians and therapists have cautioned that her long-term recovery is unknown. She is currently participating in physical, cognitive and speech therapy. Once she returns home she will need 24-hour supervision for an unknown period of time. Needless to say, the medical expenses incurred past and future are overwhelming. Her daily living expenses need to be covered until she can effectively return to her profession. Our most pressing needs are rehabilitation, medical and living expenses. I am thankful for all her friends, extended family and colleagues! Our united goal is to help Melody heal, and recover her gifts that inspire us all.