On Monday morning February 13, 2017, a blood vessel burst in Karen Regan’s brain resulting in a hemorrhagic stroke.
Her husband, Rich, noticed changes in Karen’s behavior and rushed her to the nearest emergency room where she lost consciousness. Quickly the ER doctors determined that Karen had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage (a burst brain aneurysm). A helicopter from Orlando Regional Medical Center airlifted Karen to the neurology ICU at ORMC and later that day Karen had brain surgery to repair the aneurysm and to relieve pressure on her brain. In the following weeks life-threatening complications developed including: emergency abdominal surgeries, an intestinal infection and bacterial meningitis. Karen spent a month at ORMC, most of the time in the neurology Intensive Care Unit. After recovering from the meningitis, Karen was discharged to a long-term critical care hospital in Melbourne, where she began the long road to recovery.
When the unexpected happens to someone you care deeply about, you do what you can.
However, all I can do is not enough, so I am making this appeal to the many others that the Regan's have impacted.
I have known Rich and Karen Regan for over three decades, Karen is the consummate compassionate, nurturing, passionate science educator. She was very supportive not only to her general science students, but especially to the Stone Science Research program that she and Rich are known for. Students and teachers can count on both of them for help, support, encouragement and going beyond the call of duty for all learners.
Few have had such a great influence on our learning community here at Stone Middle School and in the science education field in Brevard County. The Regans are a force to be reckoned with year after year in the Science and Engineering competitions, with Karen mentoring students focusing on microbiology projects. The epitome of a life-long learner, when Karen becomes passionate about a subject it impacts all of those around her. In the last few years, Karen became a Florida Master Gardener, and typical of her enthusiasm and devotion, attained an advisory board position.
Rich and their 21 year old son, Ryan have been by Karen's side nearly every day since the initial episode, making the hour-long drive to Orlando each day. Karen's brother, mother and childhood friend have helped out to cover a few days a week as Rich returned to work at Stone Magnet Middle School.
This has been both an emotional and financial shock to the Regan family. Cost have begun to add up for medical bills, emergency air ambulance service, ground transportation, incidental expenses (weeks of daily round trips to Orlando, tolls, meals), coinsurance, and medical equipment. For Karen to continue to recover she will need home health care including physical, occupational and speech therapy.
Our hope is this page will help cast a wide net of support from fellow educators, friends, family and the generations of students that Karen and Rich Regan taught.