The Granat Family Donation Page
A year and a half ago I wasn't able to even spell the word 'aneurysm,' but in a mere 16 months things have changed quite a lot and the word has become far too common in both my vocabulary and our household. From not knowing how to spell the word, to barely understanding what it meant, I now have an unfortunate familiarity with brain aneurysms and the mess they leave behind.
The brain is fascinating and capable of many, many incredible things; however, it can also do some pretty scary things. Things we don't normally think about, but are more common than we realize. As many of you may know, back in December 2017, my Dad's health took a turn for the worse after experiencing a grand mal seizure which left him unresponsive. Every other day, between ER visits, it was something new. He was having seizures of epic proportions, slowing down and struggling through normal day-to-day activities. We didn't know what was wrong, but as weeks went by things didn't get better, they only got worse - he got worse.
From seizures to strokes, it seemed like we were buried in a sea of unending bad news with no end in sight. He saw countless doctors and things spiraled so quickly that we barely had time to come up for air before my family was packing up and bringing my Dad to Mount Sinai, where he would undergo a craniotomy, as he was believed to have a brain tumor. To say that was one of the scariest days of our lives would be an understatement. The surgery was long and recovery was longer. He came out worse than he went in. He couldn't walk, his motor skills were off, he was cognitively compromised as was his memory. He was so debilitated and it was just heartbreaking for us to see and even worse to imagine what my father was going through; the pain alone, I couldnt imagine, but just to think for a moment how scared he was...brings me to tears as I type this. He wasn't able to fully comprehend what had happened to him, but while my Mom, Dylan and I knew the 'what,' we spent our days thinking about the 'why,' 'how,' & 'what was next?'
Unfortunately, this is a long story and sadly it didn't end there. We spent 2 months going to visit my Dad up in the hospital & at his room in the Mount Sinai Acute Rehab Center, which began to feel like home. He worked so hard during his time in rehab and while it was exhausting for him both mentally and physically, his hard work and determination slowly started to make a difference. Fortunately, amidst all the horror, we did have a few happy moments in that room. 1) My parents celebrated their 25th anniversary with a bakery cake & champange in plastic glasses 2) I spent my 24th bday sneaking a bagel into the hospital so my dad could eat something he actually liked and 3) when we finally checked out and took my dad home in March.
While leaving the hospital was the best part, returning again in September after a summer of progress, when we found out my Dad needed another major brain surgery was unbearable. We watched my Dad go through so much and here we were back again. Post second surgery, he was so much worse and it seemed like we would never get the old Richard back. The following months were extremely difficult, we had all gone through a lot and things weren't easy. Yes, he was back home, but the problems were still there and we were all just trying to adjust (and we still are adjusting) to our 'new normal.' No, it's not ideal, but we are so grateful that my Dad is still here and has the opportunity to continue to get better. We take it day by day. Some days are good, some days are bad, but we've all grown and learned a lot this last year and a half and I strongly believe that everything that's happened reminds us to live each day to the fullest and to never ever take anything for granted.
All of that being said, The Brain Aneurysm Foundation is extremely near and dear to our family’s hearts. We consider ourselves lucky for the help, resources and guidance we were fortunate to have received during this difficult journey. The critical awareness, support and reserach that this foundation provides is imperative to reducing the incidence of brain aneurysm ruptures.
I thank you for taking the time to read about our story and now, I'll tell you alittle more about what your donation goes towards.
•Funding and supporting new research.
•Providing support and educational materials to the medical community, the newly diagnosed, survivors, family members, friends and the general public regarding the facts, treatment options, and recovery process for brain aneurysms.
•Increasing awareness of brain aneurysms by promoting National Brain Aneurysm Awareness Month in September and by distributing aneurysm awareness materials to Emergency Departments in every hospital and to the community.
Thank you SO MUCH for your thoughtfulness. Your generosity and support is appreciated immensely.
With love and gratitude,
My Personal Web Log
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