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Basal Ganglia Stroke - Dad critical
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Basal Ganglia Stroke - Dad critical

Thank you for taking my questions- appreciate any insights in light of critical condition. Dad suffered a stroke on monday this week now 4 full days pass. He was taken to a bush league hospital in Greece given that he has a summer home in the country and after 2 days moved to a modern facility.  He had a stroke deep in the basal ganglia region and doctors told him inoperable there and best they could do was to drill a hole in his head and take out whatever fluid/blood they could take out. They did and he survived this so far. Neurologist here said he was literally brain dead! Harsh words for anyone to hear. He remains in very critical condition and has diabetis and high BP.  Today is day 4 and he is stable and we continue not to loose hope. Today we got a good sign. The doctor asked my mother to get my father to squeeze his hand and determine whether he could perhaps understand on command.  Well he did squeeze her hand, moved his left arm, tried to open his eye lids, and moved his left left, and opened his mouth trying to say something or trying to make some movement. My mother asked again, "honey squeeze my hand, he did ...."

He's not brain dead and certainly not anything close to that!! He is in serious but stable condition, temperature is controlled and blood pressure is maintained but still high 170/80 range.  He was supposed to be dead by now as of day 1 having gone to a total bush league hospital albeit they did treat him with the necessary medicine...No other strokes as of day one and stable but critical. Doctors feel "if" he survives this the right side of his body would likely be paralized.  Can anyone kindly comment and what can we expect both good and bad going forward and what is the significance of what happened today?  Thank you very much, Abe
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Hi Abe,

I'm sorry to hear what has happened to your father, and I appreciate that this is a difficult time for you and your family.

Stroke is a very broad and varied condition as it affects patients in so many different ways and this also depends on the part of the brain that is affected.

The fact that he is able to squeeze your hand and lift his left arm is a good sign, this shows that some functions that were lost during the stroke, are starting to regain. Although there is no saying how much of this function will be regained, and it can be a very long process where you can continue to see further improvements months or even years after the onset of the stroke. Recovery in regaining physical abilities is better when you encourage the person who has suffered the stroke to try and use their limbs as often as possible as early as possible, so keep getting him to squeeze your hand and lift his arm and see what other things he might be able to do, keep talking to him and see if you can get any response from him, but obviously do not over exert him as he will get very tired very quickly, and also being unable to communicate back to you will be very frustrationg for him.

Although he is showing signs of regaining some function in his left side, this is no guarantee that your father is going to get better. Your father is now vulnerable, and their may be other factors that could make him ill, such as getting a chest infection due to long periods laid in bed and not using his lungs full capacity as he is not mobilising, he may also become ill if he is unable to eat adequate amounts. To help prevent chest infections and getting pressure sores, he needs to be turned regularly in bed, try to keep an eye out and see if this is being done, as it is very imortant to his health.

You shpuld remain hopeful and positive and do as much as you can to give him the best chances. As i say, the movement in his left side is a good sign.

I wish good health to your father, and I hope my information has been helpful.

Denise
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