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brain stem stroke
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brain stem stroke

My mother's husband was admitted into the hospital one week ago. It was thought that he had a stroke but because he had developed pneumonia they could not test him for a stroke. He was able to walk, talk, and move when he arrived at the hospital and he complained about numbness in his arms. He had trouble breathing that night but the nurse said he just had the hiccups. The next morning the doctor said he pneumonia and they placed a breathing tube in him and put him to sleep. When the pnemonia (pneumonia) cleared the doctor did the necessary tests and discovered that her husband had had nine strokes. The doctor told her yesterday that he would need a trach and he had no hope of ever gaining mobility in his body. He is able to blink his eyes but that's all. The doctor told my mom that she could either have the trach put in or allow them to take out the breathing tube which may cause him to choke on his mucus and die. My question is, is there any hope? From what I read he has had a brain stem stroke but we are hoping something can be done so that possibly he gain back the ability to speak and breathe.
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Avatar_dr_m_tn
Hi,
It is really sad to hear about the condition of your mother’s husband. First of all I would suggest that your mother must allow the placement of endotracheal tube. It will facilitate the suction of mucus through the tube and prevent choking by aspiration of saliva. It also maintains a patent airway. A brainstem stroke is one of the most dangerous ones.The brain stem controls all of our involuntary functions, such as breathing, blood pressure and heart beat. It also controls functions such as eye movements, hearing, speech and swallowing. Patients with a brainstem stroke may also develop paralysis in one or both sides of the body. Stroke treatment or recovery may be difficult. The fact that he has had nine strokes make it more difficult a chance of recovering soon and completely. But one must always hope for the best. Please start physiotherapy along with treatment as soon as he is able to cope up with it.Miracles do occur and the ultimate factor that helps in the recovery is the patient’s will power. If he has a strong will power he will definitely pull through well and recover soon. Please discuss the treatment and physical therapy plan with the neurologist. Good nutrition,  physiotherapy, psychotherapy and emotional support will definitely help him recover soon. I wish the best for him. Hope this helps you. Take care and regards!
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