Stroke Community
3.21k Members
Avatar universal

Grandfather had two strokes, the doctors had given up

My 80-yo Grandfather had a hemorrhagic stroke on 12 July in the right side of his brain (probably because of his high pressure). The doctors said it was a massive bleeding, and that there was a high probability of him dying. Soon after being admitted they found out he had caught pneumonia, which was more serious that the stroke. But after a week he started to move his right hand and leg, and recovered from pneumonia. If we told him to squeeze our hand, he squeezed it very firmly, and was raising his leg very high. After two days he opened his eyes. After a couple of days he was responding to our questions with nodding and shaking his head. He had difficulty breathing, so the machines were helping him, but he was getting better every day. From breathing on his own by only 30%, he went to 80%.

But a week ago, his health started deteriorating. Usually when we came to see him, he woke up, but now he wasn't waking anymore. The doctor said he had exchanged day for night, and was therefore awake at night, but exhausted during the day. On 07/31 they said he caught pneumonia again, because they put him off the meds, to see what was causing his breathing problems. On 08/01 they moved the tube for ventilation from his mouth, to a whole in his neck, to see if he could speak - that's when they found out that the bacteria causing his problems, was in the tube. The same day, they removed the draining tube from his head, because they estimated that all the blood from the brain was gone, and said they were going to do a CT scan, to see how things were.

So on 08/02 they made the first CT scan (after 3 weeks??), and found he's had another bleeding, this time on the left side of his brain, an even bigger one. They said that this time, they could not drain the blood, because of the location of the bleeding (something about being a too narrow space to get in there). So they informed us that our Grandpa is dying, that there's nothing they could do, and that we should say our goodbyes, saying he has 1-2 days left. And that even if he did live, he would not be aware that he's alive, nor would he be able to speak, since his reason and speech areas are damaged.

Yesterday, they put him off the machines, and transferred him from the ICU to a room, where no one comes to check on him. He is on a feeding tube, morphine, and some other fluid. Today is day 3, and Grandpa is still with us. He's breathing on his own now, 100%! He's opening his eyes like he's never opened them before. When we were with him for an hour and a half yesterday, he opened his eyes at least 7 times, and kept them open for more than a minute. I can't tell for sure if he's looking us in the eyes, but it seems that way. Obviously the doctors are waiting for the blood to flood his centre for breathing, and for him to die. When we asked if they really couldn't transfer him back to the ICU, the doctor said they had a consilium and they all decided that they couldn't help him anymore.

So my question is – is this acceptable (normal?), that they put a patient in a room, and just wait for him to die, although he's breathing on his own? Couldn't they try to drain the blood in his brain somehow, like drilling a hole in his head, and let the blood come out on it's own? Or in other words, to not give up on him so soon. He has no monitors around him, so even if there was some other complication, not breathing-related, they wouldn't help him, because they wouldn't know.

And another question – what would have to happen, for the doctors to realize my Grandpa is still worth keeping alive? Moving his hand? What? Although they claim he would not be aware of himself, some people do get better, and we think our Grandpa deserves a chance.

Any response would be greatly appreciated.

ps: I'm sorry if my English is bad. I'm not a native speaker.
3 Responses
Avatar universal
Also I forgot to mention, that for a couple of days before they did a CT scan, his blood pressure was very high and spiked even up to 200. Why didn't they lower his bp, since bp is the primary reason for a blood vessel bursting? It seems to me like they weren't doing everything they could, just like they aren't now.
Avatar universal
Hi, understand what you are going through. If his doctors could carry out the surgical procedure, they would have done it; they did do it the first time it occurred. Sometimes depending on the location of the brain and the extent of bleed; surgical interventions can cause more harm than good. And there is a scoring system, based on which doctors decide on the course of action. It is difficult to comment beyond this, please discuss in detail with his treating doctors. Regards.
Avatar universal
Thank you very much for your response. But my Grandpa died the same day I wrote the post, about 8 hours after.

It's heartbreaking, since at first it seemed like he was going to be alright.

We miss him dearly.

Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
1780921 tn?1499305393
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease