top of page
OUR 2023 RECIPIENT
On February 28, 2023, Susan woke up with tingling in her left arm. She thought her arm was just asleep and would get better, so she went to work as usual. Susan works in the cafeteria at Chamberlain Middle School here in Fairview. Once she got to work, her arm became cold and lost color. Her co-workers finally convinced her to go to the emergency room. It was
determined that she had a blockage in the middle of her arm and was transported by
helicopter to Integris Baptist Medical Center in OKC where a vascular surgeon was on
stand-by. After about an hour, the surgeon came out and advised that the surgery went great.
They were able to dissolve the clot and expected that she should be awake and recovering within 30 minutes. An hour went by and she wasn’t waking up like she should, so a CT scan was administered where doctors found a blood clot at the base of her brain which caused her to have a stroke. A rapid response team was called in to do a second surgery. Prior to this second surgery, Susan couldn’t move her right side. The surgery was a success and she regained movement on her right side but it was very weak. Susan spent 6 days in ICU. She had trouble doing everyday tasks and was dependent upon the nurses to do most everything for her. After she was discharged from ICU she spent a couple of days in a regular room before being admitted to Jim Thorpe rehab hospital.
Susan's daughter, Christi, shares details of the events after surgery:
While in rehab she had 3 hours of therapy every day. She would receive 1 hour each of speech, physical, and occupational therapy. It was amazing to see how she progressed. She went from using parallel bars and a therapist’s help to walk, to using the rail in the hallway along with a therapist, to using a walker with a therapist nearby. She went from not even being able to sit on the side of the bed to sitting in a chair or wheelchair. After the stroke, it was hard to understand what she was saying because her speech was so slurred. Now she is pretty easy to understand. She couldn’t even stand to brush her teeth or her hair. She couldn’t get dressed by herself. Now she is able to do those things with some assistance.
Per her request, Susan was able to be transferred to Fairview Medical Center to continue her therapy. She told us how excited she was as she was coming into town because she was coming home. We are hopeful that she will be able to go to her “real” home in the very near future.
This medical trauma has been one of the most difficult things Susan has had to face. Anyone
who knows Susan knows that she is a very social person. She is stubborn, determined, and
a hard worker. These traits have done her well in this journey. She has amazed everyone from the beginning. The neurologist even said that where the blood clot was in her brain, most people don’t come out as well as she did. The doctors and therapists have mentioned her hard work and determination several times. She has wanted to do as much on her own as she can. She will only ask for help after she has tried and worn herself out from trying. One thing that has been hard is slowing down. If you know Susan, you know that she is a go-getter and doesn’t like to sit still. This trauma has made her slow down. She has to be intentional in her thinking and moving because it takes work to get her body to do what she wants it to do. She has been consistent through this whole ordeal that God is in control. Maybe God is telling her that it is time for her to slow down. Of course, who knows if she will listen? Susan’s goal is to walk into church on Palm Sunday or Easter even if it means using a
walker. She wants to get back to the school because she misses her kids. She loves this community and is ready to get back into it. Susan appreciates all of the prayers, cards, texts, phone calls, and visits. She is honored to be the recipient for this year’s FISH week.
bottom of page