Thelmas Story

A Story about her Husband

On New Years Eve 1985/86, while on holiday in Minden Ont., my husband got a headache and felt sick to his stomach. When three days had passed and he slept more than he was awake we decided to go back home and see our doctor. After weeks of testing he was sent to see a Neurologist who put him straight away into hospital and did some more testing where they found he had an AVM (arterial veinous malformation. He was told he had suffered a stoke and if not treated he could suffer another and have only a 6% chance of recovery. His choice was either take the chance or surgery with a 50/50 chance of having severe, permanent brain damage.

He took the surgery and came through with the knowledge he would never work again, which meant not being able to make a living, be independent, or drive a car. My husband was 41 years old. He now suffers with tunnel vision and the inability to say want he wants to say. In his mind the words formed and were correct but when said these same words they were undecipherable. For a year he needed constant care and he hated the world and his life. He got very nasty and unfeeling, thinking everyone was out to get him. When contacting the doctor I was told that he would only be confrontational with those he loved because he knew they would never give up on him. As a result he made his family suffer as he was suffering.

People outside the family treated him differently and he felt it although he didn’t know how to fix it. It hurt him badly and he tended to keep himself from anyone new. We moved from Toronto to Kelowna BC in 1990 to try and open up his world. His sister got him bowling again and his speech improved, his mannerisms improved and those close to him were starting to breathe easy as never before. He still has eyesight problems and sometimes he says the wrong word or doesn’t get the diplomacy correctly but he is alive and a wonderful grandfather, father and husband. After all these years I still thank him for waking up all those years ago and each day since.

Share This Post


Whether its sharing your story of resolve or a simple donation,
every contribution helps. Get in touch today and start making the difference.