05 September 2007 by Published in: General News 10 comments

My father had his stroke eight weeks ago yesterday. As I’ve said here before, when it first happened, he was almost 90% paralyzed on the right side of his body, his speech was a mess, he had a large cut in the vision in his right eye, and I fully expected that, at age 86, he would be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, and that he would have to spend the rest of his days in a nursing home. I had fully prepared myself for that probability, and was trying to find ways to make things easier for my mother. At his age, I never figured he would have sufficient recuperative power to (a) bounce back and (b) tolerate the very demanding rehab regime that accompanies the recovery from a stroke.

Since that time, he has made incredible strides. He also celebrated his 87th birthday on August 10.

He’s gotten back about 80% of the movement lost on the right side. He can walk very well with a walker, and a little bit without it. He’s gotten the use of his hand back, and even has enough fine motor skills back to eat with his right hand and to write a little bit. He can get in and out of bed without help. He can get in and out of chairs without help. As the blood from the hemorrhage continues to re-absorb, the doctors think he may see some more improvement, which would really be remarkable. The cut in his vision is still there, but it’s smaller, and they’re teaching him how to compensate for it. His speech, which was really a mess, is significantly impoved, and we all remain hopeful that it will continue to improve. I talked to him on the phone on Friday, and was pleasantly surprised at the progress. There are still a lot of things that can’t be understood, but the percentage of unintelligible versus intelligible has shifted to the point where I can now understand more than not (unless he’s really tired, at which time it’s pretty much impossible to understand anything he says).

I’m very pleased to say that he’s proven me quite wrong about the wheelchair, and now he’s also proven me quite wrong about the nursing home, too.

After a home assessment was done yesterday, he’s coming home next Tuesday. He’s being discharged from the nursing home to return home. I never thought that there would be any chance of that happening, but he’s made a remarkable recovery. He’s been very determined to work as hard as he could in order to come home, and it’s now paying dividends. At 87, he’s a tough old bird, and he apparently decided that it wasn’t time for him to quit just yet. I’m proud of him.

Thank you to everyone who expressed concern for his well-being and who kept us in your prayers. It is much appreciated, and it apparently paid off.

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  1. Wed 05th Sep 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Great news!

  2. Mike Peters
    Wed 05th Sep 2007 at 2:23 pm


    That is such WONDERFUL news! My best to Mom & Dad Wittenberg!


  3. Wed 05th Sep 2007 at 2:27 pm


    It is indeed great news, and I’m still sort of in a state of shock over it. This, however, is the good kind of shock….


  4. Rick Allen
    Wed 05th Sep 2007 at 6:19 pm

    Awesome news Eric!! Ya just never know do ya?

    Damn glad to hear it……….and he is going to be one happy guy to get back home………no doubt about it!


  5. Don
    Wed 05th Sep 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Congratulations, Eric, that’s fantastic news!

  6. Mike Nugent
    Thu 06th Sep 2007 at 1:54 am

    Great to hear that your father is doing so well.

  7. Lanny Thomas Tanton
    Thu 06th Sep 2007 at 4:31 am

    Dear Eric,

    Thank you for the update on your Father. I am tickled to hear the good news. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. Someone once told William Temple, Bishop of York and a first class philosopher as well as a theologian, that answers to prayer were probably nothing more than a mere coincidence. Temple replied, “That may be true, but I notice that the coincidence occurs with greater frequency when I pray.”

    Now that God is answering our prayers, it is important for us to say to him two important words, “Thank you.” Unworthy before, we must not be ungrateful after.

    Again, thank you for the update on your Father’s condition. I am happy for you.

    Best wishes always,

  8. Thu 06th Sep 2007 at 10:41 am

    I concur absolutely. Wonderful news Eric. The prayer chain was stonger than the illness. Best to your father on his most welcome return home.

    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

  9. Brooks Simpson
    Thu 06th Sep 2007 at 7:03 pm

    Tremendous news!

    Now you can start worrying about hockey season and the new Flyers uniform … which is about as bad as the Islanders’ new jersey.

  10. Sean Dail
    Fri 07th Sep 2007 at 1:23 pm

    Wonderful news, Eric! My mother-in-law is also in her late 80s, and I’m constantly amazed at what a little determination can accomplish in folks of that age. I’m so glad he’s going to be able to go home!

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