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My Dad's Story - Truzzi

Theresa Petruzzi Street

Hi all - I'm new to this site & hope I am following the rules on posting...I'm looking for some reassurance that my hopes for a positive outcome is not naive.

My Dad (71 yrs old) suffered his SAH 07/22/14...this changed both his & my mom's life in the blink of an eye....he was, fortunately, only 1 mile from the hospital. The neurosurgeon was able to coil the ruptured aneurysm and remove the blood clot....we were told his bleed was extremely severe and it would be wait & see throughout the night...Dad was in the hospital for 3 weeks before being released to a sub-acute skilled nursing facility for rehab...I should mention one week prior to his release he had a ventriculoperitoneal shunt operation.

He was making progress slowly...he could speak and was able to read. He was quite confused and babbled off an on...but, we were happy he recognized us all and could communicate somewhat...still after 3 weeks, they were not able to get him to stand up but, continued to work with him...suddenly he seemed to just go backwards....he would not talk, was sleeping constantly and finally to the point where no one could wake him up.

He was transported back to the hospital where he was operated on and they adjusted the shunt valve....they discovered the shunt was not functioning properly and he had shunt revision surgery this past 09/30/14. The valve was replaced and the catheter into the valve was also replaced as it was not draining properly. Tuesday 09/30 we thought, this is it - the next chapter - and even though it feels like we are back to square one, we are moving forward...He remained in the hospital a week as he spiked a 104 fever, and once again the nurses, doctors, could not wake him up....they sent him for CT scans, X-rays, EEG, blood work, etc...No infections (other than a UTI which he was being treated for)...they were stumped...he was released on 10/06/14 to the sub-acute skilled nursing facility b/c there was basically nothing more the hospital could do...the shunt was functioning properly....

My mom is beside herself....he is barely eating...but, well eat if someone feeds him..not a lot, but some...he won't open his eyes at all....he will answer questions off and on....but just keeps his eyes closed and all he wants to do is sleep. I keep telling myself it's one day past the shunt revision and his body/brain has been through so much...maybe it's just going to take a very, very long time for him to get on the road...the other side of me thinks, how can he get on that road if he won't open his eyes? How can he participate in physical therapy? occupational therapy?

I pray and pray for a sign that he's progressing but can't help thinking we've gone backwards....it's so sad & disheartening as we are just shy of 3 months into this...I have patience but, not sure how to keep positive anymore...the doctors have no answers as to what is happening...

Just wondering if anyone out there has had this similar experience..any bit of hope I can latch on to would be a God send.

Thank you all - hugs.....Truzzi

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Hi Truzzi,

Welcome to BTG!  It's hard isn't it watching one you love so much getting such a rough ride.  I slept for England after my coiling.  It was nearly two years later that they found they had damaged my pituitary gland in coiling me.  This meant it stopped producing growth hormone in me.  I'm not saying it is that in your Dad, it could be a myriad of things.  But there is hope!


This affects stamina, concentration levels and sleep patterns.  It is a hormone necessary in children for growth (hence the name), but it is just as vital in adults.


Don't forget however that your Dad is not a young man and his brain has gone through such a rough ride and it can take a long time to recover, which it will do in its own time.


If you look at the story of Michael Schumacher ,the German F1 racing driver, you will see that he is now on the road to recovery, albeit very slowly after a skiing accident where he bumped his head very badly.  He was in a coma for months.  He won't race cars again, but yesterday's papers here reported he may well lead a normal life again and he is back home with this family.  You can look him up on any reliable search engine on the net.


Many of us had to step backwards before we went forwards - so yes, there is hope.  It is a difficult road ahead, and one that can demand immense patience from those around him.  The trouble is that the brain is such a complicated thing and its traumas are many and varied.  Keep talking to us, many are still in recovery, years after the event - we are able to function better now but it was a long haul and we acknowledge the love and belief of those around us.  Sometimes it almost feels harder to watch the suffering than to go through it!


However, the human spirit is very resilient and it is now time for you to stand up and give some of the love back to your Dad that he invested in you as you grew up.  He needs you now, so please be there for him!

Keep us posted.

Good luck,


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Sorry to hear about your dad . Macca gives good advice, the brain is resilient but when it is healing itself and dealing with the trauma then I think it goes into energy saving mode by pretty much shutting down everything else. I can only tell you the effects of the hydrocephalus for me felt like having my brain squeezed in a vice and it made everything hurt and the operation to place the VP is itself major brain surgery on top of the effects of a bleed which makes a complicated recovery even more complex so your dad is doing very well to have come through all his trauma.

If the shunt wasn't working for a while then it's possible his brain is trying to adjust to the impact of that pressure build up being relieved and sleeping is a good escape . There are people on here with similar stories. Keep talking to him, keep hope and tell mum she needs to look after herself so she has energy as this is not a sprint of a recovery but more a marathon. Take care Truzz.

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Hi Truzz,


I had what Dad had(bleed/shunt) and I got UTI from catheter it was so painful.


Ask Docs to check catheter as we are not medical but we have been through what Dad has. 

I got high temp. and was in cuckoo land and once catheter was removed I got better every day.   I wish Dad all the Best

Good  luck


WinB143  sing to him and show him photos xx

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Thanks y'all....I will surely stay in touch....mom said he was awake for 20 minutes today...that is huge considering this whole past week he wouldn't open his eyes at all....


Yes, Winb143....I did play a song to him last week that made me sob uncontrollably while I was there....It's Holly Dunn - Daddy's Hands..I thought for sure this would have made him open his eyes...he didn't but he did hold my hand...I know he knew I was playing it for him...


Oh Daffodil...you poor thing....


Macca - thank you - your words are encouraging....


You all are so courageous...God Bless....and thank you...xoxox

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