Like we said before, we meet with all sorts of stories. The one we bring you today is one of the more unusual ones.
We have known 27-year-old Deni Milićević for some time, so when we posted a LinkedIn status looking for stroke survivors, we were shocked when he answered our call.
The story begins when one day Deni, while at the gym, receives a call from his family telling him his grandpa wasn’t well. He rushed home only to find that he had a stroke while bathing.
His grandpa was well aware of what was happening and was able to tell them that the right side of his body was numb. Even though his family wanted to call an ambulance, he refused to go.
The next day, the family continued persuading him and rushed him to the hospital.
The diagnosis came, it was a severe stroke. Everyone was shocked because days prior to that his grandpa was fine, going to work even though he was 80 years old.
While he was at the hospital, unfortunately, the pandemic started. Deni says that this was a dealbreaker for their situation because everyone was in a panic over the situation.
He couldn’t visit his grandpa in the hospital and he says the biggest issue was a lack of information on his grandpa and his progress. In the meantime, his cousin had a stroke and was in the same room as his grandpa was! What are the odds? Luckily, his cousin’s stroke wasn’t as severe and he was able to give them regular updates on their progress over the phone.
After over 20 days spent in the hospital, he was allowed to enter the hospital. He was shocked by what he saw – his grandpa was almost unrecognizable. He had two minor strokes that weren’t noticed immediately. When his grandfather came back home things became even more difficult. He got dementia that became worse over time, he couldn’t even recognize his grandson Deni – his pride and joy. Deni’s family got all the help in hopes to rehabilitate their beloved family member. They got a private nurse which came daily to help them, but the physiotherapist was unable to help due to his grandfather’s unwillingness to make progress. The bills kept growing, the medication itself cost couple hundred euros monthly.
Five months after his first stroke, his grandfather unfortunately died.
Three months after and still in the mourning over his grandfather, he found his mom throwing up early in the morning. That was unusual to him since she is the type that barely gets sick, but he dismissed him thinking it must be some kind of virus. He went to work, unsettled so he texted his sister to check with her on their mom’s wellbeing. She said their mom is still feeling unwell and that she couldn’t explain her state. He urgently went home and when they saw paresis on their mom’s face it all became one big deja vu. She was only 53 years old and to make things worse, she was his grandfather’s daughter! They called the ambulance and they rushed her to the hospital. Deni stood in front of the hospital for two hours, unable to enter due to the pandemic. He had no information on what was happening to his mom. Luckily he saw his neighbor that worked there and asked her to check on her. She came back and told him that she had a rare stroke that they haven’t seen in 33 years and that she’s staying in the hospital for some time. When the doctors came, they said it was a severe stroke that happened overnight, which manifested during the day. If she hadn’t thrown up that morning, she probably wouldn’t survive. Deni was asking himself how can all that happen to his family, especially in such a short time span.
He dedicated all his time helping his mom with rehabilitation, taking her to private clinics and physical therapy regularly and even tried acupuncture for which he says helped so much with the paresis. With a bit of patience and work, she started walking again. We have met his mom and you can’t even tell that she had a stroke. Such a lovely person with the positive energy that you feel in her presence.
There is no easy way to tell a story about stroke but is of utmost importance to raise awareness. Usually, stroke comes unannounced and unpredicted. You try to find the reason for it, was the lifestyle or genetic predisposition. Of course, the doctors will explain and give their best to help but it is up to you to focus on the change. The worst thing in the process of rehabilitation is to blame yourself for the things that you have no more control over, whether you are a caretaker or a stroke survivor.
Mental health and persistence are key factors in the process of rehabilitation. Stroke patients and their families simply call it: love.
If you had a stroke case in your family, we advise you to have a healthy lifestyle and check up on your health regularly. Remember, a stroke can happen to anyone, regardless of their age.