Scott Hawkins was only 37 years old when his whole world turned into a never ending nightmare.
Scott suffered a severe massive stroke during the time his wife Danielle was at a class in a neighbor county.
Her husband was home with their kids when Danielle received a haunting phone call which she will never forget.
It was a normal April day when Danielle was attending a class in a bordering county and Scott was staying home with their children at their Durand residence in Michigan.
”He called me and he was slurring his words,” Danielle recalled.
”He said he had an intense headache and that something was wrong.”
Danielle and Scott both called 911 and the medical staff quickly arrived to rush Scott to the hospital.
”When emergency medical crews loaded Scott into the ambulance, his blood pressure spiked, causing fluid in the lungs,” Danielle said.
”It was just very, very bad,” Danielle added before taking a long pause, admitting, “Sometimes it’s hard to talk about it.”
The emergency medicals had to intubate Scott in the ambulance ride.
When the couple went at the hospital, the doctors asked Danielle to call the rest of the family members.
Danielle was even told that her husband would most likely not make it through that never ending night.
“His oxygen levels were in the 60s and 70s. They told me they should be above 90s”, Danielle said
Scott had suffered a burst arteriovenous malformation aneurysm close to his brain stem.
The aneurysm, which had been with him since birth, had been what caused him a stroke.
When the surgeons wanted to stop the bleeding in his brain, Scott tragically suffered a heart attack during the process, according to Health Beat.
“They lost him for a few minutes,” Danielle said. “He had loss of oxygen because of that, too.”
A week after the procedure, Scott was just unable to respond or follow any kind of direction.
Doctors told her that at this stage, he was most likely never going to wake up again.
Danielle was told that her husband would probably never regain consciousness or function normally ever again in his life, let alone ever be able to kiss her or express his love to her.
“They told me to let him go,” Danielle said.
But she refused to believe this devastating and life-destroying prognosis.
And Danielle knew something even the doctors didn’t realize — the strength of Scott’s spirit.
Instead of pulling the plug and taking farewell, Danielle leaned over to kiss her dying husband once again.
As she put her lips close his lifeless body, she felt something that she nor anyone else expected : Scott kissed her back.
Maybe Danielle was simply imagining it because that, what she wanted, even she admits. But that little sign was enough for her to believe in, enough to keep life support plugged in, and enough to forever change her and her husband’s lives.
With newly found hope and faith, Danielle fought to keep Scott on life support, determined to prove to everyone that he would recover and return back to normal.
Her belief and fIth in Scott and his love for life was slowly returned in life function.
After five weeks of in pulmonary rehabilitation, Scott was no longer in need of a ventilator.
“That’s where I started proving to everyone (that he could recover),” Danielle said.
“He’s a musician, so I would bring in thumb guitars. He would flick the notes. Doctors said it was just a reflex. I told him to change the notes and he did.”
Danielle was aware of the fact that if Scott tried to speak to her, he wouldn’t even be able to do so because of his tracheotomy, an incision in the windpipe made to relieve an obstruction to breathing.
But with hope and faith, Danielle covered the surgically created airway in Scott’s neck — and he began talking to her.
“I covered his trach and he started talking to me,” she said.
“The first words were, ‘I love you,’ the second, ‘get me pain medication.’ Then, when the doctors asked him, ‘what are you playing?’ he said, ‘an instrument.’ The doctors started to believe in us.”
With this unignorable proof of his will to fight, doctors finally started to believe in Scott like his wife did all along.
Soon he was transferred to Spectrum Health’s Rehab and Nursing Center. Scott arrived there in an ambulance and spent six days a week in rehab for the next 16 weeks of his journey.
Different doctors and therapists often used music therapy and instruments, often in co-treatment with speech, occupational and physical therapies, in order to help Scott regain strength and coordination.
Fortunately, 16 weeks later, Scott was going home — and he was going to do it on his own two feet.
“He went in on a stretcher only moving his right hand, and he left walking with a walker with one hand in the air saying, ‘Rock on,’” a grateful Danielle said.
Danielle thanks the staff at Spectrum for Scott’s quite fast recovery.
“They started talking to Scott like he was there,” Danielle said, remembering how the rehab staff fueled the hope she had all along.
Also, Danielle never left her husband’s side. She offered support, encouragement and love when needed.
Danielle undoubtedly and wholeheartedly believed he would recover. Even when they told her to call the family that first night, she just never felt like it could be true. She never believed Scott would die.
Scott still have to recover for a very long time, but he’s making progress, step by step.
“He’s playing guitar again. He plays the drums. It used to be he couldn’t swallow. He had a feeding tube for nine months, but now he can eat anything he wants,” Danielle said.
I think that the biggest miracles happen of course with the help of medicine but also when we believe that they can happen and give care with that in mind!
The best thing you can ever give someone is a chance.
The rehabilitation staff did that, seeing Scott as the man, husband, and father he actually was, instead of just another patient chart to be dealt with immediately.