D'Alonzo GE. From Death's Door to Disney World—Traumatic Brain Injury When You're NOT Rich and Famous: An Advocate's Story. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2011;111(6):411–412. doi: 10.7556/jaoa.2011.111.6.411.
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During a presurgery appointment with a cardiologist, I heard Coumadin mentioned for the first time.... I knew what Coumadin was because in our hardware store we sell rat poison which contains Coumadin. The rats eat it and bleed to death. I asked the cardiologist if it was safe for Kathy to take Coumadin while she was taking Temedar, her chemo drug.... I realize now the most important question was never asked: Should someone whose brain had been exposed to radiation therapy, and whose brain tissue may have been compromised, take Coumadin?
This stroke, compounded by the damage from the first one, was more devastating. Kathy had to be put on a respirator. She could not speak or move. She couldn't swallow. Kathy's condition was grave. She was in and out of partial consciousness.... She was hooked up to a respirator, with a feeding tube in her stomach.... I knew she was aware of my presence. I held her hand and asked her to squeeze mine. After a few moments, not immediately, I could feel a slight squeeze.... I knew that if she survived the initial trauma of this episode, she would come back to me.
It was Kathy's wish and my dream, so on Feb. 16, 2008, our family... and I took Kathy to Disney World for eight amazing days. Despite the negative early prognosis and the insurance companie's [sic] denials. Despite the so-called friends who were convinced I was a bad guy because I wouldn't let my wife die. We were like any complete family on a Disney World vacation.
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