[Editor’s Note: On May 8, Crux’s managing editor Charles Collins suffered a devastating stroke and was rushed to the hospital in the UK, where he, his wife Claire and their two boys live. He’s been fighting for his life through a series of surgeries and other crises, but now he’s staging a slow but steady recovery.

The following is the first update Charley has been able to write himself since his stroke. As a reminder, Crux is running a GoFundMe campaign to help Charley and his family, and we encourage anyone who can to help … it’s appreciated beyond words.]

From Charles Collins

I am alive. I have been told this makes me very lucky (I have no memory of my stroke and subsequent major surgeries). In addition, I have my mind and personality – again, I am told I am lucky, and my current residence in a stroke ward has let me know how lucky that is.

This doesn’t mean I am fully better. I can’t remember names and certain words, and this is frustrating, although I am told my understanding of this is positive. This also means I am considered a low priority by the hospital when it comes to brain damage, since, compared to others, it is not that serious and is slowly improving (I remembered the word “hospital” for the first time while writing this note – little victories!)

I am still hospitalized for other reasons. I have an injury in my lower back caused by lying down during my two comas, which takes a long time to slowly get better. It also limits my physical improvement.

It seems comas also limit your movement, and I need to learn to walk again. I am currently taking a few shaky steps while holding the hands of staff, and I have some tummy infections they are trying to cure. This all takes time – the hospital is short-staffed, so it takes more time than I would want, truth be told.

I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the fundraiser for my family. My wife Claire has had to function as a single mother of two young boys while also taking care of the various tasks around taxes, my next (and final) visa for England, and speaking to medical staff, who are more open to her than to me.

She also has to prepare for my eventual return, which involves building a new bathroom and adding other bits to make it easier for me to move around. My boys are scared about my crisis, and handling it as best they can, but this also adds to the burdens on my wife … all of which makes me want to go home, but I can’t, and frankly right now would just add to the burden.

I also want to thank everyone for their prayers and financial support. I have a long road ahead. Even writing this note disguises the seriousness of my crisis, since I can avoid the words I don’t remember. My wife and children are the ones bearing the full brunt of the emergency. Your funds have helped, as have your prayers. Please keep them up!