[Editor’s Note: Crux’s Managing Editor Charles Collins suffered a devastating stroke on May 8, and spent nearly five months in the hospital in the UK where he lives along with his wife Claire and his two boys. We’ve been running a GoFundMe campaign to help Charley and his family through this crisis, and we’re deeply grateful for the support of Crux readers.
Below is Charley’s latest update on his condition – as you will see, there’s great news to report. Significant challenges, however, remain. Thanks for your prayers, your good wishes, and your contributions to Charley’s recovery.]
I am home!
After being in four different hospitals since early May, I was sent to my house from the Leicester General on Wednesday, Oct. 4.
I am still receiving different medical aid, although that is (quickly) dropping. The regional nurse says my back sore has dropped to a level 1, and I don’t need to see her. The four-visits-a-day physical aid group are discovering I am doing better than expected and will probably drop to one or two a day very soon, and I am walking on my own.
There are a still many things I need to do. This includes finding out what my medication is supposed to be, since I have had many doctors, and some of them have prescribed different things. I need to strengthen myself, and become better at walking and using my currently very weak arms and wobbly legs. (Did I fall down climbing stairs on Thursday because I forgot how weak I am? Why yes, yes I did!). I also need to get used to being out of bed.
Most importantly, I need to find out more about what I can and can’t do as time goes on, especially given my heart surgery.
That being said, I am so happy to be with my family. I haven’t seen my boys in ages and have missed my wife with a passion. She has been a rock through this crisis, and I hope to be able to improve myself to ease her burden.
I am slowly getting ready to return to work. I figured out how to get on my Crux mailing list, although the thousands of unopened letters made me turn it off: Some things you don’t want to think about on your first day back home.
I am supposed to receive some mental physio for my stroke improvement, although the person handling it at the hospital said I was “doing very well” and offered to put an end to treatment. I told her I still wanted it, since I don’t feel as capable as I want to be.
All this being said, this is a “significant development,” even if there is a long way to go.
That also means that this is my last update on my stroke and hospital stay (“So you are going to stop beating that poor dead horse?” Why, yes. Yes, I am.)
Again, I would like to thank everyone who has helped my family in this time of crisis. Although I have been luckily under the care of England’s NHS, my family has still suffered a financial strain due to my stroke, and the aid of Crux readers has helped ease this problem. Even more importantly, your prayers have done wonders. English doctors – not the most religious bunch – have spoken about my miraculous recovery (i.e., “not dead.”)
I would like to thank John and the team at Crux for their incredible support. Friends stretching back to high school have also been supporting my family and me, something that has deeply humbled me. And even strangers – many of them Crux readers – have offered prayers and even financial support, which I can never repay.
Finally, I would like to say that life is sacred. It has been a tough year, but I am alive. After I was taken to the hospital, I grabbed my wife’s hand: I have no memory of this, but I am glad I got the chance. I went through some dark periods, but I survived. Despite the hard work – and it continues – it’s better to be alive than dead.
I realize my time will come, as it does for all of us, and that the afterlife is more important than the life here, but it doesn’t change the truth: Life has meaning, and we shouldn’t let go of it.
Praise be to God!