The amount of time that had elapsed between the stroke occurring, then getting airlifted to Melbourne and receiving medical assistance meant that the news was not good.
Through extensive testing it revealed that the stroke was caused by carotid webbing that affects normal blood flow to the brain, accompanied by an irregular and periodic heartbeat. Something that he never knew was a ticking time bomb. Steve’s brain was very swollen, which is expected following a clot that was left unattended to for so long. The stroke was large and located on the right side of his brain, meaning the areas around the stroke are needing to take on what the lost brain tissue used to do… success of this is unpredictable.
Once stabilized and transferred to Wangaratta Hospital, he needed supported overhead tracking and four people to help him transfer from a hospital bed to a wheelchair. To watch such a capable man unable to look after himself on any level, including having to be fed has been heartbreaking to say the least. He was disoriented, unsure of what was happening and with paralysis down his left side it has left his family extremely worried and unsure of what his future holds. He still has no movement down the left side of his body, and a strong deficit which means his brain has forgotten to be aware of the left side of his world entirely. Steve’s working memory and cognitive function have been affected, with his orientation to time and place fluctuating, often thinking he is on the slopes, surfing or somewhere he’d much rather be.
Now months later, the reality of Steve’s condition has set in. The rehab team have confirmed that Steve will need 24/7 care for the rest of his life. Whilst we hold hope for recovery, we are planning for the harsh reality that Steve will need much more support than we could ever have imagined. Further from the extensive medical costs that will follow him through his life, he will need modified living arrangements, disability vehicles, ongoing occupational therapy and many more things that our beloved Steve most definitely never budgeted for. Steve currently requires physical assistance or supervision for all daily living activities and will require a lot of support through the rest of his healing journey.
Whilst the government, through The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) are covering basics, they can’t help him regain any semblance of the life he once lead. Steve has always been self-motivated, hence his incredible feats as an athlete. We can be confident knowing that he will push himself to his absolute limit and beyond. His drive for life and health have not been altered, but now we’re appealing to you to join in and help Steve get back some of the life he built for himself and one he would still be proud of leading, for this he really needs our help.
For more information & regular weekly updates, please refer to the Facebook page Steve Lee's Support Tribe - https://www.facebook.com/Steve-Lees-Support-Tribe-104025528126738
& @skiingwithstevelee on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/skiingwithstevelee/
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