I would like to take a moment to share with you all a blog written by a woman – a wife, a mother – here in my hometown, who is presently bearing the weight of caring for her family, and praying for the recovery of her husband, an active father and inspirational marathon runner, who suffered a catastrophic brain bleed a week ago – he was not expected to survive. This man, Chris Cashen, however, defied the odds, and is now fighting for his life towards recovery – improving bit by bit. His wife, Gwen, writes openly, and honestly, of her thoughts, her fears, her emotions as she fights for his life alongside him… both she and her husband are an inspiration. Please stop by and visit her blog, and send a prayer out for Chris, Gwen and their children for a full recovery for Chris and a return to the lives they knew before this tragic incident occured.
Excerpts from an article in our local newspaper on this story:
Chris Cashen was thought to be dying a little over a week ago following a massive hemorrhage in his brain. But his zest for life and with his loving family at his side, the ultra passionate man is pulling himself through a remarkable recovery.
“He was addicted to running, now he’s addicted to life,” his wife Gwen Mowbray-Cashen told the Truro Daily News yesterday.
On Aug. 30 Chris completed the Cobequid Trail 10-km race, finishing 16th out of the 113 runners. Gwen and children Tara and Quinn went and cheered him, and the other racers, on.
After the race Chris went home while the rest of the family went to visit Gwen’s parents.
“He was going to take a shower. He stripped down to one sock,” she said.
Three-and-a-half hours later, Chris was found on the bathroom floor by Gwen’s aunt and uncle, who were visiting the family.
Gwen received a call and remembers thinking, “it’s bad,” maybe a head injury of some type.
But she tried to stay positive and think of the best case scenario. The doctor ordered a CT scan as Gwen and her two children waited in the family room.
The doctor then asked to speak with Gwen privately.
“She takes me in the room and tells me there’s no hope,” Gwen said, the pain evident on her face. “I just can’t believe my ears. It’s like a dream.”
The hemorrhage started after an episode of hypertension Chris endured during the race. Moments later the doctor mentioned Chris had signed an organ donor card and the immediacy of what was occurring came crashing in.
The family had the worst night of their lives, trying to come to grips with what had transpired during the past 24 hours. Overnight Chris was taken to a Halifax hospital where it was expected he would be declared brain dead and his organs harvested.
“A few hours later I get the phone call I was dreading.”
But a miracle had occurred.
Chris still had brain activity, his condition had not worsened as specialists in both Truro and Halifax had expected.
“This stunned them. They did another CT scan and it was slightly improved,” Gwen said. “That was the beginning of the race.”
She was told there was a reasonable chance of recovery if the blood clot was removed. Since surgery, he has exhibited many encouraging signs of recovery, including giving the family a thumb’s up during their visit to see him in the intensive care unit.
Gwen said she was told Chris had “catastrophic bleeding” in his brain. She was told by the head of the neurosurgery division at the Halifax hospital that since his residency he has witnessed more than 700 cases like Chris’s that have a massive bleed out and he is one of two that has survived.”
My heart goes out to this family, and many wishes and prayers for a full and healthful recovery.
Just as despair can come to one only from other human beings, hope, too, can be given to one only by other human beings.
– Elie Weisel
Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.
– Dr. Dale Turner
He who has hope has everything.
– Arabian Proverb