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Brother in ICU following brain haemorrhage 12 days ago... preparing myself to fly out to see him

My younger brother (38yo) suffered a brain haemorrhage 10 days ago, following numbness in hands and head. He was operated on the dah after (bleed stopped, clot removed and stent inserted). He lives in Kenya and so is in ICU there until healthcare deem him stable enough to repatriate him.

It is the right hand side of his brain that had the bleed.

Attempts to completely remove sedation have been unsucceasful amd so he is on low level sedative. Breathing hasn’t been successful by himself and today he is having a tracheotomy. Another CT scan due tmw wigh the view to remove the EVD.

My dad and older brother have been there since Sat but I am flying out tonight as older brother and I are tag teamjng.

I would like some insight/ thoughts as to how relatives found this stage - particularly feel I need to support my father during this stressful time (my brother’s partner’s parents are also out there but they operate differently to my, usually, laidback dad).

Thank you

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Sorry to hear of your brother's predicament Ali. You'll all be in panic mode I'm sure ; it's fraught enough without the travelling element.

I have no memory of the first month after a Subarachnoid haemorrhage 6 years ago, but have obviously since learned of my family's shock and anxiety during that period.

Try not be be too disturbed by the various drips, tubes & paraphernalia surrounding your brother (my family were shocked on seeing me in ICU the first time). And it's not unusual for patients to need assistance with breathing at this early stage.

You can help your Dad by talking to your brother and being as tactile as his situation allows. It can help (despite lack of response) to bridge the gap created by lack of two-way communication, and can provide some closeness and hope.

My heart goes out to you. After learning what my son & daughter went through in the early days I realised I'd done the easy bit, whilst they were each in the most scary, awful place. Try to hang onto the fact that sleep/rest is what heals damaged brains best, and your brother's brain is healing minute by minute.

Right side brain injury can affect vision, but any brain injury is likely to leave deficits in memory, motor skills, concentration and more, but all to differing degrees from the next person. No one can predict the outcome but there's every chance your brother will survive and move on to have an acceptable quality of life.

Sending best wishes for encouraging signs of progress before too long. Please keep us updated.............Cat x

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Hello

I'm very sorry about your brother.

I can relate to what you are going because my close best friend was rushed to hospital with a massive brain haemorrhage after he collapsed at work 9 weeks ago tomorrow, the day after his 26th birthday, whilst I was still in hospital recovering from severe brain injuries.

I was in deep shock and it wasn't a very nice sight when I saw my close best friend in the ICU after he had emergency brain surgery. He had a load of tubes and wires attached to him with a bandage around his head. He is still in a coma and just like your brother unable to breathe by himself but no longer in a induced coma.

If you can please keep me updated on your brothers condition. I send my love and hugs and will be thinking of you and your family at this difficult time.

Ben

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Have arrived in Nairobi and have seen him for the first time. He had a tracheotomy yday amd the bandage is off so he does look like my brother; albeit in a semi-vegetative. On command from the Doc he raised his eyebrow to confirm he could see me and his squeezed my hand lots. They are hoping to remove EVD today and then wean him slowly (couple hours at a time) off the ventilation to see how he copes with the aim of taking him off.

He is v sweaty as temp goes up and down but I was able to mop

His brow.

Just need to get him stable enough to fly him home 😢 x

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Some promising signs there Ali, and good to hear you've had communication of sorts. It might be a while before your brother can travel such a distance (assuming you're in UK ; could be miles off ? )

Please be prepared for a long haul in progress terms ; I apparently looked like a lost cause for many weeks then one day made my own way to the loo. My son was so excited that I could walk (albeit with a struggle, but unaided) that he videod me on his phone returning to the ward).

Please keep the updates coming when you can. Cat x

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I missed all the excitement after my TBI but when my sister in law saw me, day 2, she was sure I wouldn't survive and no assurance from the doctors.

I lost 3 stones in the first 3 weeks, apparently your body goes in to survival mode and by week 5 I'd lost 5 stones.

My first words came on day 5 but apparently made no sense at all, even at week 5 I could be followed in what I was saying but it made little sense and in fact worried everybody.

By week 6 I was allowed to sit up and by week 7 stand with support.

I was discharged by week 8, nobody believed I'd return to work, however I was back by 6 months and my weight had returned to normal.

At first my family just annoyed me as trying to communicate with them was a great strain, I just wanted peace and silence.

Of course everyone is different but first signs for your brother sound positive, my thoughts are with you, stay strong.

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