Your support of the latest technology at St. Elizabeth Hospital helped Brad get back on his feet, to care for his family. 

Bradley Schinke

Pictured: Brad (green hat) with his family

 

Every Second Matters
Shortly after his diagnosis, during an exercise workout, Brad began to feel an intense burning in his leg. His temperature was rising and he felt as if his legs were on fire. Suddenly, he could feel his aorta slowly unraveling. After quick action by his wife and local responders, he was brought to Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital. With every second critical, Brad was rushed to surgery under the care of Dr. Saeed Ally. An aortic dissection typically is a 12-hour surgery that carries a life expectancy under 10%. Brad’s chances of survival were so slim that the surgeons and staff gathered around him to say a prayer and goodbye after nine hours of surgery. He was in a medically induced coma for nine days to improve his chance of recovery.

The last thing Brad told his wife before surgery was, “I was born in this hospital, so I guess I will die here.” She replied, “You are not dying today, nor will you be dying tomorrow.”

Journey of Healing
And so, his journey of healing began. He spent 20 days in the ICU and lost 66 pounds. Then, he spent two weeks at St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna, where he learned how to walk, talk and use his hands again. When he returned home, Brad continued his outpatient rehab at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital. On March 13, 2019, with three sessions of rehab left and 13 seconds remaining on the Elliptical, Brad suffered a stroke and was brought to Room 13 in the Emergency Department. He was monitored for 48 hours, with no food or drink. He credits nurse Megan for her great patience that got him through those days. In appreciation, Brad recently worked with the Foundation to provide lunch for the staff in the Rehab and Emergency departments.

Moving Forward with Gratitude
Some days are better for Brad than others. He decided to sell his business. It was a hard decision, but it was best for him and his family. He is no longer able to lift his youngest son, who has cerebral palsy; but, he finds so much joy in his children every day. They love to travel, and Brad traveled to New York City to share his story at One World Trade Center as part of a local organization that granted a wish for his son. He approaches everything in his life with a sense of humor. It helped him get through the recovery and pain. After telling his story Brad added, “I am grateful for the opportunities I have been given. I am grateful for another opportunity to be with my family, to see the sun and greet the day. I’m grateful for the big things like my kids’ birthdays and graduations, and the small things like the smell of freshly mowed grass or a snowfall. I am beyond grateful for Dr. Ally and his team and the entire nursing staff at St. Elizabeth Hospital, who worked tirelessly around the clock to ensure I had these opportunities. Gratitude to all the doctors and nurses–I am so grateful. Just thank you.”

Thanks to you, they call Brad the "Miracle Man."

Like many other patients, Brad, too, felt compelled to give back to the hospital departments that provided the excellent care he received. As his medical journey brought him in through the Emergency Department, into Surgery and finally to Rehabilitation, Brad felt the gifts of those who had come before him.

Donor dollars in 2019 provided crucial technology updates, innovative equipment and patient conveniences that all contributed to the patient-centered care given in each of those departments.

 
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