Jimmie English's medical roller coaster
Mon, 01 Oct 2012 22:11:49 GMT —
He's considered a medical miracle.
Last year, Jimmie English survived the most common catastrophe of the aorta. Now, the Lewis County, Missouri man faces yet another life-threatening illness because of it.
English almost lost his life last October when he suffered an aortic dissection, a tear in the inner layer of the large artery branching off the heart. This tear is often fatal.
"Once he survived the aortic dissection, we thought we were in the clear, because that was a miracle in and of itself," Staci English, his wife, said.
Soon after, Jimmie began having trouble with his vision, speech and motor skills, including his ability to walk.
"He was basically aging everyday," Abigail English, his daughter, said.
"We didn't know what was happening. The doctor said it was from the surgery," Zachary English, his son, said.
Due to the high mortality rate of the surgery, most patients don't get the chance to experience the aftereffects. Doctors at Mayo Clinic soon diagnosed Jimmie with a rare post-surgical syndrome without a name. It resembles Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP).
"He's the ninth person in the U.S. to be diagnosed with this syndrome. The doctors at Mayo were the ones who wrote a paper on it, and that they discovered it," Staci said.
"You can't do anything about it. My speech continues to slip. I feel myself running away from people because I can't talk," Jimmie said.
Jimmie has had to leave his job at JC Automotive in Monroe City. He says his new title in "Mr. Mom."
"You know, losing an income was difficult but we're doing everything we can to get by," Staci said.
Jimmie may have lost his job, but he didn't lose the friends he'd made over the last 10 years.
"I'm hoping we've reached out to hundreds and hundreds of people because this is such a wonderful event," Kay Turnbull, with JC Automotive, said.
JC Automotive and area businesses have put together a benefit for Jimmie and his family. The two-day event will take place this Friday and Saturday with a softball game, car show, auctions and BBQ.
"We were actually overwhelmed by the benefit. Jim came home in tears," Staci said.
"I was stunned, surprised and overwhelmed by the community support, friends, family, people I hadn't seen in 30 years," Jimmie said.
Jimmie faces an uncertain future, but the community's support keeps his spirits high.
"I'm very lucky, so far," Jimmie said.
The benefit for Jimmie begins Friday at the Lions Club Field in Monroe City with a co-ed home run derby.
Then, Saturday, at the same location, you can attend a softball tournament starting at 7:30 a.m. The rest of the day's activities will take place at the Knights of Columbus parking lot.