- Posted February 7, 2013 by
How quickly everything can change! On Christmas Day 2012, Joseph Pascale was home with his wife Jessica (known by most as Leigh) and two boys, Eli (7) and Ethan (1), celebrating the holiday while under the weather with the flu and a nasty sinus infection. Four days later, on December 29th, Joe was found unresponsive by his wife and was immediately taken to the Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, Alabama where he was treated for encephalitis and spent 3 weeks in the ICU/SICU. After a myriad of blood tests, EEGs, CT scans, MRIs, and a brain biopsy, the etiology of Joe’s illness is still unclear. It is believed to be ADEM, a rare form of encephalitis which has a good prognosis but recovery can be very long. Thanks to the coordinated efforts of an excellent team of doctors and the faithful prayers of friends and family, Joe has improved enough to be transferred to a regular medical floor in the same hospital, where he remains semi-comatose, with a tracheotomy tube, G-Tube and PICC line. He is receiving physical therapy but has experienced extensive muscle atrophy, weight loss and foot drop. He is slowly showing signs that he may be closer to regaining consciousness, but is still unable to actively participate in any therapy and therefore is not a candidate for a rehab facility or skilled nursing home.
He will be discharged to home where insurance will cover only limited care. The responsibility of Joe’s extensive care needs will fall mainly on his wife, Leigh, whose unwavering love and devotion to Joe has been inspirational. We know she is up to the great challenge of caring for Joe at home, but it will require a tremendous amount of emotional, physical and financial support to accomplish all of the therapies, treatments, and care that Joe requires, as he remains completely helpless. Leigh and other family members will be trained to perform the necessary treatments Joe needs prior to his discharge from the hospital. Leigh will continue to have the support of our parents and her family who have been there with her from the beginning, but with 2 young children at home and the need to return to work, she will need more help. The cost of Joe’s home care will be extensive.
Our prayer is that Joe will continue to progress to a point that he will be conscious enough to be able to follow commands and have purposeful movements so that insurance will cover his placement into a rehab facility where he will get the extensive physical therapy he will need to be able to return to his life. We are ever hopeful and ever grateful to the wonderful team of doctors at Brookwood. They believe that Joe will recover. It is just unclear to what extent and how long it will take. We are in this for the long haul and we need your help. We are humbled and blessed by the tremendous outpouring that has already been shown to Joe by friends, family, and even strangers. Joe’s employer, EWTN has been tremendously supportive, and we are so grateful. If there is any way you can contribute to Joe’s recovery effort, it will be greatly appreciated. The cost of Joe’s home care is staggering and so we humbly ask for your donations. Please continue to pray for Joe’s complete healing and for Leigh and the boys, Eli and Ethan. The boys need their daddy and Leigh needs her husband.