Kyle Buchanan wanted to surprise his mom when he came home early from a motorcycle trip with his dad, but he ended up finding his mom lying on the floor with a face so swollen she was unrecognizable.
“‘Oh no, mom!’ were the first words my dad shouted,” said Buchanan.
Kyle furiously ran up the stairs to find that his mom, Debbie Buchanan, had fallen out of bed and hit her head on the bedside table due to a major stroke.
They tried moving her, but her neck was in too much pain.
The Sooke woman would end up stuck in a hospital bed recovering for nearly 11 weeks. Doctors told the family that she was left-side deficient and would be tied to a wheelchair for the next few months.
Due to this tragedy, her husband Ross had no other choice but to enter early retirement to take care of his 63-year-old wife.
Though this news pained the family, they were ready to take on whatever hardships faced them – after all, Debbie had been fighting ovarian cancer since 2015.
She was taking a new trial of chemotherapy twice a month when the stroke happened earlier this year.
“My mom was always an anchor for us,” said daughter Nicolle Buchanan. “Whenever we were in trouble, we’d go to her to help us figure things out. Now, the tables have turned and my dad has taken on that role. It’s difficult because now each family member is doing their best to pick up the slack.”
Debbie is in therapy now. She’s trying to regain movement on her left side, but she can’t move her hip and has to use a brace on her leg to hold her stable. Now, her days are mostly spent in her own bed instead of the hospital bed.
Nicolle noted that her mom is always tired, but is determined to be positive and walk into a special event just for her this Saturday.
The family has planned a Music Bingo Fundraiser to help pay growing bills, including the price of a wheelchair, physiotherapy charges, home nursing costs, medications and building ramps for her home.
The bingo night will have a silent auction, raffle prizes, and entertainment by Westshore Music Bingo. The family has started a GoFundMe page, which has raised just over $3,000 with a goal of $25,000.
Any extra proceeds raised at the fundraiser will go directly to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada on behalf of Debbie.
The event takes place at the Royal Canadian Legion in Sooke, 6726 Eustace Rd, on Saturday, Nov. 30 from 7 to 10 p.m. The auction and raffle will be cash only. To donate, head over to www.gofundme.com/f/t5tt2t-help-debbie.