John Gibson has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help care for his father Stephen McCrae-Gibson, who suffered a stroke in February and had to undergo surgery to remove a blood clot near his brain. (Contributed)

Long road ahead for Salmon Arm man recovering after stroke

Son launches GoFundMe campaign to help prepare for father's return and rehabilitation

It’s an anxious, unhappy time for John Gibson, who has found some reprieve in the kindness shown by members of the community to his father.

In the morning hours of Thursday, Feb. 25, John’s dad Stephen McCrae-Gibson, known by many in Salmon Arm as the manager at Pharmasave, suffered a stroke. Stephen was rushed to hospital in Salmon Arm and then transferred to Kelowna General, where doctors found a blood clot in the right side of his brain. John said in the days that followed, his dad’s condition deteriorated to a point where he needed to undergo emergency surgery to have the swelling in his brain brought down. Stephen has since had a second surgery in which a piece of his skull, removed in the first surgery, was replaced.

“They’re slowly getting him ready for recovery now,” said John, anticipating Stephen will be in recovery for a few weeks before his rehabilitation begins. It is expected this could take up to six months as Stephen relearns how to walk.

“Right now, we don’t know if he’s going to be able to walk by the time he gets back,” said John. “So we’re just getting everything repaired and everything set and ready for him so he can come home comfortably.”

Read more: GoFundMe campaign launched for Kelowna man trying to get home for mother’s funeral

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To help with this effort, John has set up a GoFundMe page, Dad’s Medical Fund, hoping to raise the money for necessary repairs and renovations, including a chair lift and making a bathroom handicap accessible.

As if his father’s condition wasn’t enough, John said two family members recently passed away, adding to the hardship he and his six siblings (including three half siblings), are experiencing.

“It’s been non-stop, one thing after another where we have just been bombarded… where I’m like, OK, how am I going to handle this. It’s a long trek,” said John, who is grateful to everyone who has sent well wishes and/or have helped out in some way.

“Friends and a local church are helping us out with some food which has been really nice,” said John, whose ends his GoFundMe post with optimism: “We know the road is long but we will make it!


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