Stroke victim’s Christmas Day gift to wife revealed
A father-of-three who spent nine days unconscious on life support after a major stroke woke up just in time to wish his wife a Merry Christmas, she revealed at the weekend.
Joel Boyd, a 36-year-old accountant, was airlifted off the island on December 16 after his wife, Amanda, found him unconscious at home.
Ms Boyd said he had been sedated and on a ventilator for days before she received a “frantic” call from a nurse at Johns Hopkins University Hospital on Christmas Day.
She said: “I was asking myself what happened? Something happened.
“I could barely hear him, but he said: ’Merry Christmas. I love you’.”
Ms Boyd said the couple moved to Bermuda from British Columbia for work in 2012 and planned to stay for two years, but fell in love with the island.
She added her husband felt ill on December 15, but at first thought he had contracted Covid-19.
Ms Boyd said: “I came home from work and he was sleeping.
“He said not to come near him because he thought he had Covid.
“I went to bed with our baby and when I went to him the next morning to check on him I found him unconscious.”
Mr Boyd was rushed to the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, where it was discovered he had suffered a major stroke and he was airlifted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.
Ms Boyd said: “Between Bermuda and Johns Hopkins he deteriorated a lot. They weren’t sure he was going to make it.”
He was admitted to the hospital’s intensive care unit where remained sedated and on a ventilator until he woke up on Christmas Day.
Ms Boyd said her husband’s recovery had been difficult and that he was put back on life support on New Year’s Eve.
But she added he was transferred out of the hospital’s intensive care unit last week.
She said: “He has some memory loss, but we are very lucky that he can still speak.
“They didn’t know if he was going to be able to speak or if he would have the same personality, but thankfully he can speak and he still has his personality.”
Ms Boyd said the stroke came out of the blue and doctors were not yet sure of the cause.
She added: “He has no history of high blood pressure. He eats healthy, he lives healthy. He was the epitome of health.”
Ms Boyd said her husband’s medical care was taken care of by the insurance provided by his employer.
But she added he faced a long road of recovery ahead and she feared expenses could pile up.
She said: “His rehabilitation is going to be extensive.
“His insurance allows him a set amount for outpatient services, but that probably won’t even last a month and he is going to need four to six months for just the physical rehab.”
Friends of the family launched a GoFundMe page to help support Mr Boyd’s recovery efforts, which fast surpassed its $25,000 goal.
More than 230 people have donated a combined total of $33,555 to help cover the cost of rehabilitation and other expenses run up by the family since the campaign’s launch on December 29.
Ms Boyd said she was floored by the outpouring of support, from Canada as well as their adopted home of Bermuda.
She added: “The support we have received from both communities has been absolutely indescribable. It’s moving me to well up right now.
“It’s not just people donating money. People are sending us messages, sending us their thoughts and prayers and love. It’s incredible.”