- June 29, 2018
Mark and Alais Salvador have a deep faith, and they have relied on that during each of Alais’ four bouts with cancer. Now the Winter Garden residents are again putting their trust in God for healing while their 22-year-old daughter, Faith, recovers from a hemorrhagic stroke.
The Salvadors and their other daughter, 17-year-old Mya, were vacationing in Michigan for the Fourth of July weekend and enjoying time with Faith and with Mark Salvador’s parents. The next day, Faith Salvador called her father, and he could tell something wasn’t right when she spoke.
“Tuesday she called, and … I realized quickly her speech was just off a little bit and … I told her boyfriend to immediately call 911,” Mark Salvador said.
Faith Salvador was rushed to Henry Ford Jackson Hospital and then to University of Michigan Hospital, where doctors discovered an arteriovenous malformation. They said she likely was born with it. An AVM is an abnormal tangle of blood vessels that connects arteries and veins in the brain, and it can go undetected until it ruptures.
Her father said she has had some headaches but nothing that would indicate an issue of this magnitude.
The stroke has caused paralysis on Faith Salvador’s left side, but her father said they are starting to see slight movement.
“We’re just getting through the acute time now,” Mark Salvador said. “She’s getting the physical and occupational therapy in her bed primarily. … I’m an occupational therapist, so I push her a little more so. I’m taking advantage of the fact that she’s 22 and the sooner we can (get) the neurotransmission back onto that left side, the sooner we can get those muscles to start firing. We understand right now there (are) still a lot of unknowns — damage from the bleed, bruising — and because of that there’s pressure put on the brain, so they’re working to resolve that. All of that is being resolved which will allow us to focus on the rehab.”
The Salvadors will remain in Michigan — likely for months — caring for their daughter and monitoring her daily progress. The couple will rotate staying in Michigan with one daughter and in Florida with the other. Mya is in the 12th grade, and the Salvadors don’t want to completely miss any of her senior-year activities.
‘THIS DOESN’T HAPPEN TO 22-YEAR-OLDS’
Meanwhile, a team of doctors will continue working on the eldest Salvador daughter every day.
“They’re tentatively optimistic,” Alais Salvador said.
“They’re feeling she’s going to make a recovery,” Mark Salvador added. “It’s just too early to tell how much of a recovery she will make on the left side. They keep reminding us she’s 22.”
“She’s strong, she’s young,” her mother said. “She’s very sad. She wants to move her side and get up and do stuff she did.”
“I think this is just hard for any 22-year-old to swallow,” Mark Salvador said. “This doesn’t happen to 22-year-olds.”
Faith Salvador has since been moved from the neurointensive care unit to a step-down unit, and from there she will enter an inpatient rehabilitation center for two weeks while the team continues to work with her through therapy.
“We don’t think she’s going to remember much of last week but from this point forward we think she’s going to have a lot of recall — and that’s causing some of her anxiety,” her father said. “That’s what’s been heartbreaking. She’s only been up here 10 months, sharing a house with friends, doing what 22-year-olds do, and then this happens.”
The family is hoping for a positive outcome and praying for 100% recovery.
“We have strong faith,” Alais Salvador said. “We have a ton of people praying for her, and just as many praying for me.”
“We’re going to get through it — with a little bit of time and a whole lot of faith,” Mark Salvador said.