At the age of 37, Scott Hawkins life took a sudden turn for the worse.
While at home, watching over his kids while Danielle, his wife, was in another county for a class, something went wrong.
Danielle will never forget that day in April when she received a call from Scott all the way in their home in Durand, Michigan. His voice was slurred and he told her he had a massive headache and said something bad was happening.
Both of them dialed 911, so Scott was able to be rushed to the hospital as his blood pressure jumped upwards and his lungs began to fill with fluid.
It was a good thing they arrived when they did, as it turned out that Scott was going through a massive stroke.
The reason behind the stroke soon became clear.
At birth, Scott had dealt with an arteriovenous malformation aneurysm, which had then burst in close proximity to his brain stem. It was responsible for the stroke.
Surgeons operated on him to attempt to quell the bleeding that was taking place inside his brain, but in the process, he developed a heart attack and flatlined for a few minutes.
After this event, Scott’s oxygen levels had dropped to the 60s, instead of the necessarily 90.
Doctors weren’t sure if he would make it through the night, and they told Danielle to contact friends and family.
The good news is, Scott survived that night. The bad news is that, a whole week later, he was unresponsive.
Doctors told Danielle it didn’t seem like he would ever regain consciousness again, and if he did, that he may not be able to function in day-to-day life.
They advised her that it may be time to say goodbye – but she refused. She knew Scott’s spirit was strong enough to make it.
So instead of choosing to give up, she gave him a kiss on the lips – and to her shock, she felt him kiss back.
Later, she admits she may have imagined that detail, but to her, that was a sign that she shouldn’t give up.
She started doing things to bring him back. Five weeks later, Scott didn’t need to use a ventilator anymore.
She then began to bring in thumb guitars as Scott was a musician, and Scott would be able to flick some notes.
When doctors told Danielle it was likely only a reflex, she asked him to change the notes he was playing, and he did.
Then, one day, she covered the airway in Scott’s neck – an incision to allow better breathing, and Scott began to speak.
He said he loved her. He asked for pain medication. And when doctors asked what he had been playing, he said, “An instrument.”
This is when doctors finally started to have faith in Scott.
He was moved to Spectrum Health’s Rehab and Nursing Center, after which he received six days of rehab every week.
He was given speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and music therapy to help Scott get his sense of coordination and strength back.
After 16 weeks, Scott was able to go home – walking with the assistance of a walker, and with his wife by his side.
She had never doubted him for a moment and never strayed from his side, providing all the love and support he needed.
Now, Scott is making slow but steady process towards full recovery – and he has his wife to thank for inspiring the doctors to believe he could recover.