Over three weeks have passed since my father’s cardiac arrest, and Khosroff has made remarkable progress. Actually his recovery has been miraculous. I had mentioned in my previous post about him that he was not expected to survive due to a significant lack of oxygen to the brain; however only five days after he fell into a coma he responded to my mother’s command to squeeze her hand, nearly at the same time my wife and I were preparing to fly from Yerevan. By the time we arrived in Boston on the evening of January 21, his eyes were opened and he seemed to recognize family members, specifically my mother, his brother, and myself, although he could not talk since a breathing tube had been inserted into his throat days before. My mother and brother waited for our return before having the tube removed as there was a concern that he could possibly have suffered another cardiac arrest at the time of extraction, and I wanted to be there if that was to happen. But he was able to breath normally.
The following day he began to speak and on Wednesday of that same week he caressed my face while citing an example from the Van-Vaspourakan era of Armenian history that should be learned. That afternoon he was moved out of ICU into a room shared with another patient. He could not eat nor drink at first refusing both, and a feeding tube had to be inserted into his stomach as a result. And gradually, the name-face recognition came together, but his thoughts were and still are muddled, as he confuses the names of objects, not to mention the meaning or proper pronunciation of words. Short-term memory is poor as he cannot remember something he said or did five minutes previous, but he can hold light conversations, and his distinct sense of humor, figures of speech, facial expressions, and body language are all intact. Long-term memory improves by the day, as he is able to remember some events or jokes, music from his childhood, and so forth. His good complexion suggests that he doesn’t even look ill for the most part—he has full limb movement and seems to have hand coordination, picking up objects and placing them in their respective place. But walking is a problem as well as eating, although he appears to swallow liquids. What is more amazing is that he can converse, although to a limit extent, in nearly all the languages he knows, including Arabic and French. About a week ago when I visited him with friends and family he spoke almost exclusively in Turkish for some reason, often throwing out obscenities, especially at me. But for the most part he sticks to Armenian and English, which is still fantastic. About five days ago he was moved to a rehabilitation hospital and is already undergoing physical, speech and occupational therapy.
Although he still has a long way to go while his brain essentially regenerates, he has come a long way thus far, baffling doctors who treated him at the hospital where he was first admitted. For a person who was initially thought to have having 70 percent brain damage, he’s already made leaping strides towards a projected 90 percent recovery (as diagnosed by the very same doctors) in six months time. It’s fabulous news and very surprising, as we were all expecting the worst. But this incident proves how strong willed Khosroff is and how he can seemingly overcome any challenge that faces him—whether physical or mental. There is no mistaking that he is my hero.
Thanks to everyone for your warm wishes of good health for my dad, and Onnik’s entry a few weeks ago
was very much appreciated by my family. I should be returning to Armenia on February 24.
Photo: My father, Khosroff, on the right sitting with his brother Jacques at my wedding, September 2005. Courtesy Onnik Krikorian.