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178 donations

This fundraiser ended on 03/03/13

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The family of Isaac Hurtado, a young brain tumor and stroke survivor, is trying to raise money to cover medical bills + rehabilitation costs

Isaac was a healthy 30 year old, who took care of his body, was a vegetarian, an outdoorsman, and practiced yoga intensively. He had just become a certified yoga instructor and ran a successful wedding and fashion photography business with his wife, when he experienced a sudden onset of blurry vision over labor day weekend 2011. After an optometry and doctor's visit and a CT scan "just to be safe," he was told the worst possible news....he had a very large brain tumor. He was immediately checked into the emergency room because of the tumor's size on September 12, 2011, the same day he got the news. He and his wife braced for the worst. He was told the tumor was operable with very little side effects, but he needed the operation immediately. On September 15, 2011 he underwent a craniotomy to remove the tumor, officially diagnosed as a pituitary macroadenoma. The surgery was not totally successful in removing the whole tumor, and two days later, Isaac had a grand mal seizure. Two days after that, on the day he was to be discharged home, he had a massive MCA stroke that left his left size completely paralyzed. His wife, Stephanie, was with him the whole entire time and saw her strong, young husband, who had been her high school sweetheart, crippled before her eyes. A week after the stroke, Isaac was transferred to UCI acute rehab center, but things didn't go as planned there either. Because Isaac's body was in a hyercoagulable state after surgery, he developed a DVT which went undetected. A week into rehab, Isaac had a pulmonary embolism and had to be transferred to the medical side to fight for his life. He was transferred back to rehab, but his suffering did not end there...the blood clots in his leg and where they inserted the IVC filter grew, rashes sprouted possibly from drug interactions, and he was not able to get the blood thinners or TPA needed to break up the clots because he had just had brain surgery. Specialists came by the dozens, testing his blood, testing everything they could think of...they found nothing abnormal. Luckily, Stephanie was pointed in the direction of an amazing intervention radiologist who saved his legs and possibly his life by performing a special thrombectomy with thrombolysis, using balloons to make sure the blood thinner and clot busting agents didn't make it to his brain. Things started to go uphill after that. Isaac was transferred again to rehab, and started to walk a week later. After a month of intensive rehab, Isaac was released to go home on December 3, 2011. Insurance helped with home therapy for two months, where Isaac has made significant...if not miraculous improvements with a private therapist using the Neuro Ifrah approach. He was discharged in a wheelchair and now walks without the use of a cane! His left arm and hand have come a long way as well, but still have a ways to go to regain full function. If everything wasn't enough, Isaac also has oculormotor palsy because of the surgery, so his right eye has been shut due to nerve damage. The doctor's are hoping (and Isaac and Stephanie are praying) that the nerve will heal over time. Isaac and his wife gave up their home to move in with Stephanie's grandma to help with medical and therapy bills. They had decent medical insurance, but Isaac's bills from the 3 month hospital stay, with all of the specialized procedures, are massive. Also, their insurance will not pay for any more outpatient rehab, so they have had to pay for his therapy themselves. The thing that will give Isaac the best chance of a full recovery is costing them a small fortune. Isaac has not been able to work since his stroke, and Stephanie, his sole caretaker, tries to work part time, shooting weddings and editorials, although she can't shoot as much as she used to. Also, insurance does not cover therapies that have proven to aid in recovery, like the bioness arm, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, acupuncture, etc. Isaac and Stephanie try to stay positive...the brain tumor was benign and Isaac is young with so much life ahead of him...he has an excellent chance of making a very good recovery. If you have any questions, or suggestions please send an e-mail to All your generous contributions, thoughts and prayers are deeply appreciated!!

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