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Boat Harbour man back on Burin Peninsula after yearlong stroke battle

Greg Denty of Boat Harbour suffered a stroke while overseas last July and has been hospitalized ever since. His wife Angela hopes he will soon be able to return home with her and their two children, son Cody and daughter Ashley.
Greg Denty of Boat Harbour suffered a stroke while overseas last July and has been hospitalized ever since. His wife Angela hopes he will soon be able to return home with her and their two children, son Cody and daughter Ashley.

BOAT HARBOUR, NL - It has been almost a year since Angela Denty last travelled the Burin Peninsula Highway with her husband.

Last July, Greg Denty was returning to his job on an oil rig in India when he collapsed at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. The 44-year-old had suffered a stroke.

On Monday, the couple made the trip from the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s to the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre. 

Angela told The Southern Gazette Tuesday she is making preparations to bring her husband back home to Boat Harbour.

“I had to build a piece on (our home) because our bathroom wasn’t accommodating for him,” she said.

Greg will also require specialized equipment and full-time care once he returns home.

“He needs to have a hospital bed with a blowup mattress, where he can’t turn himself in the bed,” she said. “He’s got to have a wheelchair, (and) a commode to (get) him in and out of the shower. I have to have a lift with a sling to take him out of the bed and put him in his wheelchair.”

As well, Angela said her husband of 14 years will need a feeding pump, a homecare suction unit and a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

“I need to have all that equipment home in order to bring him home,” she said.

Life-altering night

On July 28, 2015, Angela received a phone call from Germany informing her of what happened.

She said she told that Greg was fine – he was breathing on his own and was awake but not responsive.

“They said he was going to be okay,” she said.

Three hours later she was on a plane headed for Germany. When she arrived on the following morning, Greg’s condition had worsened.

“He was in a coma. He had swelling on the brain – a bleed on the brain,” she said.

Due to the swelling, doctors had to remove a section of his skull and placed a bone flap in the back of his head. The coma lasted five weeks. While he was unconscious, Greg suffered a second stroke.

In September, Greg returned to Newfoundland and was admitted to the Health Sciences Centre. Two more strokes followed.

“Right now, he has had four strokes,” Angela said. “One has been on the right side of the brain stem, the second one was deep inside the brain, the third was his front lobe and the fourth on was on the left side of his brain stem.”

Greg spent 226 days at the Health Sciences before he was transferred to the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s. During her husband’s six-and-a-half-week stay there, Angela learned how to care for Greg once he’s at home.

While her husband has shown some improvement, Angela said she is being realistic about her expectations for the future. Greg is unable to speak, walk or swallow. He has difficulty focussing his eyes and can only say a few words.

“I know that Greg is never going to be the man he used to be. He is never going to be able to do some things, I know that,” she said. “All I ever asked for is that they (get) him (to) the best ability that he could get to, and he is.”

Standing by her husband

Angela said the past year has not only been hard on her and her husband, but their two children, son Cody and daughter Ashley, as well.

“They have not only had this happen to their dad, but they’ve had Mom gone, too,” she said.

“I was a stay-at-home mom that was always there for the kids and did whatever needed to be done for them. Then all the sudden Mom and Dad are gone. It’s been hard. There’s been a lot of tears shed.”

Angela is thankful for family members who helped out with her children so she could be by her husband’s side through everything.

“It is a miracle that he is alive,” she said. “When we were in Germany, no one gave us any hope whatsoever. I remember they called me and asked if our kids wanted to say goodbye to their dad because if they did, they had to come and come right away to Germany.”

Angela said her husband has shown a great deal of strength through everything.

Eventually the family will find a new normality together, she said.

“He is a very strong man. He's got the will to live. That’s why I would never give up on him,” Angela said.

“He is the father of our children. He’s my husband. I love him with all my heart and soul.”

colin.farrell@tc.tc

@Colin_TCMedia

Last July, Greg Denty was returning to his job on an oil rig in India when he collapsed at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. The 44-year-old had suffered a stroke.

On Monday, the couple made the trip from the Health Sciences Centre in St. John’s to the Burin Peninsula Health Care Centre. 

Angela told The Southern Gazette Tuesday she is making preparations to bring her husband back home to Boat Harbour.

“I had to build a piece on (our home) because our bathroom wasn’t accommodating for him,” she said.

Greg will also require specialized equipment and full-time care once he returns home.

“He needs to have a hospital bed with a blowup mattress, where he can’t turn himself in the bed,” she said. “He’s got to have a wheelchair, (and) a commode to (get) him in and out of the shower. I have to have a lift with a sling to take him out of the bed and put him in his wheelchair.”

As well, Angela said her husband of 14 years will need a feeding pump, a homecare suction unit and a wheelchair accessible vehicle.

“I need to have all that equipment home in order to bring him home,” she said.

Life-altering night

On July 28, 2015, Angela received a phone call from Germany informing her of what happened.

She said she told that Greg was fine – he was breathing on his own and was awake but not responsive.

“They said he was going to be okay,” she said.

Three hours later she was on a plane headed for Germany. When she arrived on the following morning, Greg’s condition had worsened.

“He was in a coma. He had swelling on the brain – a bleed on the brain,” she said.

Due to the swelling, doctors had to remove a section of his skull and placed a bone flap in the back of his head. The coma lasted five weeks. While he was unconscious, Greg suffered a second stroke.

In September, Greg returned to Newfoundland and was admitted to the Health Sciences Centre. Two more strokes followed.

“Right now, he has had four strokes,” Angela said. “One has been on the right side of the brain stem, the second one was deep inside the brain, the third was his front lobe and the fourth on was on the left side of his brain stem.”

Greg spent 226 days at the Health Sciences before he was transferred to the Dr. Leonard A. Miller Rehabilitation Centre in St. John’s. During her husband’s six-and-a-half-week stay there, Angela learned how to care for Greg once he’s at home.

While her husband has shown some improvement, Angela said she is being realistic about her expectations for the future. Greg is unable to speak, walk or swallow. He has difficulty focussing his eyes and can only say a few words.

“I know that Greg is never going to be the man he used to be. He is never going to be able to do some things, I know that,” she said. “All I ever asked for is that they (get) him (to) the best ability that he could get to, and he is.”

Standing by her husband

Angela said the past year has not only been hard on her and her husband, but their two children, son Cody and daughter Ashley, as well.

“They have not only had this happen to their dad, but they’ve had Mom gone, too,” she said.

“I was a stay-at-home mom that was always there for the kids and did whatever needed to be done for them. Then all the sudden Mom and Dad are gone. It’s been hard. There’s been a lot of tears shed.”

Angela is thankful for family members who helped out with her children so she could be by her husband’s side through everything.

“It is a miracle that he is alive,” she said. “When we were in Germany, no one gave us any hope whatsoever. I remember they called me and asked if our kids wanted to say goodbye to their dad because if they did, they had to come and come right away to Germany.”

Angela said her husband has shown a great deal of strength through everything.

Eventually the family will find a new normality together, she said.

“He is a very strong man. He's got the will to live. That’s why I would never give up on him,” Angela said.

“He is the father of our children. He’s my husband. I love him with all my heart and soul.”

colin.farrell@tc.tc

@Colin_TCMedia

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