Residents hope to raise $50,000 to help support Enderby man recovering from brain aneurysm

Residents hope to raise $50,000 to help support Enderby man recovering from brain aneurysm

Baker on long road to recovery

It has been 16 months since Gary Baker had a major brain aneurysm rupture, and his long road to recovery continues to stretch far into the future.

Gary, an Enderby resident, was left in extremely critical condition after being rushed to Vancouver General Hospital for surgery last August. He has very limited mobility but is still able to move his entire body, substantial vision loss and is basically unable to speak.

He has undergone nine surgeries, extensive treatments and therapies and fought through unending complications and infections.

Despite the struggle, Gary was showing slow but steady improvements and had completed an application for Halvar Johnson, a rehabilitation facility in Alberta geared to people recovering at a very slow rate.

He had begun to take a few steps with assistance and communicated with his family and therapists using a blinking system to spell out words and sentences and the occasional spoken word.

“It was so amazing for Gary to be able to communicate what he was thinking and feeling. He said things that were so ‘Gary’ and every day impressed us with how intact his memory and cognitive abilities were despite the extent of his injury,” his wife Erica wrote in an online update.

But an infection at the end of July resulted in seizures, putting Gary back in ICU for six weeks where his prognosis was poor.

“But we knew Gary was still strong and we believed he would fight to come back to his family so we chose to fight for him too and to hope!” Erica said.

Gary moved out of ICU on Sept. 7 and is now stable but his recovery has suffered a major setback.

“It took him almost a year to get to the point where he was ready for rehabilitation,” Erica said. “Unfortunately it may take him just as long or longer to get to that point again.”

The couple’s daughters, Alea, Erin, Bree and Keira are attending school in Vancouver to give the family some sense of normalcy but everyone is eager to get home to Enderby.

Erica expects Gary to be discharged to a hospital closer to Salmon Arm in the next month of so and the plan is to get him home to continue his recovery.

Getting home means renovations to make the house wheelchair accessible, hiring and training care aids, finding a wheelchair accessible vehicle and finding Gary appropriate, progressive therapy – very little of which is covered by medical.

Erica expressed extreme gratitude for the support shown by friends, community, churches, businesses, organizations and strangers since the accident but she knows her family faces a very long and difficult battle.

“Every day is a struggle and as much as I am so lucky to have help and support, there are so many things that no one, but me, can do. I am thoroughly exhausted,” Erica said. “But Gary and I have been through hard times together in the past. I think those times have made us strong and resilient but the main thing that helps me to stay strong and focused is the depth of love we have. I could never let go of that. I love him far, far too much to ever stop fighting for him. And Gary is amazingly strong, too and I know he will keep fighting to recover.”

Anyone wanting to follow Gary’s progress or help support the Bakers, will find regular updates and photos on their Facebook page, The Gary Group, and a GoFundMe page, Help Support the Bakers.

Jackie Pearase

Special to Vernon Morning Star


@VernonNews
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Glass of whiskey
UBCO substance use clinic goes virtual

The clinic is adapting the way it provides services as the pandemic continues

Loud beats reverberate through the room as Total Fitness Zumba class participants follow along to the instructor’s moves during a drop-in fundraiser for the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle to be constructed at Salmon Arm West School. (Lachlan Labere/Salmon Arm Observer)
City-run fitness classes paused in Vernon

Greater Vernon Recreation Services pauses play in wake of province’s new health orders

Welcome Lars, the elf. Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation's newest representative for the Light a Bulb campaign. (Contributed)
Vernon hospital welcomes new elf for Light a Bulb campaign

The passing of candy cane from elf-to-elf warrants a colouring contest!

(Morning Star file photo)
Lumby bylaw complaints skyrocket in 2020

Bylaw officers have seen an 80 per cent increase in complaints over 2019, with two months yet to be recorded

Greater Vernon Water rates will increase an average of 2.4 per cent over the next four years after the Regional District of North Okanagan adopted a new water rate bylaw on Wednesday, Nov. 18. (File photo)
Regional District North Okanagan approves four-year water rate bylaw

Water rates for Greater Vernon Water users to climb an average of 2.4 per cent over the four years

A man wearing a face mask to help curb the spread of COVID-19 walks in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020. The use of masks is mandatory in indoor public and retail spaces in the province. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. records deadliest day of pandemic with 13 deaths, 738 new COVID-19 cases

Number of people in hospital is nearing 300, while total cases near 30,000

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Keanu Reeves in “The Matrix.”
Free ‘Hollywood Suite’ movies in December include ‘Keanussance’ titles starring Keanu Reeves

Also featured is the Israeli-made ‘Valley of Tears,’ a 10-part war drama

Dani Barker, originally from Salmon Arm, is working with others in the New York City film industry to bring a script she wrote to life as a feature film called Follow Her. (Contributed)
Salmon Arm woman’s movie thriller nearing completion, in need of backing

Dani Barker wrote and stars in Follow Her which wrapped filming in New York in February

Axel Hasenkox, owner of OP Office Products in Penticton, is fed up after his store was tagged by an unknown person Monday Nov. 23, 2020. (Jesse Day - Western News
Penticton business hit by ‘senseless’ vandalism

Business owner disheartened after store tagged

The Smethurst kids Kai and Julia went door to door over two days spreading to cheer and handing out 200 treat bags full of home cooked goodies for a random act of kindness on Nov. 22 and 23. (Facebook)
Penticton family hands out 200 treat bags to neighbours

The Smethursts are also making Christmas meals for anyone who needs it

Police have identified this woman accused of spitting on an employee at the Skaha Liquor Store on Sunday, Nov. 21. She also is seen on video purposely dropping his phone.
Unmasked woman who allegedly spat on a Penticton employee has been identified

Police say thanks to the public, they were able to identify her

FILE - This May 4, 2020, file photo provided by the University of Maryland School of Medicine, shows the first patient enrolled in Pfizer's COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine clinical trial at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.  Pfizer announced Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, more results in its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study that suggest the shots are 95% effective a month after the first dose. (Courtesy of University of Maryland School of Medicine via AP, File)
VIDEO: B.C. planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines in the first weeks of 2021

The question of who will get the vaccine first relies on Canada’s ethical framework

This undated photo issued by the University of Oxford shows of vial of coronavirus vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University, in Oxford, England. (University of Oxford/John Cairns via AP)
Canada can make vaccines, just not the ones leading the COVID-19 race

Canada has spent more than $1 billion to pre-order seven different developing COVID-19 vaccines

Most Read