(From William Pratney, Winkie’s son) I took Winkie in for an MRI a few days ago. They took pictures of his brain. We’re still waiting to hear the results. Winkie met with his physical therapist today. She took him through all kinds of tests. She will return again next week. He has also played some tennis, and table tennis recently. Actually, they’ve recommended 30 minutes of exercise a day for him. People that talk to him are impressed by how much progress he has made. It seems like most if not all of his long-term memory has been regained. (He is much more conversationally fluent, now) What we notice still eludes him are the pronouns – the everyday use and descriptor words. But they’re coming…as far as I’m concerned it’s only a matter of time. We don’t want him thrust back into the preaching world immediately. He still needs time to fully regain his use of pronouns and full communication skills. He also needs time to heal. I also would like to make sure he is remembering things correctly – as they are. But he seems to be doing really well. A little rehab is going to be good for him also. In the meantime, we’re trying to take advantage of a gracious offer that our friend, Dr. (dental prosthodondist) Gilbert Watson has extended to Winkie. Winkie knocked a top front tooth out last year while playing table tennis with someone at a youth camp. He kept the tooth and they temporarily glued it back in. On Christmas Day, that same tooth came out again, after Winkie violently sneezed. We kept the tooth. That same night, Winkie had a stroke. So he was toothless for quite a while, while recovering from the stroke. We saw another dentist, who also temporarily glued the tooth in. At the moment, that’s what Winkie is using. But he can’t bite down on stake for example, with that tooth. Dr. Watson is going to help us to fix all that. The other thing is just helping him to have a more presentable smile. He has for years “gotten by” with short-term dental solutions. For most, that’s fine (and it’s fine with him). But Mom and I would like to see him have a much more presentable smile, especially for all the public speaking, television and video recordings, etc. he does. Dr. Watson is regarded as an expert in his field, and has an amazingly wise and practical approach to dentistry. He took not only X-rays of Winkie’s teeth (individually, I think) but also many digital pictures (using a nice, Canon camera) of his teeth! He was able to explain to us and Winkie what’s going on, not only with each tooth, individually, but as they relate to each other and his dental situation as a whole. We couldn’t be in better hands, and are very lucky to be able to see him. I’m happy because this is something I have really wanted for Dad for many years, now. It seems that now we finally have a chance to get some of this stuff done.
Thanks everybody for your prayers. It looks like the crisis is abated. Winkie is well on his way to recovery. Just don’t (for those of you who are ministers or ministry administrators) send him any invites for anything anytime soon. We want to give him at least until June/July to really rest, rehabilitate and recover. (He may be up to the task of preaching sooner, but we don’t him or anyone else counting on it – it’s just too much pressure on him) Even the very invite itself can carry with it a weight of responsibility and a pressure that we don’t want him having to carry at this time. He can’t stress or his blood-pressure will elevate. And we can’t afford for his blood pressure to elevate anywhere near where it was at, before.
Also, any air travel over 3 hours at a time for him has been recommended against. We really don’t think it wise to risk his health by long, overseas flights at this time. Please be advised.