Benefit is 'everyone's opportunity' to help Kady
Former Morris resident suffers from rare AVM condition
On Sept. 21, 2011, former Morris resident Kady Hackett, now Kady Zumwalt, 38, suffered a brain hemorrhage, caused by a condition known as Arteriovenous Malformation, or AVM.
"She started to show signs of recovery two weeks after," said Kady's friend Nicole Bregar.
But then she had a second, more-severe hemorrhage while in the hospital and is now in a "minimally conscious," but stable, state in a long-term care facility in Queens, N.Y.
AVM, a rare condition that only affects about 1 percent of the population, forms when arteries in the brain connect directly to nearby veins without having the normal capillaries between them, Bregar said. An AVM rupture is caused by pressure and damage to blood vessel tissue, allowing blood to leak into the brain and surrounding tissues, therefore reducing blood flow to the brain.
Kady was born with the AVM, according to her father, Denny Hackett, of Morris, but it went undetected until the incident in September, when Kady was 37 years old.
Doctors have found that the AVM manifests itself in pregnant women in either the third trimester or postpartum, Hackett said. Kady gave birth to her third child in July 2011.
Kady has some movement in her right arm and right hand, currently. She can also point, squeeze and blink on command, according to Kady's husband, Jim. Most of her movement is involuntary, though.
In the near future, she will undergo a bone replacement procedure on the right side of her head and will be placed on a treatment protocol, including 16 different medications, nutrition supplements and various forms of electric stimulation, Jim said.
"You generally can't heal or correct damage to the brain," Jim said. Kady's doctors believe they may be able to compensate for it, however.
Jim seems to be excited about the possibilities this treatment has, Hackett said.
To help Kady and Jim with medical costs, a benefit will be held at the Morris Country Club on West U.S. 6, from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday, May 18.
Many people continue to ask Hackett and other family members how they can help. This is everyone's opportunity, Hackett said.
As of Wednesday, May 9, 170 people had already RSVP'd and paid for their tickets, but Bregar was anticipating about 300 all together.
Tickets are $25 per person and include entertainment, soda, beer, wine and hors d'ouevres. Tickets can be purchased at the First Midwest Bank in Morris, the Morris Country Club or from Bregar directly at (773) 383-4013.
Kady was accepted as a grant recipient through the T-BIRD Foundation, the Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery Drive Foundation, so all of the money collected through the benefit will be given to T-BIRD and then made available to the Zumwalt's for medical expenses, Bregar said.
More than 100 items have been donated for a raffle and both live and silent auctions. Items vary from teas and mugs to dinner vouchers, and from flat screen TVs to vacation getaways and sports game tickets of all kinds.
Kady and Jim live in New Jersey with their three children — Wesley, 7; Evie, 4; Rylan, 9 months.
Jim said Evie has probably been taking things the hardest being the only girl at home. Wesley has a strong support network at school and Rylan is "a fabulous baby" and a "happy little boy."
"I'm OK," Jim said. "There are good days and bad days."
He said he has had tremendous support from family, friends and neighbors.
"I don't know how I would have managed otherwise," he said.
Jim is planning on attending the benefit Friday and said he appreciates everything everyone has done and is still doing to support him and his family in their time of need.