Correction to the story; Eric Stutzman is not the sole provider for the family, his wife Jenna Stutzman is employed.
FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – It has been a long road for Eric Stutzman and his medical journey yet the road home is now in his future.
A message from Eric Stutzman to the community;
‘What a fantastic community we have!! It’s amazing the amount of people willing to donate time, money or even a friendly text to see how I and my family are doing. I was totally dumbfounded when I heard how many people and how much money had been donated on the “gofundme” page. And others donated in person at FSJ Bottle Drop. I also had some friends buy and reinstall my furnace blower for free when it broke down. Also my friends Ken Griffin and Chris Dallow flew down to see me for a few days. It was especially nice to see old friends visit. They even took my wife Jenna out for some shopping and a bite to eat. It was nice for her to get away from the hospital and relax a bit. All of my siblings came to visit while I was in hospital either in Prince George or Vancouver. It was good to see them, next time I promise to be in better condition. Looks like we will be flying home this Friday hopefully. I will need more time to continue to recover and get healthier but every day I’m improving every day. Soon I will be able to start my battle with CLL. This will take about a year if everything goes as planned, then Lord willing I’ll be cancer free! Thank you again to our amazing community!’ Eric Stutzman
Stutzman is building his strength and waiting to return home in time for the Christmas holidays. The last week of the Stutzmans stay in Vancouver General Hospital saw Jenna Stutzman, Eric’s wife being admitted into the hospital for complications to her Diabetes.
“Eric continues to improve but has to be on the feeding tube until he can sustain 2500 calories- we are hoping it will be removed within the next 24 to 48 hours and then they are saying they will have to send him home because there are no beds in our hospital here,” said Karen Stutzman, Eric’s Mother, “It will be about two more days before Jenna is ready for release as well. They expect to come home together. However, it will be difficult for them to take care of each other because they are both so weak. Continued prayers are appreciated!”
With the Stutzman’s three children remaining in FSJ during this time the Phoenix Club Volunteers provided gifts for the family to help provide Christmas Spirit.
“Phoenix volunteers sent gifts- not knowing for sure who they were buying for-and did a fine job. I am preparing Christmas dinner,” Karen Stutzman goes on to say “Jenna and her daughter Tanisha will be the only other two living at the house besides Eric-their daughter Kylee lives in town & will come for Christmas.”
The decision for Stutzman’s release is based on his ability to sustain 2500 calories and once home Stutzman will still require help.
“Eric and Jenna are still in Vancouver General Hospital they hope to be released before the end of the week. If anyone would offer to do some simple supper’s they basically eat anything. Eric’s food will have to be puréed once it arrives. I understand the doctor has set up for a nurse to drop by and check up on them.” said Karen Stutzman
Mid-November Stutzman after a mini-stroke at work went to the Hospital and after many tests, it was determined that Stutzman has Chronic Lymphatic Leukemia, which is cancer of the bone marrow. Due to complications, such as H1N1 influenza, a bacterial infection and pneumonia, Stutzman was airlifted from FSJ Hospital to Prince George and then to Vancouver General Hospital. Once there the Doctors discovered Stutzman had a bad gallbladder which was then removed.
Stutzman who has worked for FSJ Bottle Depot for over 25 years, the three children remained in Fort St. John during this medical situation and their youngest, son Ethan – five years old has been staying with his sisters.