In October, life suddenly changed for Tyler Kurtz and his family after he experienced a stroke.
Tyler had a stroke and was rushed to the hospital. Doctors told him his cerebellum was affected.
“We’ve never been apart this much. I’ve been here when he was in Bismarck, I was visiting every day. I’ve been down in Omaha two times. Him not being home and being with the little girls, it has been really hard,” Randa Kurtz, Tyler’s wife, said.
He also had severe swelling in his brain which required surgery.
“It took longer than the surgeon had told us. He said the situation was very, very serious. We didn’t know if he would wake up or what kind of situation he would be in,” Randa said.
After spending some time in Bismarck, Randa took her husband to Omaha, Nebraska where Tyler checked into a rehabilitation Center.
“They accepted Tyler and we got him there in an airplane ride. The stay was approved by insurance, but the flight was not. We knew we needed to get him where he needed to go,” Randa said.
She said as a stay home mom, she was concerned about how she would be able to handle the financial impact — but she didn’t have to worry alone.
A friend created a GoFundMe account to help the family with their expenses.
At Legacy High School, Tyler’s coworker, Katie Wald, launched a T-shirt sale to help raise more money for the family.
The shirt has a symbolic graphic.
“A big beard, and it’s really different than what we normally see on Tyler. When his wife went down, she talked to him about shaving it and he said it’s a part of the process. He hasn’t shaved it since he started and he’s going to keep letting it grow just to remind him of all he’s been through,” Katie said.
His favorite word, resilience, is included on the shirt because it’s what he needs to fully recover.
“Resiliency and bouncing back; Tyler is a hard worker, he never gives up. That example for his daughters and his students is going to be something others can learn from,” Randa said.
Tyler is not just a husband, he’s a father to four little girls ages eight, seven, five and one and a half.
Randa said his recovery is going well.
“He’s eating all his calories now and that’s great. He’s walking with a walker and doing something without a walker and building up his balance and coordination,” she said.
With the holiday season upon us, they’re hoping their husband and dad will soon return home and reunite the family.
“Maybe Saturday, maybe Tuesday, we’re trying to figure out the logistics. We’re really excited, the girls are excited to get dad home soon,” Randa said.