Stockdale family files medical appeal over dad's headache treatment



Posted on July 9, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 14 at 2:25 PM

How the 4 kids are coping with dad's headaches

MIDDLETON -- A Middleton family is faced with two very unique medical conditions and nowhere to turn.

They handed in their final appeal Wednesday for help.

"We've asked Omnipure, one more time, trust the doctors and their decision to provide this procedure of deep brain stimulation," said Scott Turlington, represents Stockdales.

As the Stockdale family waits for Ryan's former employer to decide on their appeal, they continue to fight the agonizing cluster headaches together.

As hard as this is on Ryan and Karia,their four children can often be found in tears as they hear their father pleading for relief.

The kids range in age from four to eight, and daily they see their dad in pain.

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From their limited perspective, they know he needs help. But what they don't know is that answer could be at their expense.

"I believe they're having a hard enough time watching what's happening to their dad and we try to protect them as much as possible," said Karia Stockdale.

Five years ago Ryan Stockdale experienced his first cluster headache. Since that time they've increased in intensity and frequency.

His pleas for help can be heard throughout their home.

"We've actually put a couch in the garage for those middle of the night attacks that are so bad," said Karia Stockdale.

Karia says her husband has tried everything from special diets, to unconventional methods.

So far, no relief for him or his kids who can't escape his cries of mercy.

"They cry, they cry a lot. It's been, it's very emotional and they, they hear him asking why and asking for help and they cry and say, what can we do, and why won't daddy be better, and they pray. I'll walk in often and they'll be together and they'll be praying together," said Karia Stockdale.

Karia does her best to shield her kids from the burdens forced upon her.

We talked to the four kids about what they know.

They couldn't find the words. But the oldest, Kayden was able to read this letter he wrote before we arrived.

"I want my dad to have his surgery, because I want him to play basketball with me again, and video games and go four wheeler riding again. It makes me sad when my dad's head hurts and he cries. I love my dad and I want him to be better. Kayden Stockdale."

Kayden wants to see his dad healthy. What he doesn't understand is what it could take to get him there.

If this appeal letter to Omnipure is rejected, funding for the surgery would come by selling the Extreme Makeover Home.

A home that has been a savior to Kayden, Jetty, Baylee and McKinnon who have unique and rare medical needs.

"We've had much less hospital visits, hospital stays, procedures, surgeries. Medications have even been lessened, it is 10 fold better in this home," said Karia Stockdale.

Karia says that she is trying her best not to think about facing that decision.

She's putting all of her hopes and prayers into Omnipure to approve the appeal and grant her husband the brain surgery that doctors say is his only hope of relief.

According to federal guidelines, Omnipure has 60 days to respond to the appeal.

We called the president of Omnipure again Wednesday, but he was unavailable for comment.

Since we first covered this story on Monday our newsroom has received dozens of e-mails and phone calls from people wanting to help. The outreach now spans across the globe.

"I've been amazed at the people at the people who have showed up at my door and wanted to help in anyway they can," said Karia Stockdale.

Karia Stockdale says just in the last few days over 50 people have showed up to her door offering advice, help and money.

A Facebook page titled "Save Ryan Stockdale Now," and an online petition are where people from around the world are showing support.

"We've seen names from the Netherlands, Australia, the Middle East, Germany, all over the world, and people are sharing their stories and they are sharing their desire for Ryan to receive this treatment, because they're seeing the videos and they're reading the story," said Turlington.

In just two days, nearly 1,200 people joined the group.

"From all over the world people are writing in," said Turlington.

The petition, asking Ominpure to approve the surgery, has almost 2,000 signatures.

"Terry Schwartz from Peoria, Arizona. Ryan deserves any medical treatment that would improve his quality of life," said Turlington.

The Stockdales story is one that reaches across borders and state lines.

"We have felt that, and that has been amazing. I've felt it more so than what happened two years ago, it has been, just pure love that we have felt and we're so grateful for that," said Karia Stockdale.

The Stockdales are paying around $4,000 a month out of pocket on Ryan's medications.

Since Ryan lost his job in October the family has lived off one third of its normal income.

They were forced to sell a car and other items just to make ends meet.

Karia says they only have a few weeks before those funds run out.