Hope4Peyton header image

I’m going to need a little help on this one…

This site has seen my family through many good times and bad in the past.  It’s time to dust it off and re-purpose it a bit.

This is that old comfortable pair of blue jeans you put on when you’ve got some work to do.

And we’ve got some work to do.

So, right now, I’m sitting on my couch, watching the exact same show I watched the first night when Peyton was diagnosed.  I just needed to hear the theme song really.  It’s kind of funny that the same episode is on….”Enterprise:  The Expanse”.  I really should be writing checks to bills that are piling up already and starting to organize my life and figuring out my wife’s “unique” filing system.


On Tuesday, Anissa suffered a massive stroke.  Then had another one sometime after the first MRI.

I was speechless and in some form of shock (still am) when the ER doctor told me this.  How could this be?  I was chatting with her not an hour ago.  We had both just agreed to give up our Christmas presents so we could stay in a nicer hotel over Thanksgiving while taking care of Anissa’s mom.  We were hoping we could finally give the kids our full attention for the first time in forever.  I was going to look up an old friend who has some pull at Riddle and see about getting a tour of the flight line for them.  Nathaniel’s at that age, and the girls would think it’s cool too.  We were going to grab a bite under the Port Orange bridge in the salty air, maybe even hit the Ocean Deck.

And now there she was with tubes in her mouth and unconscious?


What we know is that she called me around 1:20 pm and said, “Somethings wrong with me.  I’m at a restaurant and just collapsed.  They are calling an ambulance.”  Then she hung up and didn’t respond to any calls.  Those were the last words I heard her say.

Since then it’s been one head doctor after another, some picture taking, grim looks, and waiting.  Lots and lots of waiting.

News of the second stroke was definitely not encouraging.  The first ER doctor said something about 20% survival rate, and he pretty much expected her to go anytime soon.  (Understand that’s what I heard/interpretted…in shock…may not be exactly what he said).  The neurologist just kinda looked at it and mumbled some words that didn’t sound encouraging.  She bled into the PONS area of the brain.  Haven’t had the chance to google that, so I set some friends on it to filter for me…not good news…but playing Dr. Google rarely gives good news.

I really just keep feeling like I’m in a bad dream.  Do these people not realize who they are dealing with?  This is Anissa Mayhew.  The strongest, most amazing woman I’ve ever met.  She’s thirtyfreakinfive and can move mountains with her smile.  She can beat this.

There was some hand squeezing the first evening.  Baby step, but encouraging.

Then came the news of the second bleed.

That’s when I decided to bring the kids up.  If she was going to go, I wanted them to have a chance to see her.  I wanted them to give her a fighting chance and for her to hear and remember in some remote part of that brain exactly who and what she was fighting for.

So, the director of the hospital agreed to let the kids in.  They donned masks and trudged up to her room.  They knew mom was bad and that she hadn’t opened her eyes and had tubes keeping her alive.  They talked a little bit, were afraid a little bit, and sad too.  But God bless my kids.  They are all too familiar with hospital trips.  2 of them have been visiting hospitals for more than half of their lives.  They told her how much they loved her.  They are strong.  They get that from their mom.

About twenty minutes after they left, Anissa started fighting.  A little at first.  But, it’s always darkest before the light.

She started showing signs that she’s in there.  There was more movement on her left side.  Somewhat coordinated turning of the head and reaching with her arm to get the tube out of her mouth.  She opened her eyes briefly.  Thursday, she opened her eyes a fair amount.  There’s no recognition in there yet.  But I believe that will come.  She’s turned her head to acknowledge a different voice.  All of this wears her out quickly, but she’s fighting.  That’s encouraging in itself.

Now what?

Someone is with her around the clock.  The cavalry came up when they first heard the news.  I have gotten MANY questions of how can I help and what do I need.  I hear you all, and appreciate every single offer.  Please understand though, this is a marathon, not a sprint.  IF she comes out of this, it will be a long road to recovery.  Each of you will be able to help over the course of time.  I’ll make sure of it.  Right now, my kids need consistancy and people they know and trust.  That’s addressed.  Anissa and I need the experience of someone who’s been there and done that with regard to the brain.  That’s also addressed.  Lastly, she needs to hear familiar voices.  Check.  People are coming out of the woodwork to offer to help, and it is very much appreciated, but please understand that it may not be now that we need your help.  We’re covered through this week and next I think.  The Tampa Badge Bowl gang has graciously agreed to take care of Thanksgiving dinner.  My job has been absolutely AMAZING on this.  We definitely are surrounded by love.  He’s made sure of that.  I’m going to set up a controlled scheduling site so that people can sign up to help with things.

At this point, mostly what we need is prayer.  To my knowledge, I know of prayer chains in Europe, Africa, and North America.  Several small towns are praying.  Friends old and new, and complete strangers are praying.  That’s exactly what we need now.  Pray for her to make it through one more night with no more bleeding.  Pray for the blood in her head to recede.  Pray for her to come out of this.

Please pray for our family.  `

I’m going to need to lean on you all.  I’m not as strong as she is.


395 Comments on “I’m going to need a little help on this one…”

  1. #1 Erika
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 8:56 am

    Praying for you *all* in Ontario, Canada.

  2. #2 k
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 8:56 am

    saying a prayer
    praying for a healing for her

  3. #3 Suki
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 8:58 am

    Peter, I don’t know you or Anissa, but I will be praying for you, the kids and most of all Anissa.

  4. #4 Sarah
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:31 am

    Peter…I am so deeply sorry to hear all of this. It has been a rough season for you all!! I will keep you all in my prayers. May Annissa come out of this with flying colors!! {{{Hugs}}}
    Blessings, Sarah

  5. #5 Sandra
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:41 am

    sending prayers of healing and strength to your family….

  6. #6 Peter Mayhew
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Love you guys Kay.

  7. #7 kyra
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:45 am

    i came over from nik’s mom’s facebook page. i am so sorry to hear about this devastating news. i believe in miracles and in healing. i am sending out my most heartfelt prayers for your wife and your family.

  8. #8 RamblingMother
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Just heard through the upblogging network at ning. I don’t personally know Anissa but read a bit of your story. Praying for you all as that is truly the best that can be done.

    Father, Watch over this family. Give them Your peace that passes all understanding. Hold Anissa firmly in your grip. Give the doctors wisdom in how to help heal her. Keep her spirit fighting for her children. Touch her deeply and let them all know they are loved and held in Your Mighty Hands.

    In Jesus, the Great Physician’s name,

  9. #9 Melissa
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Sending my prayers.

  10. #10 Ashley
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:15 am

    You have KY praying for you! I’m sure you’ll make it out of this… God always leads us on the right path. Your family is in my thoughts.

  11. #11 Nadine
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:46 am

    i’ve known of anissa only a couple of weeks, thru twitter. her frequent comments were so funny, and i followed a link to her blog where i learned abour your family struggle.

    i have been praying for anissa and your family since i heard the news. having been through some “stuff” within our family, your situation breaks my heart.

    i can relate, i can relate.

    God bless you all. i know He is holding you all close to his heart.

  12. #12 Jennifer
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Constant thoughts and prayers for you and your family

  13. #13 Kirsty @ Gone Bananas
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 7:41 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family that she has a speedy recovery and is back home with you all soon! xx

  14. #14 Annie Anderson
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Peter –

    This is my first visit to your blog but I’m so sorry to hear about this. Please know that it IS possible to come out of this.

    My brother in law had a very similar series of strokes back in April this year. He was in the hospital for a long time. We, too, thought perhaps it would be the end. He was in and out of a coma for a while. Then improved more and more, little by little . . . They finally sent him home from the hospital in mid-June.

    And today, he is still here! Still fighting! He’s improving every day and he can even walk on his own now, sometimes even without his cane. Back in May and June, he was wheelchair bound.

    He proved them all wrong.

    I hope Anissa does the same.

    Sending lots of healing thoughts, energies, prayers your way.

  15. #15 paula schuck
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Finally I took a minute tonight to check this prayers for Anissa stuff out on twitter. I’ve been reading and lurking but had no idea what it all was about and then I read your post. I am so deeply saddened by this and and hopeful for you too. I do not know your family but after reading your post feel as if I do a little bit. You are obviously survivors and Anissa too. So I am sending hope and healing thoughts to your family. I hope this will soon be a distant memory and Anissa back home with you where she should be.

  16. #16 Stacey / Create a Balance
    on Nov 21st, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Many prayers for Anissa and your family from Chicagoland.

  17. #17 DavefromFlorida
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 10:00 am

    I have been praying each night for Anissa. I do not know you or your family but my brother Chris (GA) is a close friend. As I pray my nightly prayers, Anissa’s name pops in my head, like the Lord reminds me somehow. I will continue to pray for Anissa, you and your family for healing, strength and guidance. My wife has lost her brother and mother this year so I know how comforting it is to have people praying even when you do not know them.

    The Coast is praying as well…. discoverthecoast.com

  18. #18 Steve Olson
    on Nov 22nd, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Peter, Annisa has our prayers. It is times like this that friends, family, and caring strangers should all pitch in, and prayers can really help. Good luck, Good health to Annisa, and may our prayers help Annisa through this!! With love, the Steve Olson family

  19. #19 Lisa
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 2:33 am

    Peter, I am praying for you, Anissa, your children and your entire family.

  20. #20 Julie
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 11:25 am

    I went through this with my sister 5 years ago, she had virtually the same exact thing happen ten days before Christmas. Two brain bleeds, etc. I know the road you are on and I know how devastatingly difficult it is. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your kids, and especially with Anissa as she recovers from this.

  21. #21 Helen
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    I don’t know your family, as many here do not, but after seeing a request on twitter I read your post…it just doesn’t seem fair that so much has been put on one family. I feel so guilty because I was having a bit of a “pity me” day…I have so much to be thankful for and reading your post has made me realize how blessed I am, so I will take this positive energy that you have given me and put it towards prayers and healing spirits for your family. Thank you for sharing with us.

  22. #22 Taryn
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    Lots of prayers from Floyds Knobs, IN. For Annisa, your family and the team of doctors who are caring for her. Have faith!

    Taryn Skees and family

  23. #23 blogomomma
    on Nov 23rd, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    Peter – may God keep and comfort you all – give you the strength and guidance you will need in the days ahead. A dear friend suffered severe brain trauma with long term coma some years ago. The road was long but the recovery is now over 95%.

    God still heals!

  24. #24 hello haha narf
    on Nov 24th, 2009 at 11:50 am

    dear lord, please be with anissa’s family as they rally around her. grant them strength to endure the helpless feelings during this battle she is fighting. most importantly, please touch anissa, be with her and heal her body. grant her your love and mercy. take care of her and work the miracles that only you are able. while only you know your plan, you must also know how much her family needs her. please take care of anissa. thank you.

  25. #25 Dad Blog
    on Nov 25th, 2009 at 9:36 am

    You guys are in my family’s prayers. We pray for healing and speedy recovery.

  26. #26 Michelle Willis
    on Nov 25th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    I am a cousin of Natalie’s by marriage, and I’ve been following her updates on Facebook. Then, I was reading one of Why Mommy’s blogs (I went to high school with her), and I found an entry about Anissa. That led me here, where I have read every word you’ve written about her struggle. You have so many people pulling for your family all around the world. If the number of good thoughts counts for anything, she (and you) will be just fine.

    I don’t know Anissa, but the work she has done is inspiring. I am going to hope today that she makes a full recovery so she can continue to shine her light in this world.

    Miracles do happen. My father-in-law suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm more than five years ago. The doctors told us he most likely wouldn’t make it. There were many setbacks and many dark moments, but three brain surgeries and a few months of rehab later, and he was back on the golf course. I hope your family has a similar outcome.

    Natalie is a good ally to have in your corner. She’s been through so much, and she’s a fighter.

    Pulling for you in South Carolina…

  27. #27 Sally Oh
    on Nov 29th, 2009 at 11:33 pm

    May the good Lord watch over you Peter and your family. I will be praying for Annissa. The road to recovery is long and windy but with prayers it will be reachable. God Bless.
    Prayer chain will be started here at San Francisco.

  28. #28 Events » Shop for Anissa day is December 10th | Modern Jewelry by Blend Creations The Blend Creations blog.
    on Dec 3rd, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    […]  From our friends at Cool Mom Picks we found out about Anissa Mayhew, a young mom and blogger who recently suffered a severe stroke.  […]

  29. #29 gwen
    on Dec 3rd, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    i’m so sorry to hear about your wife. i’m sad to say that i truely know what youre going through. my husband suffered a stoke almost 3 years ago. there isnt alot of info out there and it can be scary not getting any answers, because dr’s truely do not know. PLEASE if you need anyone to talk to please email me.
    i will pray for you and your family!

  30. #30 Christa
    on Dec 5th, 2009 at 1:30 am

    Thinking about you. Praying for you.

  31. #31 Laura
    on Dec 7th, 2009 at 3:20 am

    I can’t help but comment. My mother in law was diagnosed this summer with a ruptured brain abscess. At first it was diagnosed as a massive stroke. In the end Brain abscess’s kill 80% upon rupture. She was at death’s door, we said goodbye. We prayed hard for God’s will and ours to keep her alive. She improved. It wasn’t easy as she had a relapse where infection took over. Had several brain surgeries (serious). I began to wonder if we would loose her again, and if we didn’t who would she be when we got her back. She was confused when she woke. Didn’t know us, or her name, or where she was. Many prayed some more. 2 months in the neuro ICU. No hope. No happiness. Just heart wrenching all nighters by her side. Prayers work. She made it home. She is decorating our tree. She is slowly becoming herself. Four months in the hospital. I know this is not what happened to your wife but it can happen for her too. Keep praying, keep hoping. The brain has an amazing ability to recover. I am witness of this. I also recommend the book My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey. It is full of insight and hope. God bless you and I’ll pray. I know the pain and the heart ache you are experiencing. It’s crushing at times.

  32. #32 Blog • Bid • Hope | Mayhem and Moxie
    on Dec 7th, 2009 at 4:46 am

    […] three, who collapsed after suffering a massive stroke.  Her family and friends are devastated.  One minute, her husband is talking to her about which hotel they could stay in over the Thanksgiving holiday, […]

  33. #33 Puna
    on Dec 7th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    This is heart breaking. I am crying. Praying for her and for you and for your boys.

  34. #34 Hope4Peyton : LifeSignatures
    on Dec 7th, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    […] morning, I discovered this blog, Hope4Peyton. The author, Anissa Mayhew, suffered a stroke and collapsed over the Thanksgiving holidays. Posts are now being written by her husband as he […]

  35. #35 Nancy
    on Dec 8th, 2009 at 12:22 am

    Praying hard for your wife and family. Praying for her recovery and strength to you and your children.

  36. #36 Jenny
    on Dec 8th, 2009 at 8:44 am

    I’m sorry. I hope your wife gets well soon.

  37. #37 a thorn among roses
    on Dec 8th, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    bloggy friend…we are praying! praying for anissa’s strength and yours as you keep things moving on the homefront.

  38. #38 Today is Shop for Anissa Day. | Modern Jewelry by Blend Creations The Blend Creations blog.
    on Dec 10th, 2009 at 11:14 am

    […] is “Shop for Anissa” day.  Anissa Mayhew, is a mother to three and blogger who recently suffered a severe stroke.  She’s an avid blogger and originally started as an outlet in dealing with her youngest […]

  39. #39 Peter
    on Dec 30th, 2009 at 3:08 pm

    Prayers help. I’ve known the experience. Happy to help give all prayers and help I can. (I heard about this via @Pistachio).

  40. #40 Top Stories of the Parenting Blogosphere in 2009
    on Dec 31st, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    […] In mid-November, Anissa Mayhew suffered a stroke.  The amount of support that poured out for her was (and remains) incredible.  130 bloggers […]

  41. #41 Pop Discourse » Blog Archive » Love Not Guilt
    on Jan 14th, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    […] I struggle with some personal matters, and also as I have cried over the suffering of friends like Anissa and Arianne. Not to mention the immense devastation of Haiti; incomprehensible and tragic on so […]

  42. #42 » Blissdom ‘10: Dances with Moms | babybloomr
    on Feb 9th, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    […] and we know how to rally ’round when the occasion calls for it– just ask MckMama, or Anissa, or the […]

  43. #43 Beth Decker
    on Mar 17th, 2010 at 5:55 am

    I do not know you, you do not know me. I do not know your wife. But, it does not matter. I am going to speak to you from the other side of the stroke. December 26, 2004, I had my stroke. Unexpected, as I drove into my yard, coming home from work. There were signs the day before, but I did not pay attention to them. The stroke was painless – first my body was working, the next second, the left side was not. I talked to my husband, he brought me to the hospital while I protested. I did not realize that what I thought I said, was nothing like what he heard. I was 55. Test after test. Blood clot on right side. Never did find out from where. The hardest part was rehab. I have managed to regain 97% over the 5 years. I will tell you, without a doubt – there is someone in there that cannot figure out how to get out. I heard, I thought I answered (I didn’t), I thought I squeezed the left hand – I didn’t. I had a hard time figuring out why the doctors didn’t know I had done it, or said it. It is a surreal experience. But, when you can talk to a stroke victim, they hear, they want to know exactly what is happening because its a mass of confusion to the victim. Talk, talk, talk.
    I still forget names and words once in awhile, and I transpose numbers, when I least expect it. I have a small stutter. Sometimes I have to use my hand to get my left leg up over a fence, or getting into a vehicle from the passenger side. But, I’m glad to be alive, I’m glad to be mobile, and I thank God for all those people who prayed for me and all those people who talked to me when I could not answer back.

    And, I will pray for your family.


  44. #44 Events » Today is Shop for Anissa Day « Modern Jewelry by Blend Creations
    on May 16th, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    […] is “Shop for Anissa” day.  Anissa Mayhew, is a mother to three and blogger who recently suffered a severe stroke.  She’s an avid blogger and originally started as an outlet in dealing with her youngest […]

  45. #45 mayhewp
    on Jun 7th, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Thank you for your kind words Beth. Would love to get some more insight from you