Isaac was a healthy 30 year old, who took care of his body, was a vegetarian, an outdoorsman, and practiced yoga intensively. He had just become a certified yoga instructor and ran a successful wedding and fashion photography business with his wife, when he experienced a sudden onset of blurry vision over labor day weekend 2011. After an optometry and doctor’s visit and a CT scan “just to be safe,” he was told the worst possible news….he had a very large brain tumor.

He was immediately checked into the emergency room because of the tumor’s size on September 12, 2011, the same day he got the news. He and his wife braced for the worst. He was told the tumor was operable with very little side effects, but he needed the operation immediately. On September 15, 2011 he underwent a craniotomy to remove the tumor, officially diagnosed as a pituitary macroadenoma. The surgery was not totally successful in removing the whole tumor, and two days later, Isaac had a grand mal seizure. Two days after that, on the day he was to be discharged home, he had a massive MCA stroke that left his left size completely paralyzed. His wife, Stephanie, was with him the whole entire time and saw her strong, young husband, who had been her high school sweetheart, crippled before her eyes.

A week after the stroke, Isaac was transferred to UCI acute rehab center, but things didn’t go as planned there either. Because Isaac’s body was in a hyercoagulable state after surgery, he developed a DVT which went undetected. A week into rehab, Isaac had a pulmonary embolism and had to be transferred to the medical side to fight for his life. He was transferred back to rehab, but his suffering did not end there…the blood clots in his leg and where they inserted the IVC filter grew, rashes sprouted possibly from drug interactions, and he was not able to get the blood thinners or TPA needed to break up the clots because he had just had brain surgery. Specialists came by the dozens, testing his blood, testing everything they could think of…they found nothing abnormal. Luckily, Stephanie was pointed in the direction of an amazing intervention radiologist who saved his legs and possibly his life by performing a special thrombectomy with thrombolysis, using balloons to make sure the blood thinner and clot busting agents didn’t make it to his brain.

Things started to go uphill after that. Isaac was transferred again to rehab, and started to walk a week later. After a month of intensive rehab, Isaac was released to go home on December 3, 2011. Insurance helped with home therapy for two months, where Isaac has made significant…if not miraculous improvements. He was discharged in a wheelchair and now walks without the use of a cane. His left arm and hand have come a long way as well, but still have a ways to go to regain full function. Isaac and his wife gave up their home to move in with Stephanie’s grandma to help with medical and therapy bills. They had decent medical insurance, but Isaac’s bills from the 3 month hospital stay, with all of the specialized procedures, are massive. Also, their insurance does not pay for outpatient rehab, so they have had to pay for his therapy themselves. The thing that will give Isaac the best chance of a full recovery is driving them to bankruptcy. Isaac has not been able to work since his stroke, and Stephanie, his sole caretaker, tries to work part time, shooting weddings and editorial, although she can’t shoot as much as she used to. The medical and therapy bills are piling up, so this donation could save their business and give Isaac the continued therapy to make a full recovery and get back to work and living a full life, full of the things he once loved to do. Insurance also does not cover therapies that have proven to aid in recovery, like the bioness arm, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, acupuncture, etc. Isaac and Stephanie try to stay positive…the brain tumor was benign and Isaac is young with so much life ahead of him…he has an excellent chance of making a very good recovery.

Below are posts I wrote during his hospital stay….

Dear friends, family, loyal blog readers, and this modern romance clients, 


I wanted to give you an update of what has happened these past two weeks. Sorry for the lack of updates and blog posts, but I’ve been so mentally, emotionally and physically exhausted and focused on Isaac that typing or even calling someone on the phone seemed impossible. Isaac is resting now after a physical therapy session, so I have some time to tell everyone what has happened these past two weeks. Last Monday, September 12, Isaac had a CT scan done because over the labor day weekend he developed blurred, double vision. The CT scan immediately showed a massive 5cm (the size of a lime) tumor in the middle of his brain, which had begun to press on his optic nerve. He was immediately checked into the emergency room at Newport Hoag Hospital and scheduled for a craniotomy on September 15. We were too in shock to process anything really or fully grasp how in danger Isaac was. The surgeons told us there was only a 5% chance of complications, so we were positive. The brain surgery went well on Thursday, and the neuro surgeon removed most of the bulk of the massive tumor – about 20% had to be left because it was up against important structures.The tumor was benign, and diagnosed as a (prolactinoma) pituitary macroadenoma. The next day Isaac was doing really well, and then on Saturday he had a grand mal seizure for the first time in his life. I was right next to him when it happened…and it was the scariest thing I had ever witnessed. I thought I was losing him…. The following few days were a struggle, but he was making a bit of progress – walking, talking just fine, just groggy from all the trauma and meds. We were ready to be discharged on Monday, September 19th…ready to go home and heal, when suddenly Isaac lost all movement on his left side and experienced stroke-like symptoms. Instead of going home, he was sent to a series of tests, CT and MRI, and it was found that a bit of the tumor the surgeon left behind had been pressing on the middle artery in his brain due to increased intercranial swelling. His motor cortex was slowly being starved of oxygen. It was my worst nightmare…a waking nightmare. Isaac had had a stroke, and was now fully paralyzed on his left side. His usually expressive, smiling face was a blank slate and his physically strong, young body had immediately caved in on itself. 

He was rushed to the neuro ICU, and we spent two agonizing days there trying to reduce the swelling in his brain and shrink the last bits of tumor with medication. Once Isaac was more stable, we were transferred to the stroke unit and were monitored there for a week. Over the weekend I toured several acute stroke rehab facilities, and last night, Isaac was transferred by ambulance to the UCI medical acute stroke rehabilitation center, where he started intensive rehabilitation today. Right after his stroke, Isaac was unable to move anything on the left side and his speech was slurred. Now, a few days later, he can lightly squeeze my hand with his left hand, pull with his bicep a bit, and raise his left leg ever so slightly. We have a long, long road to recovery, but I know Isaac has the drive and motivation to heal and fully recover.

Those that have been following the news on Facebook and twitter….thank you all for your prayers and love…a few days ago, Isaac out of the blue told me that he feels so incredibly loved. A few people have been emailing me asking if there is a way to help or donate to Isaac’s long rehab process, so I’ve set up a paypal fund. If you can donate, then I thank you. If you can’t and still want to help in any way, please pray for Isaac. If you have a personal story or know of any latest research articles on brain trauma and stroke recovery, please send them my way – I’ll be very grateful. I’ve been trying to voraciously research what he is going through in between caring for him.

My goal is to get him the best care from here on out and stay in a rehab program even if I have to pay out of pocket. Isaac is by far the most amazing person I have ever met – he is my soul mate, the love of my life and my best friend…I don’t know anyone else that would stay so positive through everything he’s gone through the last two weeks…who else would thank a nurse for taking his blood or poking him with an IV…who else would apologize for being so heavy to lift or make sure to learn every nurse and aid’s name by heart. He has been more worried about me and my lack of sleep than with his current disability.

His spirit is beyond beautiful. It’s these moments in life when your priorities are massively rearranged and you realize how short and precarious your life is….I don’t know what the future holds for us, but I’m trying to stay positive. Needless to say, we have been unable to work, edit, or get back to anyone via phone or email these past two weeks. All my attention has been on Isaac’s recovery. Please know that now that Isaac is in an acute rehab program, I will be able to return to work…your emails answered, album and print orders taken care of, and weddings and shoots edited. Thank you for your patience. I’ll update everyone soon.

On another note, if you’d like to share Isaac’s story on your blog, please feel free to use the “Help Heal” badge. Also, if you or your loved one have any persisting symptoms or odd headaches, please don’t hesitate to see a doctor. Isaac had seen so many doctors in the past that dismissed his symptoms as signs of depression or stress or tension headaches. No one ever expects this – just celebrated his 30th birthday this year. Isaac had also just become a yoga instructor as well, ate an organic, nearly vegan diet and exercised regularly. Life is unpredictable and short, and no amount of planning could have prepared us for this. Please make each day count, and tell the people in your life that you love them a million times a day… you just never know what could happen…..




latest update 10/10/11: First off, thank you everyone for the well wishes and prayers for Isaac and all the personal stories that you’ve shared..thank you…..Last week was so exhausting and Isaac’s condition was really touch and go, so I was unable to post updates…Last Sunday, he was diagnosed with Pulminary Emboli – blood clots in his lungs due to a blood clot in his left leg (deep vein thrombosis). Because of his craniotomy, he wasn’t a candidate for the usual treatment of blood thinners and anti coagulants, since there was a chance of a bleed in his brain. So, the doctors decided to sacrifice “lung tissue for brain tissue” and let his body deal with the clots on its own. He had a surgery to insert a vena cava filter into the vein leading to his lungs and heart to prevent any further clots from reaching his lungs and heart, but that was the most the doctors could do for him. He was in so much pain from the emboli and agitation to his lungs and pleura that morphine didn’t even take the edge off….it was unbearable to watch him suffer. He was hooked up to dilaudid PCA pump. On Tuesday night, he developed a fever of 102 and I woke up to the nurses packing his head and body in ice packs. The site where an IV from Hoag that was left in for over 5 days became infected, and Isaac also developed a slight pneumonia…this was the scariest time. He was placed on tons of antibiotics. Over the weekend, he started doing a lot better and was almost pain free. We’ve been having him practice his breathing on a Breathing Spirometer to expand his lungs several times an hour. Today he was transferred back to rehab finally, and is fully ready to give it his all…his resiliency is truly amazing. I’ve been having to fight the hospital to get him access to acupuncture. The doctors approved him to physically have acupuncture, so we had our acupuncturist come see him in his hospital bed and treat him. The nurses and hospital staff flipped out, because it was against hospital policy, but thankfully, let the acupuncturist finish her session. The next day, Isaac was able to open his right eye a bit (it’s been fully closed since surgery because of damage to the ocularmotor nerve). Whether it was the acupuncture or not, it definitely made me want to fight to get him more sessions. We tried to contact the UCI medical board, but since it was the weekend, no one was around…I’m in the process of trying to get our acupuncturist approved to practice at the rehab center to do some intensive therapy sessions with electroacupuncture, which I’ve read the results of several studies that found it can help speed recovery after a stroke. So, that is the latest update…sorry it hasn’t been a more positive week. I am so ready for all the complications to end…and at this point, I’m so completely “over” western medicine. Isaac has been through enough. Please pray that this be his time now for healing, please pray for swelling in his brain to go down and for the strength to fight his way back to be whole once again. Thank you guys again for the prayers and support…that is a major thing keeping us afloat right now.





I fell in love with your work ages and ages ago, and still send prayers to y’all when you pop into my mind… hopefully in the least creepy way possible, but the beauty y’all captured was just so inspiring for me. If you guys still need donations, I can’t give much, but I certainly understand large hospital bills, and will contribute when I save more up 🙂 Best wishes, I hope both of you are well!



Sending you all my love from New Orleans. If you need anything, physician referrals, second opinions, etc, let me know. I have a TON of medical research at my fingertips, so let me know what you need. Email me and we’ll chat!

Love and hugs,


Hi, I’ve been a fan of your work for quite some time (it started with my obsession with weddings that kicked off when I began helping a friend wit her wedding), and I wanted to let you know that y’all have been in my thoughts since I first heard about Isaac. I hope that this past year since your last update has been a good one, and please know that my family’s prayers are with you still.

[…] to regain full function. He’s getting better every day, but they need our help! Please visit this site to read the full story, as told by Stephine, and to donate to Help Heal […]

I am Indonesian, I love a wedding photography very much, and I found your blog while I was blog-walking. I pray best for both of you. It is not an easy fight. But we need to believe and I really do believe that if we fight hard everything will be beautiful in the end. Hope you can live happily, just like before 🙂


Please know that my husband and I will keep you guys in our prayers. I went through your blog and website yesterday and fell in love with your work. You have been in my mind since and when I visited your blog again today I saw this post.I will defiantly be praying for your husband’s quick recovery. I know that God is in the healing business and he will defiantly bless his son. Many blessings to you guys.

Stefanie Bodkin


I’m so sorry to hear about Isaac’s ill-health. Wishing you all the best, you’re in my thoughts.


Hi Stephanie,

You and Isaac shot our wedding two years ago in March and we had such a wonderful time with you. My husband Jordan just saw this post and shared it with me. I am so sad to hear about Isaac’s condition and both of your battles with recovery. Please know that we’re thinking of you and hoping for a speedy healing process.

Lots of love,

Ava and Jordan

Hi Stephanie,
I’m just a distant photog friend in Yorkshire, England.
Just wanted to let you know that my husband and myself prayed for you, Isaac, and your family today when I randomly came across your page.
Keeping going , you’re so brave and will be so excited to hear the news when he is fully recovered.

much love,
Jojo + Isaac Stott xx

john & amy

We miss you guys. Praying for the best with Issac.

Melissa Fuller

Sending the most heartfelt wishes and hope for better times soon to you both.

Marisa Mangum

Wow, What a trying thing to go through. I am so sorry you have to have this heartache in your lifetime. You two are amazingly talented-always a source of inspiration for me as I work my way through school studying graphic design & photography. I will definitely keep you in my prayers-God is bigger than any mountains you have to face in life, and although it is hard to remember sometimes, He is always there protecting you & comforting you. My prayers and empathy go out to you two right now.

God Bless,
Marisa Mangum


My prayer for you and Isaac… Both of you are true example of everlasting love… Take care


I don’t know you but read your entire post about Isaac and felt my heart break for you both. I recently became engaged to my soul mate, and can not imagine going thru the trials you’re in the thick of. As I read I was in awe of the strength, hope, and love you have for one another and life. I will pray for you and Isaac. “If you will be a prisoner of hope, God will restore back to you double everything that was stolen” Zachariah 9:12


My prayers are with you and Issac.

Myron Hensel

I am so very, very sad to hear of what you two have been going through! I love your work and have been saying for almost 2 years that when I get married I’ve wanted you to do my wedding and all photos. That being said, I feel that I’ve come to know you a little bit through your posts….please know that you and Isaac will be in my prayers for healing!!


Dear Stephanie and Isaac,

Your work has inspired so many- you put out such good energy with your photographs and blog. I hope the love you’re getting back helps you both pull through. So sorry that you’re facing these challenges, but I’m glad Isaac has you and so many others to lift him up.

With sincere gratitude and hope,
Leslie, Los Angeles


Hi Stephanie,

I’m from Manila, Philippines and been following your works for two years now..i’m so badly sad T_T to hear what Isaac and you’ve been going thru. I hope and pray for Isaac full recovery and believe everything will be alright with the help of God.


Hello Stephanie and Isaac, I stumbled upon your website while looking at photography websites and I was very touched by your story and your obvious love for one another. As a nurse, I see people dealing with their illnesses every day, but it is not as often that I see people with such a strong and loving network of supporters or with such an optimistic spirit. Although we have never met, you have deeply touched me and your love and positive spirit is truly inspiring. You are in my thoughts and prayers!


Sorry it’s


Stumbled on this site via Jessica Claire. is a blog of a young stroke survivor who is undergoing very interesting stroke rehab including acupuncture (by an MD) which has shown promising results. I am unsure of the full pathophysiology behind it but it is worth looking in to. Praying for your family.

Holly + Ed

dear stephanie + isaac, we are praying for you, access to your acupuncturist, comfort for you both and a full recovery. your love for each other is breathtaking. love, holly + ed

Hi Stephanie!
I’m sorry for what happened but my warmest regards and best wishes for a speedy recovery! Keep your heart open and positive thinking and everything will be alright!

My sincere hugs from Brazil!
Tulio Isaac

Hi Stephanie,

I found your website through PDN’s rising stars of wedding photography. Then when I came over to your page I found your plea to help your husband.
I am so sorry for what is happening. It must be so disorienting and draining and painful. I will certainly keep you in my prayers.
As for alternative medicine I have recently come across a couple of very interesting links that are much less intrusive and much more natural than western medicine. One is Dr. Burzynski ( which you may have already heard about. The other is a movie called Food Matters ( which details some different kinds of treatment that I think could help Isaac.
I hope this helps in some way. I’ve heard treating anyone with non-traditional medicine is an uphill battle because of the disgusting pharmacological industry. I hope you’re battle is swift and has a very good ending. And that God himself will fight for you. You’re both in my prayers,


Hello Stephanie and Isaac,

I’m a huge fan of your work and I feel really sad and hopeful at the same time. I’m praying for you and I also miss your wonderful and sensitive work but right now I just want you two to be fine, in every way. Be strong! Life is so crazy and weird, but everything will be fine and you will be able to concentrate your sensibility in your pictures again. Use this as an experience of love. The way you are able to love each other right now and remember that life is a gift and we need to enjoy it. You show how life is beautiful in you pictures, right now you have the chance to appreciate it. Stay strong, with God, with love, with each other.

with my love, Giovanna

Wendy Sprintz

This is Jessica Claire’s Mom letting you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. You have the support of so many people, Jessica included. She was so happy to have been able to help you out at the wedding. I know you can count on her for anything you need. My best to you.

Kristine Che

Dear Stephanie, I am so sorry to hear about Isaac! I am praying for both of you!

Darryl Yip

Isaac, I know we’ve lost touch through the years but I just wanted to let you know all my thoughts and prayers are with you. I have experienced first hand through the basketball years what a tough competitor you are and I know this is but another challenge you’ll overcome one way or another. Please get well soon and I will definitely try to see you the next time I’m home in CA. Stephanie, thank you for letting everyone know how Isaac’s been doing and giving us the opportunity to provide some support and assistance in one way or another.

Hang in there, you are both in my prayers


I requested information on mentoring before I came upon this news. I am so sorry for what you are going through and praying for Isaac’s healthy recovery.

[…] hope that you will take the time to read the full story on their blog and perhaps leave your own words of support and […]


i am sorry to hear about all this. my prayers go out to you both!


Dear Stephanie,

My heart goes out to you and Isaac. I read Brandon Kidd’s blog and he mentioned you in a recent post. After reading your recent blog posts, I can’t imagine the shock and fear that you are experiencing. I will be praying for Isaac and sending him positive energy, light and love. You are in our hearts and hope. Stay strong and keep fighting for the methods of healing you believe in.

All my best,

Mpls, MN

Hi Stephanie & Isaac,
I’ve followed your work for a couple years now and I am so sad to hear about Isaac. I pray you find strength in this time and come out of this stronger than ever. Good Luck! Be strong!

praying for his recovery. praying for your continual strength. may God give you deep hope during this difficult time.

Stephanie, I just wanted to reach out to you and say how much my husband Michael and I are praying for you and Isaac. I can’t begin to even know how scary this is for you both and your families, and what an incredibly strong person you are. We will keep you both in our thoughts and prayers and hope for Isaac’s speedy recovery.

Greetings Stephanie~

I emailed you this weekend about your lovely site and photos without knowing your situation with Isaac. My deepest heartfelt prayers are with you and Isaac. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I send you this comfort~

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped… (Psalm 28:7)

Blessings, Stephanie

Erica Thompson

Best wishes in getting better soon!

Hi Stephanie and Isaac,

I just read your story on Ruche’s blog and just wanted to let you know that one more person is praying, for both of you. <3


I am so sorry to hear this and I will send you both positive thoughts and love every day…

Dear Stephanie,
I sent you an email that I think you will really want to read. I have a unique gift I would like to give. Please check your email soon and I hope you write back. All the best to you and Isaac.

– Stephanie of ‘Where’s My Tiara? Photography’

As the wife of a paraplegic (result of a car wreck six years ago) and a neuro ICU nurse, I completely relate to what you are going through. Please know that everyday we experience miracles from our patients. Some days, they just wake up out of a fog that seems to have been hanging over them for days, weeks, even months. I have never been so humbled as I am everyday watching my husband live with his disability. Ironically, that’s the only word I can come up with to describe how he does it. He lives. He doesn’t cope, he doesn’t just get by, he lives each day to its fullest and looks forward to the next. I have faith and will continue to pray that Isaac will have a swift recovery. You, too, need to rest and stay healthy. He will need your strength (mentally and physically) in the days and weeks to come.

Dear Stephanie,

you don’t know me, I have been admiring your work from afar for a while now and it made me so sad to read your news yesterday.

I can very much relate to your story (my son). I know what it feels like, the helplessness, fear, the trips back and forth to the hospital, the physical exhaustion, the horror of seeing a loved-one having a grand mal seizure…
I can only tell you that, although we also still have a long road of therapies and treatments ahead of us, I would have never imagined we’d get this far. And we are so happy at the moment. It gets better, I promise.

I published a little feature about you guys on my small and insignificant blog today, and I just wanted to let you know that I am sending all my love and prayers across the ocean to you.


Cynthia Hurtado

Steph and Isaac,

All my love and prayers are with you right now. Just to see such love and devotion makes me happy to know my cousin is well cared for right now and always. My sincere heartfelt hugs and kisses to my cousin, Steph and the rest of the family. Wish I could be there but unfortunately I am in Miami. Xoxoxo…

[…] friends…we just read this post about a hubby and wife photog team (stephanie + isaac) in socal. their photos are lovely and if you like ruche at all you’ve definitely seen their […]

Stephanie and Isaac,
I am huge fan of your photos and came to check out your blog and find out this heavy news.. I donated few money. i pray for Isaac recovery. Stephanie please take care of yourself too.

marissa + dan

we will keep both isaac & you in our thoughts and prayers. thank you for sharing.

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.” ~ Helen Keller

Here’s to praying that you, Isaac and your loved ones overcome this difficult time…


I am always checking out Ruche from across the seas in Australia and just came across this amazing story. I am due to marry my fiance exactly one month from today and have been getting so caught up in our wedding and trying to make it all perfect. This story really brought it all home to me, that none of the things I have been stressing out about over the past year really matter. What really matters is love and treasuring every moment you have with someone and knowing that you would be there for them through anything and that they would do the same for you. The love that you two have for each other is obviously so strong and I have no doubt that you will make it through this together. Because of our wedding we are very broke at the moment but will be making a small contribution in the hope that this will help you in some small way. My thoughts are with you both and I hope your love for one another helps you both to recover and gain strength from this experience xxx

Stephanie…I can’t imagine what you are going through right now seeing the man of your life go through these. I’m hoping his condition gets better. Sending prayers and strength your way…

I’m so sorry to hear. I hope that things get much much better for you and Isaac. I’m not a religious person so I’m not sure what my prayers would do, but I do wish the very best and hope that he makes a speedy recovery. Best wishes.


This story hits me hard. My father died from a cancerous tumor when I was 11 and I would never wish that upon anyone. If I was older and could donate I would. My family is rooting for you. Stay strong.

Stephanie and Isaac,

My heart goes out to you both. I can’t say I know exactly what you’re going through, but I’ve certainly had a rough year myself and the only reason I got through it was through love, support and prayers from others. All of which you are surrounded with right now. I do not personally know either of you, so I don’t know where your beliefs stand, but regardless, I still love this bible verse:
“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13 It reminds me that someone bigger than us will help and heal you. And when you feel like you have no strength left, some will appear, and that’s your “someone bigger” giving you a hand.

You sound like such a fighter, Isaac. I will continuously pray for rapid healing.


[…] me asking if there is a way to help or donate to Isaac’s long rehab process, so I’ve set up a paypal fund. If you can donate, then I thank you. If you can’t and still want to help in any way, please pray […]

[…] more information and to Help Heal Isaac, please click on the badge below. Stephanie has done a great job of staying strong and keeping […]


Dear Stephanie and Issac,

My heart aches reading this. I can’t believe this happened to you two, you guys are the sweetest people ever, the only people we worked with that we still think of from our wedding. I know you guys will make a full recovery together. Please know that you guys are in our prayers.

Karen and Howard


I’m praying for you and Isaac. I pray for a full recovery and a life of immense joy for you both. Keep staying on top of the doctors, they need it, to get what you need from them. Physical therapy is amazing. Praying.

You guys are a slamming team! Your work is breathtaking and simply stunning. I’m so heartbroken to hear about Isaac. Sending lots of prayers your way!

Chie Smith

I’m a friend a former cheerleader team mate of your husbands cousin Ernie Banez Tenova. I just wanted to send you well wishes and will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers. Remember to take care of yourself. Something I learned the hard way as I’m a fulltime caregiver for my husband of 22 years. 9 years ago he was diagnosed with ALS and has been on a Vent and feeding tube since 2006. Isaac reminds me of my husband in that he is a fighter and has such a positive spirit. God bless you both.

Chie Smith

Praying for both of you!

I somehow stumbled upon this post today. I have never been here before.
I am so sorry you are going through this.
We have something in common and I want to offer you encouragement.
When my son was 2, he became paralyzed from the neck down. It was sudden, I put him down for a nap and he woke up paralyzed. Just like Isaac, his life also changed in one moment.
Fast forward 2 years and my son can ride his bike (training wheels of course) and walks with a walker.
We go to Casa Colina in Pomona, Ca. They are THE BEST inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the country. Feel free to contact me if you would like to speak with someone who has felt the fear and been there.
I will be praying for you and Isaac.

We over here in the Main household are PRAYING hard for you guys. Please keep us updated. Prayer is a POWERFUL thing 🙂


Stephanie & Isaac,

I don’t even know what to write right now! My heart goes out to you guys and I will be sending you good thoughts and wishes for Isaac’s recovery. As you know, I’m in Orange County and if there is ANYTHING that I can do for you, please let me know. Seriously. I know that we’ve only met once, but I would be glad to help in any way that I can.

christine espitia

Thank you for sharing, you are right,life is so fragile and precious. My prayers are with you and your family for a speedy recovery.

Ana Hartman

All our love and prayers for Isaac! We wish him a speedy recovery!

The Hartman Family

Peter Yana

I have only come to know you via your incredible work and talents.. I pray God’s blessings for Isaac’s full and complete recovery. I pray for his strength, guidance and perfect peace, as you try to help him during this difficult time. Through the power of photography, you have gained a big external family. Taking the liberty to speak for most, our love and prayers are with your and your families..

Stephanie, I’ve been a huge fan of your work, a silent fan if you will. This particular blog entry touched me. Thank you for opening up and sharing your story. I will do what I can to keep you both in my prayers and thoughts. This is a really inspiring video that I hope you can find hope in:

Best wishes and prayers,

Thank you for sharing Stephanie! I was so moved to tears. I will be praying for you and Isaac!


I am sending my best wishes and thoughts to you and Isaac, from a place I never thought I’d be in either.
My husband is 31, generally healthy and hadn’t been to the doctor for almost 10 years. He had been having bad headaches and I eventually made him get checked out 3 weeks ago, and they found his blood pressure was 230/135 (around double the normal level), most likely caused by a kidney problem. They were shocked he hadn’t collapsed already.
We are now waiting on kidney tests and a chest x-ray to check for damage, but I thank my lucky stars he went to the doctor when he did. Please, don’t think you’re wasting a doctor’s time by getting your niggly problems checked.
I wish you both all the best for Isaac’s recovery.

glauce lima

Carry on and my prayers are with you.

“By the power of every moment of your goodness,
may all dangers be averted and all disease be gone.
May no obstacle come across your way.
May you enjoy fulfillment and long life.”

~Traditional Buddhist blessing


It sounds like Isaac is already making an amazing recovery. Hoping he improves dramatically soon!

While we haven’t worked together, yet, I saw your posting via a RT by Cupcakes Couture. First, the two of you will be included in our family prayers tonight. Second, I offer a great person for you to get VERY good help from, my neighbor. Her husband also had a stroke, with the same outcome AND he’s doing WELL! They tell their story best and more importantly, who, what, where and how. I sent her info to you at the email website. Let the power of love and support you are surrounded by carry you through this journey!

Prayers are coming your way from me!


I’m sorry to hear what you and your husband are going through. I know what it’s like to go thru this experience. My mother also had an unexpected stroke 3 years ago and my whole family is still feeling the aftermath. I was the one who had to try and find these centers and navigate this system at 30 years old. She went to Scripps Encinitas Rehab in San Diego (this is probably maybe 20 min away from Irvine) that also specializes in stroke rehab. Certain rehab facilities are stroke certified…those were first on my list. Dr.’s usually give about a year to recover any lost abilities (if its’s possible) but research and my personal experience say that recovery can take up to 5 years. My mom is still learning to walk unassisted but it took her a very long time to transition from bedridden, to wheelchair and walker. 3 years later…she’s still in therapy to try to get with a cane and crossing my fingers..unassisted. So don’t lose hope. Your husband’s youth is on his side and determination and will has a lot to do with one’s recovery as well as family support. Please email me if you have any questions and I’ll try to help. Keep strong and smiling. I’m a fellow anteater myself 🙂

pat ahern

My husband had a very unexpected stroke 7 years ago. I would be happy to share with you some of the rehab programs that we have found in our journey of searching! Pat
714 633 1720


I found your blog through a friend’s fb post. I am sorry to hear about everything. I have no personal experience, but had read this book: My Stroke of Insight: A Brain Scientist’s Personal Journey by Jill Bolte Taylor. (

In the appendix, she has a list of “40 things I needed the most” which is a guide for the care giver to understand what stroke patients need them to understand. I have a friend whose brother had a stroke, I recommended this book to her, and she said it was very helpful. You may not have time to read the book now, but at least check out the list.

I hope this helps.

[…] don’t normally post pleas for help, but I have followed and admired this photographer’s work for a long time and now she is in desperate need. Please read her story and pray for her […]

Oh, no, Stephanie! I am so sorry that this has happened. I am praying for Isaac and you right now, that God’s amazing love and grace and peace will fill your entire beings and that rapid healing for Isaac will occur. Isaac’s amazing attitude is such a testament to his character! I will pray that you and he will continue in strength, hope and endurance. God is with you!

I’ve been a long time admirer of your sublime talent and work and my heart simply breaks for you having to go through such a trying and stressful time. I wish only the very best things for you and hope you both come out of this stronger than ever. Sending lots of healing thoughts from New Zealand xo

Silvia and Jason Guzman

We are so sorry to hear about everything that has happened. Our thoughts and prayers to you and Isaac.

Silvia and Jason Guzman

This is my first time commenting here, but I want to say what an inspiration you and Isaac are. My thoughts are with you both, sending healing notes for a safe recovery your way. xoxo.

[…] His wife and fellow photographer, Stephanie has set up a fund to help with Isaac’s rehabilitation and care.  If you would like to donate please click HERE.  […]


I’m so sorry for everything that’s happening all at once, I hope he has a quick recovery and that you two can resume your lives. Sending lots of good and hopeful vibes.

[…] I’m still in shock. The entire story — and links to donate — can be found here: Please Help Heal Isaac. Thank you for taking the time to read and […]

How scary… I am so sorry to hear about what you two have been going through. I’ll definitely be spreading the word and praying for you guys.

My heart broke for you guys when I read this. I will be praying for you both.

Dearest Stephanie,
My thoughts and deepest prayers are out for you and Isaac. My heart and love goes out to you and I will continue to keep you in my thoughts and spread the word to keep the prayers going strong.
Lots of love and blessings,
Amanda (and Minh)

Dear Steph and Isaac,
We’re praying everyday for a speedy recovery for Isaac. He’s got a lot on his side to recovering no matter how long the road may seem. We hope it eases you by knowing your friends and family are right here with you and are willing to help in every way they can!
With lots of love,
Josh + Mai + Roji + Vu + Tiff + Pebbles + EVERYONE here at Team Ruche and Threadsence


Here’s to healing. <3. Will keep you in my thoughts & prayers and spread the word. Stay strong.

we will keep him in our prayers. stay strong!

though im a stranger to you stephanie, know that your work has been an inspiration to me too. at this difficult times, im sending out my prayers too for God to provide you more strength to go through this stage. stay strong! x

Stephanie! We are are so sorry! Our hearts broke reading what you guys are going through. Isaac has such a sweet spirit! My husband and I will be praying for you both!

Isaac will be in my prayers. Wishing you both all the best.

alisa greig

thank you for sharing, as hard as it must be to go through, i can’t imagine. i will be praying for you both. aloha.

Oh Stephanie! I am praying for both of you! What a shock and a horror… my hope is that you will see and feel God’s love even through this tough time.

Sending prayers for healing and strength your way. Stay positive and know that so many people are praying and keeping him in thought. Your art is an amazing contribution to the world and soon you both will be back at it.

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