This Father's Day -- a Father Will Not Be Home

Please Help a Father of Five

Jun 17, 2010, 08:00 ET from Father of Five

CHICAGO, June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- As Father's Day approaches, most Americans take some time to reflect on and give thanks for their fathers.  In today's challenging world, the one thing that binds us together and keeps us strong is family.  For one Geneva, IL resident, Lewis Guvenoz, his family will be coping with and working through a much different Father's Day.  On Thursday, May 13th, Lewis suffered sudden and massive cardiac arrest.  While his wife started CPR immediately, and the Elburn and Countryside Fire Protection District ( paramedics were at the house within minutes, it took the doctors 45 minutes to restart his heart. 

As the family pulls together to help Lewis in his fight to come back to us, there are five young children that are and will be missing their father this Father's Day.  Lewis is 38 years old, with no health indicators that put him at risk, and he is the father of five young children, two beautiful little girls, Noni (age 8), Denison (age 6), and three amazing little boys, Neale (age 4) and Dayton and Cooper (5 month old twins).  Lewis had the good fortune of working from his home office.  He has not spent a day apart from his children (well, maybe a handful of days for business trips).  They struggle with understanding where their father has gone and what they can do to help him get better.

The family, including Lewis's father, is working to ensure Lewis has the best medical treatment possible.  We have been blessed by the kindness of individuals who have brought us some amazing and leading edge neurologists in the Chicago area.  We have been working to help meet the logistical needs of such a large family, including nannies, vehicles, financial assistance and the like.  While Lewis had been recovering at Delnor Hospital (, due to the significant amount of time he went with minimal to no oxygen to his brain, we are unsure of the long-term prognosis.  His heart has amazingly healed completely.  We know that the heroic efforts of his wife, the paramedics and the doctors are part of the reason Lewis survived.  Only 5 percent of individuals who go into cardiac arrest actually survive.  

"We are so incredibly excited that Lewis has most recently been accepted by and moved to the renowned Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (," said Lewis's sister, Ayla Guvenoz-Dickey, a senior vice president at Apollo Group/University of Phoenix (  "This amazing organization is comprised of experts in rehabilitating individuals like Lewis with hypoxic and anoxic brain injury." Of course, insurance is quite aggressive and has pretty high expectations for Lewis.  If he is not able to perform certain tasks within two weeks, insurance will no longer pay for him to be at such a promising facility.  He will be moved to a skilled nursing facility where he will receive only a few hours a week of occupational, physical, and speech therapy -- all the things he needs to recover.

We have already been so blessed by the kindness of loved ones and those that we don't even know.  As Father's Day approaches, we humbly ask that you help share Lewis's story and do whatever you can to help.  We have created a web site to provide loved ones with updates and to accept donations,  We are also reaching out to local car dealers to hopefully find a family-oriented dealer that might be willing to donate a vehicle.  We truly appreciate your thoughts, well wishes, prayers and assistance.  And, be sure to send fathers everywhere a note or e-card ( or or pick up the phone and call to remind them that they are truly special.

SOURCE Father of Five