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Waltham Native Struggles With Husband's Sudden Illness

See what you can do to help a family with Waltham ties.

Initially, Steve Tallent believed his vomiting and headache during a family vacation at Hersheypark in Pennsylvania this summer was just a normal illness.

Thinking he felt better, Tallent and his wife, Erin, returned to their hotel near the park. Tallent fell ill again around 2 a.m. 

Erin Tallent, who grew up in Waltham, believed her 40-year-old husband had suffered heat stroke and came to his aid. She gave him Gatorade, and the family departed for their Chelmsford home. On the way, Erin Tallent took her husband to Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton where doctors later determined Steve Tallent had suffered a blood clot and a stroke.

"I would never in a million years think he had a stroke," Erin Tallent told Waltham Patch.

As of last Sept. 12, Steve Tallent, a South Boston native, was recovering at at home, according to Jen Bartelman, a family friend. He is using a walker and has suffered frequent headaches, according to Bartleman. He vision is also somewhat blurry and has short-term memory loss, according to Tallent's wife.

Tallent will have to learn to walk again, but Erin Tallent said doctors are hoping he can get 80 percent of his vision back. The stroke, however, didn’t stifle his spirits. 

“His attitude is great,” Erin Tallent said. “He is probably better than me. He accepts it. He doesn’t question it anymore. Definitely our lives have changed forever, but we have to look at all the positive of it.” 

While they are trying to stay positive, the family needs help. To pay for medical expenses, the family, the family is holding a fundraiser benefit event on Sept. 22 at the Radisson Hotel in Chelmsford. It begins at 7 p.m. and costs $25 per person. A cash bar and raffle will be available. 

Erin Tallent said that with her husband, a carpenter, not working, the family has struggled to make ends meet and keep up a normal life.

"It’s a little stressful right now," said Erin Tallent, who is juggling caring for her husband and kids.

Seeing Tallent in the hospital has taken an emotional toll on the family as well. Erin Tallent said adjusting to Steve’s condition has been difficult, especially since it was so sudden.

"I have my moments. It’s definitely tough in the blink of an eye to have everything change,” Tallent said. “I am angry — he is a wonderful man. I don’t think he deserves it."

The family’s three young children, however, may be faring better. Erin Tallent said they are too young to fully understand what happened to their father. They realize he fell ill but not the true extent of it, Erin Tallent said. The children are eager for him to leave the hospital and return home.

Friends and family of the Tallents have stood by the family and helped them cope with the stroke. A couple of family friends organized a fundraiser and others have brought meals to the family and sent cards, Erin Tallent said.

"I can’t even put into words how amazing people are and how much it means to us. This whole thing has definitely been a humbling experience," Erin Tallent said.

While some people may have kept their troubles private, Erin Tallent said she wanted to speak out to help people savor they time they have with loved ones.

"Unfortunately, this could have been anybody. In a way, I think it has made us so much stronger as a marreid couple and a family. dont take one second for granted," Erin Tallent said.  

To find out how you can help the family further, contact Jen Bartleman at 978-804-0019, jenbartleman@gmail.com, or Nancy Correnti at 617-413-5662, nescorrenti@yahoo.com, or Kelly Gooltz at 978-609-7139,gooltzk@gmail.com.  

Joann Richards September 17, 2012 at 03:16 PM
I feel for Jenn and her family but she is very luck to have her husband, in 2001 I lost my husband steve to a blood clot. Hang in there things will improve. Joann
Theresa September 23, 2012 at 11:42 AM
I know the feeling. My husband dropped dead @ 48 years old in 2001. What I wouldn't give to have just one more day with him. I wish him & the family all the best. I will pray for them. Cherish every moment no matter how difficult. My heart breaks for Jen & the kids.

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