Decorated Marine comes home

Storm suffered stroke working in Indonesia

October 26, 2003|By Amanda Angel | Amanda Angel,SUN STAFF

One month and 24 days after he suffered a stroke in Indonesia, Dennis Storm, 57, a decorated Marine veteran and Bel Air resident, returned to the United States on Thursday.

Storm was working as a contractor for a Singapore-based company and living in Jakarta when he was admitted to the Siloam Gleneagles Lippo Cikarang hospital for a stroke on Sept. 2. While receiving care, he contracted a fungal infection, pneumonia and bed sores. His family had been working with the U.S. Embassy and other government, military and private organizations to bring him home since September.

Storm was transported to the United States on a commercial airplane chartered through the International SOS organization. The flight left Tuesday from Jakarta and stopped in Singapore and Germany before landing at JFK International Airport in New York at 11:10 a.m. Thursday.

Because he began to cough up blood midway through the last leg of his flight, Storm was taken immediately to the Brooklyn VA Medical Center. Denise Storm, a sister who lives in Bel Air, said medical authorities told her that they didn't think he could withstand an ambulance ride from New York to the VA Medical Center in Baltimore.

Denise Storm, who used money from her 401(k) retirement fund to pay medical evacuation fees, drove to Brooklyn with her mother, Rosalind, and older sister, Sharon Storm-Brown, from North Carolina, and they were able to see Storm for the first time since his trip to Indonesia. They joined Ikbal Ahmed, Storm's girlfriend of several years, who had been overseeing his care in Jakarta.

"Seeing him, it's earth shattering. We were all in kind of a state of shock," Denise Storm said.

She said that doctors would be assessing his situation during the weekend. Her brother is in critical condition and on a ventilator, but Denise Storm said, he was conscious and responsive.

"It is a relief," said Denise Storm of having her brother in the United States, "but it is still heart-wrenching."

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