A woman is asking TikTok for help after her father suffered a stroke four years ago.
On Jan. 17, Kat Downer posted a video that captures a powerful but saddening moment between the two. Speaking to her father Mike on his bed, Downer tells him how much he means to her.
“You’re really my best friend, dad,” she tells him, with tears in her eyes. “I tell my therapist all the time. I’m so lucky to have a dad who made me feel safe and happy. A lot of people don’t have that. That’s why I’m so thankful for you, dad.”
As Kat speaks, Mike looks at her affectionately, unable to respond.
“That’s why every free moment I have, I try to spend it with you because I love you so much and mom too,” Kat continues.
At that moment, Mike begins to tear up, but Kat tries her best to calm him down.
“Don’t cry, dad,” she says. “Don’t cry. I don’t want you to be sad. It’s good. It means you did your job and you were a good parent — the best parent. I just want you to be proud of me, dad.”
Kat’s TikTok has since garnered nearly 19 million views and an outpour of support from the TikTok community.
“This really just shattered my soul…..im so sorry,” one person wrote.
“Currently bawling,” another one admitted. “I’m so sorry, sending you love and prayers.”
According to a GoFundMe page that Kat created, Mike walked himself to the emergency room in March 2017 “after experiencing some confusion.” His family later learned that he had suffered a massive stroke, rendering him unable to eat, talk or walk by the next day. Mike also reportedly went into a coma for two weeks before being moved into a rehab center and later a nursing home.
In 2020, Mike began receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy — a treatment that relieves some symptoms of his stroke by increasing the oxygen carried by blood in his damaged areas, his GoFundMe page notes. Unfortunately, the pandemic cut his treatment short and Mike, himself, ended up contracting COVID-19, Kat wrote.
The family is now raising money to continue Mike’s treatment. As of this writing, his GoFundMe page has raised just short of $27,000 — well over the family’s $9,000 goal.
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