The ordeal of Monica Schumann of Friesing: Love helped

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It’d be cool: Monica and Robert are already looking forward to Robbie Williams’ concert in Munich this summer. © Private

Monica Schumann of Freising suffered a series of strokes. She was saved by the love of her partner – and the Phoenix Club. This is her story:

Freising “The disk of data is completely gone,” says Monica Schumann, which means her memory, all her abilities for self-expression and the ability to move. In 2019, the 47-year-old woman from Freising suffered seven strokes, her life was hanging by a thread, and the prediction for life after that was not so favourable. Monica’s ordeal is a story about what adequate love and care can achieve – and it vividly reveals what is missing in Freising and what the highly ambitious Phoenix Club has been doing with all its might for some time.

The diagnosis in the hospital exceeded all fears

Monica’s partner, Robert Groscoff, can still well remember how it all began. It was noticeable, says Robert, that his partner was asleep when he got home from work. When Monica woke up, I thought it was Sunday. “I had a really bad feeling there,” Robert says, also because his partner has a blood clotting disorder that actually caused blood clots and hundreds of small pulmonary embolisms in 2012.

But what was found at the hospital in 2019 outweighed all fears: Monica had two strokes. In addition, Monica was in dire need of heart surgery because both of her heart valves were damaged due to a blood clotting disorder.

Unbelievable event: During the heart valve operation, Monica suffered five more strokes. Robert became very calm as he recounted this: “She was in a coma for six weeks and didn’t look good at all.” But Monica woke up again, although, according to her, “the data disk was gone.” Otherwise, “nothing works anymore,” Monica explains – no movements, no independent food, no communication.


Monica’s condition also improved thanks to rehabilitation in Bad Eibling. But then all of a sudden it was said that she would be released. “But there was nothing in the house at the time, not even a bed of sickness,” Robert recalls. His summary: “You can’t wait for the health insurance company, it all takes a long time.”

Many long phone calls and, above all, a lot of personal business followed when she got home at the start of 2020. Robert, who works full time as an electrician and business owner, asserts: “You can’t get any help anywhere, so you’re on your own. at home”. His plan to ensure needed assistance through a 24 hour staff, i.e. round the clock care, only worked halfway.

“Incredible instructions”

why? Phoenix Freising Association president Inge Thaler has a doubt: Thaler reports that these nurses are often used for dementia patients, but not for care after a new stroke. Although the couple were able to afford 24-hour care, according to Robert, the financial pillow is now completely exhausted.

What happened next was pure luck, because Angie Thaler found out about Monica’s fate from a neighbor and did not hesitate for a long time. Robert says, “The Phoenix Club then gave us incredible help with all sorts of things.” However, at first, the daycare that Monica would have attended could have been very important. Like this daycare center that Phoenix Freising wrote on his agenda.

big desires

With a daycare center for people with acquired brain damage, which is also a meeting place, it’s possible for a partner to go to work while the person in question is cared for, explains Inge Thaler. Elizabeth West, the second chair, adds, “The times are from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and a maximum capacity of ten would be nice.” The scheme will then be, for example, shopping, cooking and eating together, but also therapeutic work with “patients” using the concepts of basic stimulation, kinesiology and Bobath, a special therapeutic concept for people with disorders of the central nervous system.

The club is busy and the concept has been around for a long time: you’ll need nursing staff, nursing assistants, a kitchen worker and two shift cleaners. “We want to stimulate the thought processes and synapses again,” Elizabeth West says. Because the way things currently work for those affected is often not ideal. Journeys to such treatments are long and often so stressful for sufferers that the treatment is of little benefit.

This day care center can be funded by sponsorship or sponsorship from large corporations. For West, the daycare center is a “dream project” that she has been struggling with for a long time. Although the road is still rocky, when looking for suitable rooms for example, it is important to “sow a seed” with the initial planning.


A daycare center would be perfect for Monica, the 100th member of the Phoenix Society. She will be very happy if this works out in the near future. Her condition has improved significantly. In the meantime she can climb back up with help and do simple things. What Monica also loves to do and what was still quite a utopia in 2019: singing.

(By the way: Everything from the region is now also available in our regular Freising newsletter.)

But all this would have been impossible without her partner. He sincerely takes care of his partner and continues to do everything in his power to make Mooney better. Without Robert, Monica might have had to be put in a nursing home, and they both don’t even want to think about it. “It’s all hard, but we did really well,” says Robert, putting his arm around Monica as she sings the last lyrics of “Angels.” She undoubtedly found her own angel in Robert.

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More information about the Phoenix Freising Club:

Written by Richard Lorenz

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