One Year Later

And then I almost died. Again.

Ok, I hope that got your attention.

I know I promised earlier that not all of my posts on here would be about me and my near-death experiences, but since Christmas Eve marked the one-year anniversary of my brain hemorrhage and hospitalization, I hope you can forgive me for writing about my close call at least one more time.

Rather than providing additional, lurid details of the whole affair, I’d like to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of those who helped me and my family get through those difficult weeks last December and January. It’s amazing to see how many people came through for us in that moment of need. Over the course of the past year, I’ve contacted several of these individuals to personally thank them, but I’d still like to acknowledge them here.

I’d first like to thank the Gold Cross paramedics for their incredibly quick response time. Because they were already nearby, they arrived at my home within two minutes of receiving the dispatch from my 911 call. It was good to later meet with them and hear the story of how they peered through my front window Christmas Eve, saw me unconscious on the floor, and decided to kick down my door to get me out.

I’d next like to thank the neurologist at Mankato’s Mayo Clinic, Dr. Manish Sharma. The medical staff in Rochester told me that I definitely owe Dr. Sharma my life. I know it’s a debt I’ll never be able to repay. I’ve met with Dr. Sharma twice since last Christmas, and I’ve been very impressed with what a humble, generous, and friendly man he is.

I also need to mention the flight staff on the helicopter that took me to Rochester. My very first, dream-like memories are, I believe, from that trip, and I greatly appreciate the care the medics gave me. It was enjoyable going out to the airfield and getting to tour the helicopter interior under far less dramatic circumstances.

The medical professionals at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester also deserve more thanks than I can ever give them. The doctors, nurses, therapists, and support staff were all of the highest caliber. I wish I had room here to mention all of them by name, but I’d especially like to thank my neurosurgeon, Dr. Giuseppe Lanzino. Many of my vague memories from those early weeks include him and his calm, professional demeanor.

Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to the countless other people who helped me and my family in a variety of ways. Many contributed financially via the GoFundMe campaign started by my former roommate, Guy Gagnon. Still more prayed for me and spread the word about my situation so quickly that within two hours, there were prayer chains going all across the country. Perhaps most touching of all were the dozens of family members and friends who came to visit me, some for days at a time. Chief among these was my mother who barely left my side for the 36 days I was in St. Mary’s.

The events of last winter have genuinely given me a new perspective on life, but perhaps most importantly of all, they’ve made me realize how much God has blessed me with all of the generous people around me. That is, they’ve made me realize how much God’s blessed me with all of you.

 

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