A second chance...

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(NOTE: UPDATED 6/1/19) Since the below post was originally published in Feb. 2018, in October of 2018, 8 months after the below incident, I went to sleep one night and by the grace of everything holy, my wife returned home after dropping off our daughter for the SATs and upon her return, thought it was strange I was still in bed, so she investigated and there I was. Again. Lifeless. As she called 911 in what would become another cardiac arrest, my son performed the resuscitation until medics could get there. It was so random and unexpected because I was doing everything right, I stopped soda (which was a BIG deal to me), hit the gym everyday, dropped 30lbs and I had a clean bill of health. All my scans and labs were clear and my blood was “immaculate.” Doctors were baffled. They chalked it up to scar tissue, calling it an “anomaly.” I was then outfitted with a bionic ICD. I’m still here, dammit…though now with two strikes against me. Hopefully I get some foul balls…)

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Friday, November 30, 2017 is the day my life changed. It started out as any other normal day. I had gotten the kid's off to school and come back home to get dressed and set out on my day. A few minutes into my bathroom process, I collapsed. There were no signs, no nothing. My wife was home as well, thank God, because I collapsed from what would be a massive heart attack. She heard a vase fall over. She investigated and there she discovered me, "blue" and "unresponsive". Not exactly words you want associated with your well being.

And so began near eight weeks of a hospital stay.

The first three weeks were the scariest for everyone except me because I was unconscious, so I just slept. Over the course of the those first three weeks, I was on a ventilator for 15 days, I had Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, a staph infection, pneumonia and if that wasn't enough, I started to go into multi-system organ failure. After the EKG's and EEG's didn't show any brain activity, my family was told, on more than one occasion, that it was time to start saying goodbye. Thankfully, my wife knew something the doctor's didn't. She simply wanted more time. 

After I originally collapsed, my brain was without oxygen for an estimated 20 minutes. After I woke up and stabilized after three weeks in the hospital, then came the four weeks of physical, occupational and speech therapy. I had to relearn how to walk and talk all over again. After my family was told that even if I did survive, I'd be a vegetable because of the elapsed time.

Thankfully, and miraculously, I'm well ahead of schedule with my recovery. Thank you to everyone who prayed, etc. for me. I'm a lucky one and trust me, I'll never forget it or take it for granted. 

Go hug a loved one.

-JH

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