On Tuesday evening, August 14, 2013, I finished working the night shift and headed home. But, I just didn’t feel like myself. I was lying on my couch with a severe headache. As I got up to walk to the kitchen, I felt a “pop” in my forehead, and I fell to the floor. I crawled to the phone to dial 911. I was diagnosed with a ruptured aneurysm at a local hospital, and flown immediately by helicopter to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for brain surgery.
I don’t remember much after the ambulance ride, but my parents came to stay with me. After surgery, everything looked good. The doctors stopped by every day to check on me and make sure things stayed that way.
By October of that year, Penn State Hershey neurosurgeon, Dr. Scott Simon, cleared me for work. While recovering, I had time to think and reflect. I couldn’t wait to return to one of my greatest passions—working on my 1934 Chevy pick-up truck.
You don’t see many of those around anymore— it even had a wooden floor in the bed. I spent a lot of time refurbishing it, and recently put in a new 700 horsepower engine. I look forward to taking it to shows or just out for a drive during the afternoon or evening.
In February of 2014, at my six-month follow-up appointment, Dr. Simon noticed that the coil used in my surgery had significantly compacted. I underwent a second surgery to reinforce the first procedure. The second surgery went as well as the first and I was cleared to return home. In August of 2014, one year after hearing the “pop” in my forehead, I was symptom free. No side-effects, no memory loss, no problems.
It’s still scary to think about—what if I had just laid back down that night? You don’t think something like this would happen until it does. But like Dr. Simon said, it’s really a great story. I beat everything.
Since my family has a history of aneurysms, I will continue to have follow-up appointments with the doctors at Penn State Hershey. I lost my paternal grandfather to an intracranial aneurysm.
Recently, I had the truck painted blue and I am back to living my life— going to work, hunting whitetail deer and turkey, and spending time on my 1934 Chevy. Now that both of us are in new shape, I am getting ready to cruise the countryside.