Kevin and Family
A Second Chance!
It was Saturday, April 12, 2010. I had arrived home from a flight from Florida and asked my family if I could take a quick nap before we went out to eat. I told them to wake me up in 30 minutes and we would go. I remember my daugther, who was 5 at the time, waking me up and walking through the house holding my hand as we were leaving to go eat. My wife and son, who was 2 at the time, was in front of us.
The next thing I remember was looking at a paramedic who I had known for a long time. As a fulltime firefighter/EMT, I knew most of the paramedics in the county. I still could not understand why she was at my house. There are bits of pieces that I remember over the next couple of days but most of it is a blur. The thing that stands out in my mind the most is the doctor standing over me in ICU telling me that I had a massive stroke and was on my second day in ICU. I could have understood a heart attack, but a stroke was the last thing on my mind. I had ran into plenty of stroke patients in my career, and at the age of 32, I was not the norm for a stroke patient.
I spent a total of 4 days in ICU followed by 2 more days in a regular room. I was told to return in a week for heart surgery to close a PFO they had discovered while I was in ICU. All I could think about was my kids, my wife, my career and my second chance at life.
A little over a year later, my wife found me passed out on top of our son in a seizure and doctors determined it was a side effect from the stroke. Besides some remaining residual side effects from the stroke, I am doing good.
Learn more about PFO.