My Brush With Death

My Brush With Death

Kenneth

IN 1993, I WAS DRIVING TO THE MIT CIRCUIT BOARD LAB IN BOSTON MA TO BUILD A MACHINE. I MERGED ONTO THE MASS PIKE, AND THOUGHT I LOOKED BACK TO MY LEFT, I ALMOST HIT A CAR. FIVE DAYS LATER THE SAME THING HAPPENED WHILE DRIVING WITH MY WIFE. AFTER SEEING TWO EYE DOCTORS, I HAD AN MRI WHICH REVEALED A LARGE BRAIN TUMOR. MY SURGEON TOLD MY MOTHER AND I THAT IT COULD BE WORSE, THE TUMOR WAS OPERABLE, AND THAT I WOULD BE BACK TO WORK IN ABOUT SIX MONTHS. SO, IN SIX DAYS SINCE THE FIRST DRIVING INCIDENT, I WENT INTO SURGERY.

THE SURGEON TOLD MY FAMILY THE SURGERY WOULD TAKE EIGHT TO TEN HOURS, BUT AFTER THIRTEEN HOURS HE CAME OUT AND TOLD THEM HE CALLED IN ANOTHER SURGEON AND IT WOULD BE ANOTHER SIX TO EIGHT HOURS. THE TUMOR WAS WRAPPED AROUND MY OPTIC NERVE, AND AROUND MY PITUITARY. AFTER OVER TWENTY ONE HOURS, HE CAME OUT AND SAID THEY WERE FINISHED, BUT THAT THE TUMOR WAS MUCH WORSE THAN THE MRI INDICATED.

POST SURGERY I WAS VERY SICK, AND HAD NO SHORT-TERM MEMORY. LESS THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER SURGERY I WEIGHED 131 POUNDS, HAVING LOST 74 POUNDS, AND HAD NO SHORT-TERM MEMORY. I SLOWLY BEGAN TO FEEL BETTER, AND BEGAN TO EAT, BUT MY MEMORY DID NOT IMPROVE.

WE WAITED ONE YEAR FOR THE SWELLING IN MY BRAIN TO SUBSIDE AND THEN I WENT TO THE EASTER SEALS REHAB CENTER FOR AN EVALUATION. THE YOUNG LADY WHO ADMINISTERED THE TEST LATER TOLD US THAT SHE WENT TO THE BREAK ROOM AND CRIED FOLLOWING MY TEST. I HAD NINETY FIVE PERCENT MEMORY LOSS.

AFTER MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OF THERAPY, I IMPROVED TO THIRTY FIVE PERCENT MEMORY LOSS, WHICH WHILE NOT GREAT, FAR EXCEEDED THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE STAFF AT EASTER SEALS. THOUGH I AM DISABLED DUE TO MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND MEMORY LOSS, I HAVE LED A REWARDING LIFE, TRAVELING, WORKING PART TIME, AND LEARNING TO FLY RADIO CONTROL AIRPLANES.

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