I know the title sounds kind of morbid, but this is based on a real scenario and it happened during my college years! I have always been healthy except for a few miscellaneous issues that plague many such as seasonal allergies, colds, and all the famous childhood junk that most have gone through!

When we read DSCF0018about competitors and look at the photos of amazing examples of health and strength, we rarely imagine any of these individuals getting sick or having any kind of health challenge! It’s a challenge to stay motivated and train hard enough to compete, but imagine trying to train hard against a life threatening illness!

During my own life threatening illness and close brush with death, I didn’t think I’d ever live long enough to compete or even have a normal life at one point! Here is my story!



During the Christmas season I had scheduled an elective surgery and was finally going to have my tonsils removed after putting up with years of endless infections! The doctor felt that this would be the most logical solution! I had the surgery about ten days before Christmas and was informed that I’d be back on my feet in less than a week! As things turned out it was months before I was back to even a normal life due to extreme complications!

The tonsillectomy was painful and as several days went by I had developed severe pain in my ears! This was the most intense pain I ever felt and it just burned like fire! The week after the surgery I went in for a follow-up with the ENT specialist and he said everything was fine and that ear pain was sometimes the result of irritated nerves from the surgery!

Several days later I started to bleed when I was in the shower and the pain in my ears seem to let up! My mother had taken me into the emergency department and the doctor on call had cauterized the bleeding area and said everything was fine and sent me home! This was Christmas day!



I was putting away my Christmas gifts and felt a sudden burst of energy! I actually felt better for the first time since the surgery! This was about five hours after the doctor sent me home. I didn’t think anything of it when all of a sudden I felt an overwhelming sense that something terrible was about to happen! I started to get really light-headed; I could feel my heart racing and thought I was going to pass out! Then I felt warm sensation running back my throat and I grabbed a Kleenex and the next thing I knew – it was covered with blood! I ran to the bathroom looked in the mirror and I was hemorrhaging! I ran to my mother’s room and she looked back in my throat and immediately called 911!



I could barely speak and told her my only chance was to drive to the hospital! I knew that I’d bleed out by the time the paramedics would get there and they wouldn’t be able to handle a situation like this one! We drove against a snowstorm and I could feel myself bleeding to death! Made it to the ER in five minutes and the doctor removed a large clot and couldn’t get the hemorrhaging stopped! I could feel myself going into shock!

Having my throat cauterized and packed was the most excruciating pain I ever had! My blood pressure fell and I could hear the nurse saying I had no blood pressure! The doctor finally stopped the bleeding and long story short; I was admitted to the hospital and hemorrhaged every twelve to twenty-four hours!

The next morning I started to bleed again and I managed to grab an IV pole and walk down the hallway searching for a nurse because no one would answer the call button! I glanced back and saw a trail of blood on the floor! All I could think about was finding the nurse and how hospitals were short on staff due to cut backs and the holiday season!

I managed to drag myself to the nurse’s station and no one was there! This was a nightmare! Finally a nurse came running out of a room and I was back to having the doctor do his best to deal with the bleeding issue! During this most difficult period, I seemed to exist somewhere between life and death! This was the worst thing I ever survived! I had spent my entire Christmas holiday in the hospital!



The reason I started to bleDSCF0126ed nine to ten days after the tonsillectomy was due to a rare genetic condition called VWD (Von Willebrand Disease) type 1. This is a very difficult disorder to diagnose because they need do a very specific blood test for the bleeding disorder and then run bleeding times! The good news is that I was on the milder side of the disorder!

It took almost a year to get back on my feet! Amazingly, I had maintained my fitness level and even though I lost over forty pounds, I was still very strong! I had to start out gradual as I got my strength back and it was over a month before I could even go to the gym! It was finally a dream fulfilled to be able to step on stage and compete in NPC Figure! I hope my story will motivate others that have faced serious health challenges to strive for a fitness lifestyle!

Read my blog @ http://fitsurvivor.com/


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