On September 9th, Brett collapsed while working out after his heart slipped into an abnormal rhythm causing it to stop. He was immediately given CPR and there was a defibrillator on the scene within minutes.
Brett was rushed to Trinity Hospital in Bettendorf, where the ER doctors were able to get a strong heart beat. Once Brett was in a stable condition, he was air lifted to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics.
At the UIHC, Brett was immediately treated with a cooling process called Therapeutic Hypothermia. This process cooled Brett’s body in effort to reduce the amount of work his heart had to do, ultimately trying to prevent brain damage from lack of oxygen. Brett was in a coma at this time.
After multiple scans and tests, Brett was diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury, meaning there was a lack of oxygen supplied to his brain for a period of time. The doctors were uncertain of his recovery, but assured us the process would be very long.
Brett was medically considered to be in a coma for 27 days. Before being officially termed “out of the coma” Brett opened his eyes, stuck out his tongue and blinked in response to questions.
On Monday October 3rd, the nurse walked into Brett’s room and simply said good morning to Brett since it was the first time she had seen him that day while he was awake. Brett immediately responded “good morning.” This moment was monumental because that was the first time Brett spoke, and he was still technically considered to be in a coma.
Today, Brett is at a brain rehabilitation center and is working towards recovery. He has regained most of his speech, and is working on recovering and rebuilding his memory and physical mobility. The days are filled with therapy sessions including anything from walking and eating, to vision testing and memorizing word orders and combinations.
While the extent of Brett’s recovery is uncertain, he is making great strides each day. He has asked a few times about what happened to him, but usually doesn’t remember that people have talked to him about it. Divine guidance I’m guessing, either way he is working hard to keep progressing.
As Brett continues to improve and progress towards recovery, so will this timeline and story—and when he is ready he will be able to add his thoughts, feelings and experiences over the last three months. Because after all, he is living and experiencing something that the rest of us can only try to explain.
We all hope and pray for the best and appreciate all the support for Brett.