For those who believe that they alone hold the keys to their own destiny, God sure has a funny way of teaching life lessons. Due to self-perceived shortcomings, I deemed myself a complete failure by the time I was 22 years old. With an obsession to excel and a naive quest for redemption, I fought my failure demons for more than two decades working endlessly in my elusive pursuit to find success.
Thinking I had almost conquered the demons, I had a massive heart attack on June 7, 2010. Ten days later, cardiac arrest caused my heart to stop, and ten days after that, I had an allergic reaction that led to Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a potentially fatal lung condition that affects just 150,000 people per year according to the ARDS Foundation. To treat ARDS, doctors medically induced me into a coma and put me on full life support.
Emerging from the coma, I had to learn how to move my limbs, stand, walk, talk, and swallow all over again. On September 21, 2010, 106 days after the June 7th heart attack, I went home. During my long and difficult recovery and rehabilitation, I had hours and hours to think about mortality, God, faith, and the meaning of love, family, friends, and redemption.
Doctors told me that surviving three life-threatening episodes in one summer is a miracle and encouraged me to write about the experience. With that in mind, I interviewed family, friends, and the medical team at Kaiser Santa Clara Medical Center. What resulted is a 200-page manuscript I named, Summer in the Waiting Room: How Faith, Family, and Friends Saved My Life.
It’s the unique and inspiring story of a boy who grew up in a working-class neighborhood, failed at college and lost hope, met and married the love of his life, returned to finish college, raised a family, and built a career in corporate America and public service. It’s also the story of a man who vowed never to fail again and toiled tirelessly trying to redeem himself, only to find true redemption while in a state of complete helplessness in the ICU.
To share this story, beginning this Wednesday, East Side Eddie Report.com will add a new feature posting weekly excerpts from Summer in the Waiting Room: How Faith, Family, and Friends Saved my Life. My dream is to someday publish the manuscript as a book, so please let me know what you think. Also, if you like the story, please share the Wednesday posts with your family and friends.
I truly appreciate you taking the time to read East Side Eddie Report.com each Monday. I hope the posts are interesting and look forward to Summer in the Waiting Room bringing you back every Wednesday too. If you have any suggestions or comments, please send them along.