more about me and my health

Here is a shorter version to catch you up…

In 2010 I was on an ATV in Mississippi and it tipped over and fell on top of me.  The roll bar fell onto my chest and my health has been a pretty big nightmare ever since.  The initial accident almost killed me.  I had a Traumatic Dissected Thoracic Aorta, a Pneumothorax (collapsed lung), six fractured ribs, a broken Clavicle and needed stitches in my chin.  I was airlifted to The Med (My life saving surgery was at the Elvis Presley Trauma Center, best name ever) in Memphis, TN and some fantastic trauma doctors there saved my life.

Thumbs Up, Always
I was working on my collpased lung
My poor little lung
With my sister Lauren and Mom in ICU — we are a very photogenic family !! I could barely open my eyes so they played along!!
Lauren, Molly, me and Patrick

Later in 2010 I was having circulation issues and developed Subclavian Steal Syndrome, and needed another surgery.  I had a Vascular Bypass placed from my left Subclavian Artery to my left Carotid Artery.  This gave me back pretty good circulation and I was finally able to find a pulse in my left wrist.

Before the first bypass surgery
After surgery

In 2014 I had back surgery.  I have had on and off back issues ever since the accident.  I had an L5-S1 Microdiscectomy.  It has taken a long time, but that is finally pretty strong and not causing many issues.

In 2017 my Vascular Bypass from 2010 became blocked and I needed surgery again.  The Vascular Surgeon was able to unblock the Bypass, but after surgery I got a blood clot in the bypass.  I had an Angiogram and they were able to remove the clot, and placed a stent in the bypass to keep it open, and keep the blood flowing.

After surgery 👍🏼 2017

Ever since this surgery I have had a ton of pain in my left arm, left shoulder, and left side of my neck (in addition to everything else!) .  I did Physical Therapy last year to get my arm stronger, and to work on my lower back.

I started searching for answers, and ended up with a primary doctor who told me to wait and let it get better for months, and then ultimately didn’t want to treat me any longer, and a vascular surgeon who did extensive testing and then told me it was not vascular (it was).

I’ve started over with all new doctors this year, at Northwestern Memorial, and the Shirley Ryan Ability Lab – both in Chicago and so far they have been amazing and have helped me so much.  I am starting to get back to the things I couldn’t do for a long time, like gardening, and some yoga, and I am looking forward to seeing what else this body of mine is capable of.

Since I have started in 2018 here are my newest diagnoses;

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Cervical Radiculopathy/Radiculitis (C5-C6)

Herniated Discs in Cervical Spine (C3-C4 mild disc bulge, C5-C6 mild concentric disc bulge, C6-C7 mild disc bulge)

Cervical Disc Disease 

Spondylosis (C-Spine)

Heart Murmur 


PFO – Patent Foramen Ovale 

Dissected Vertebral Artery


Updated 08/09/18