A LaVergne man said he was on the brink of death after suffering two brain aneurysms. At first he thought he was having a severe migraine headache, but he ended up in the intensive care unit for nearly two weeks clinging to life.
Gary Rockhold, 36, of Nicole Lane in LaVergne said the pain he still feels inside is sometimes unbearable.
"I still have bad headaches, and my leg hurts all the time, it doesn't go away," Rockhold said.
He was on his way to church in early September with his family, when he all of sudden came down with a violent headache. He said it was so painful he couldn't drive. His wife took the wheel and drove him to TriStar Stonecrest Hospital in Smyrna.
"They (ran) a CT scan and said I had a brain aneurysm," Rockhold said.
He was then rushed to TriStar Skyline Medical Center in Nashville where doctors discovered he actually had two aneurysms.
"The first eight to 20 days were critical, because if he had a stroke or seizure, it would have killed him," said Linda Hall, Rockhold's mother-in-law.
He was in the ICU for 12 days where he had numerous brain spasms. During surgery an artery was snagged which resulted in delayed motor-skill response to his left side.
While in ICU, Rockhold had a persistent pain in his lower leg. An ultrasound revealed nothing, but when he had another one three days later doctors found three blood clots.
"They had to put a filter in his stomach to prevent the blood clots from moving to his lungs and heart, because that could also kill you," Hall said.
Rockhold has to stay on his feet to try and walk out the blood clots. Doctors have told him it will be six to 12 months before his brain recovers. He can't work, and the medical bills are mounting.
His family is thankful though that he's still with them.
"Just the fact that Gary is alive is a miracle," Hall said.
He's lost a lot, but not his sense of humor.
"They said I walked to the end of cliff, stuck both toes over, and looked down, and walked back. (They) said I did that twice," Rockhold said.
An account has been set up to help Rockhold with medical and living expenses since he can't work. Donations can be made at any First Tennessee Bank to the Medical Benefit Fund for Gary Rockhold.
Family and friends are also hosting a Spaghetti Dinner Benefit and Silent Auction on Oct. 13 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the LaVergne Senior Center, 337 Stones Rive Rd.
For more information you can contact Jason Hall at 615-478-9648 or Tonya Knell at 615-308-8031.
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