The other night, former LA Times staffer John Kissell — now a writer-editor at Loyola Marymount University — posted on Facebook that his heart stopped at work. Only quick action by a student saved him.
Well, that was close ... I passed out and my heart stopped during a meeting at work Tuesday ... A quick-acting LMU senior administered CPR and kept me alive for the paramedics, who then defibrillated me back. Angiogram in the morning and a likely stent and I'll be headed home and back to work. I have much to be grateful as I head to my 55th birthday.
That birthday is today. The follow-up is that he needs heart surgery and is in the hospital:
Update: thank you, thank you, thank you to all you wonderful friends ... These difficulties grow small in the light of such love and concern. It turns out my heart condition was not as simple as I'd hoped -- next week I will have triple- or quadruple-bypass surgery. I am in good hands at Torrance Memorial, and this will give me years I may not have had.
And at the OC Weekly, longtime concert photographer Andrew Youssef, who has been writing about his Stage IV colon cancer, disclosed that he has been told to seek palliative care.
This is the most difficult column I will ever write. Although it wasn't easy admitting to everyone that I had Stage IV colon cancer in my first column, I now have more important and difficult news to convey to all my friends and colleagues. Unfortunately, the new clinical trial medication did not improve my condition as my most recent CT scan showed my disease has worsened.
After consulting my oncologists they recommended that I seek palliative care and eventually hospice care since I have weeks to months to live. Although I knew the diagnosis of Stage IV colon cancer provided a low percentage of survival, one always has to keep some faith that they can fight and win the war against cancer. Immediately, a flood of emotions washed over me upon hearing this sobering news.