What Matters

20 Apr 2015

There is nothing like facing your own mortality to bring astonishing clarity about what’s important. Bryan was an ordinary guy who died and came back. Below is his story in his own words.

By Bryan Wood

Three years ago this week, I died. But obviously I and was brought back for a second chance. I had been feeling very sluggish for a couple of years but didn’t know what was happening. I’d been in and out of the doctor’s office many times, but everything always checked out.

However, on a particular morning, I felt unusually tired, so I went to the hospital. When I arrived, my heartbeat was very sporadic, averaging 32 beats a minute instead of a normal 70. The technician on duty thought I might have a blockage, so he gave me a nitroglycerin pill to test his diagnosis. The pill made me feel a little bit better, so they gave me the another one. That’s when they realized I did NOT have a blockage.

I turned pale and began sweating like crazy. I looked at the doctor and said, “I’m going down!” And then I flat lined. Because I had no blockage, my slow heart rate could not pump enough blood to sustain my life. Then complications (that are still unexplained) caused the electric signal to my heart to just stop! Apparently, the medical team fought for 2 hours and 15 minutes to bring me back and get me stabilized; it only seemed like seconds to me. The next thing I heard was someone telling me I was going to need a pacemaker, to which I responded, “I want one like Iron Man–with the blinking lights.” After the intense effort they’d made to bring me back, they failed to see the humor. :-/

My life changed. The pacemaker prevented me from the type of work I did for 30 years, so now I am back in school (at 54) working to become a high school science teacher. I truly feel better than I have in a very long time; the increased circulation has given me new energy and I feel like I’m in my twenties again!

My point is this: I want to remind everyone how delicate and precious life is.

Never miss the opportunity to tell someone you love him or her.

Be very appreciative of the small things that matter. Take time to smell flowers and watch the sunrise and sunsets.

Spend time with family and friends.

Try and do one thing, no matter how small, everyday, to improve the way you love and live!

Never take things for granted. Appreciate what you have before time makes you appreciate it. I love all my family and am very thankful I’ve reconnected with friends I thought were lost to me.

Most importantly, learn to live! Don’t just exist!




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