End of an Old Life, beginning of a New One


At this point I would like to state a few things

  • 1st. This is a story based on the recollection of real situations, the scenes depicted here might not be completely accurate, which is not the main purpose, yet a substantial effort has been made to write them as close to the actual events as possible.
  • 2nd. I am and would be forever grateful to the doctors, physicians and nurses which took care of me during these difficult times, is clear to me that, if they were not there, I probably wouldn’t be either. Having said that, I hope they understand my intentions are to represent the feelings I had at the moment which is being told, this should not be a reason for them to be angry, since this interactions only improve my feelings of gratitude and portray their humanity.
  • 3rd. This is only a non-fictional story. In no way this writing intends to be a self-growth type of work, if it seems that way at any point, is only due to reader interpretations.


  How did I got there?

Possibly this was the underlying question to start solving everything. So this is what I remember.

I came back to my country from Canada, where I was doing a Ph.D. degree at the University of Toronto; I lived there around 6 years studying plant molecular development in the plant model Arabidopsis. At the time, it was the most fulfilling experience in my professional life. I agreed with my supervisor to finish writing in my country of origin, then go back to Canada, to have the defense of my thesis, I had tons of data and images that had to be processed and ordered to fit in the document before the defense.

The hard drive containing about 4 Gigabytes of data crashed, 6 months of work were lost. I unplugged the drive and sent it to a recovery service, they said it was beyond their repair capabilities, they could send it to the U.S. where the hope of repairing it was slim, this path was not affordable for me and I had to pay whether the information was recovered or not, it was a death end. Giving up on the HD, on a Thursday, I started to do the lost work again, on Friday night I had a big argument with the family.

Saturday came.

7:25a.m. I woke up with a funny feeling, like I was tired, it was all over my body, specially my neck and head.

7:40a.m. A morning shower was on schedule early.

7:50a.m. Everything was going as usual, an acute headache started, I cryed for help, my wife came down to help me out of the bathroom, at that point, the headache worsen.

7:55a.m. My 8 year old boy wanted to know what was going on, behind him, my 6 year old daughter was showing up, I told my wife I did not want them to see me and send her to take them away and tranquilize them.

8:05a.m. My wife's mother came too, she ordered to call the emergency line, my wife did it and replied the ambulance was not available to come to get me.

8:10a.m. At this point the headache was pretty much unbearable. I tried to drink orange juice and throw it up shortly after.

8:25a.m. My mother in-law went out to look for an ambulance, and ordered my wife to call another doctor.

8:27a.m. I was in the floor screaming with pain, trying to answer the doctor's questions my wife was repeating for me, failing miserably at that, then he asked her about my ability to speak. He concluded I was having a brain stroke; I needed an ambulance as soon as possible, he said.

8:50a.m. My father was coming, thankfully we had an appointment to have a family breakfast that day.

9:05a.m. My father was trying to decide whether he was to take me to the hospital in his own car, when my mother in law came with the ambulance.

9:10a.m. They placed me into the ambulance, which seemed really small at the time, I was screaming to the full capability of my body, the paramedic asked me to stop it, I answered, I could not, he replied, I had to do it for them to be able to help me, I did my best to overcome the pain and stop screaming, he started to make all kinds of questions.

  • What is your name? - He asked.

I gave him my name.

  • And the weekday?
  • What’s todays date?
  • Where are we?

I answered to each question and started thinking, he is worried about my brain functions, but why is he asking all this questions, are they really necessary, after all my wife is coming with us, is he keeping me busy, what for?

9:20a.m. Everything faded out, I stopped listening and feeling anything. Everything was OK at that point, then I died, I saw nothing, no light, no hallway, no sublime experience, other than peace, basically nothing.

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