Andrew Richesin, a 27 year-old Napa Valley College student and golfer, spent March 29th the way he spent most days-playing golf. After returning home that afternoon Andrew was anxious to spend some quality time hanging out, watching some TV, and relaxing with his dog, Jessie. Andrew seemed to fall asleep next to Jessie, and several hours later when Andrew’s girlfriend, Vanna Kalawa, returned from work she covered Andrew with a blanket, curled up next to him, and went to sleep.
Vanna recounted that about 3AM the next morning Jessie, Andrew’s 2 year-old boxer-pitbull, started barking and yelping in Vanna’s ear, startling her from a sound sleep. Vanna soon realized why Jessie was so unnerved. You see, Andrew had suffered a heart attack while he was sleeping and when Vanna checked Andrew she found that he had no pulse. Paramedics were called, but even shock treatments appeared unsuccessful, and Andrew lay in a coma for several days on life support. Then, miraculously, several days later, Andrew awoke from his coma, and now his condition is slowly improving.
As it turned out the doctors now say that they have never seen anything like this, and they marvel at the fact that they cannot figure out Andrew’s condition, and except for an enlarged heart Andrew seems to be improving. A brain scan was unremarkable, and the doctors pronounced his brain perfect.
Andrew has no doubt about where he is today, because while he credits the doctors in helping him as far Andrew is concerned it was his pit bull, a dog Andrew and his girlfriend saved from being euthanized, who is the silent hero in his life. Andrew and Vanna know that if it hadn’t been for Jessie’s insistent barking and yelping it is very likely Andrew would have died on March 29th.
Andrew is still challenged in many ways, and while Andrew does not remember his golf buddies or being on the golf team, when he awakened from the coma he recognized his father immediately-even asking him for money to buy some juice. The doctors say that while Andrew’s brain has not fully recovered that with each day many of Andrew’s other organs are now slowly improving.
The brain continues to be a mystery that eludes the most sophisticated research, and miracles happen every day. Andrew’s loss of memory was likely caused by a type of Traumatic Brain Injury called Hypoxia, often seen in heart attacks, where the brain suffers a loss of oxygen causing some brain cells to die.
According to research on rehabilitation after any kind of brain injury, dogs continue to be man’s best friend and can be integral in improving the overall mental and emotional health of a person with a brain injury. Of course, you don’t have to tell Andrew that!
So in my continual reporting of vicious attacks by pit bulls and calls for more governmental regulations on the larger more vicious pron dogs, let’s give credit to this pit bull, Jessie, for saving a life. For you pit bull lovers who have been fighting a war of words with me over pit bulls, you have some ammo her. The story of this pit bull saving a life got very little press that I saw, compared to the press if the story was about a pit bull taking a life.
For a consultation on any type of serious personal injury matter give me a call, John Bisnar @ 800-259-6373.