Blessing for Johnny: A Benefit For Johnny Collier

By  | May 21, 2018 | Filed under: News

On May 19th, 2018, I attend a Benefit for Johnny Collier at the 72 Roadhouse in Rogersville.  Most of you know that Johnny is a musician.  He has played all over the United States and entertained us with his unique blend of Country, Rock & Roll and Blues.  Recently though, Johnny has had some serious medical problems.  I’ll let Dallas Collier (Johnny’s Wife) describe what happened:

          “Johnny’s official diagnosis is Cerebral Aneurysm and Subarachnoid Hemorrhage with Bleed. The Neuro-Surgeon explained that the initial Aneurysm has probably been developing for months and that on Tuesday, April 24th, 2018, when Johnny became so suddenly and violently Ill, the Aneurysm ruptured and bled into his brain around the aneurysm site. All of the symptoms that Johnny and I thought were from an extreme flu (Vomiting, severe head ache, fever, chills, dehydration, etc.) were, in fact, symptoms of the ruptured aneurysm and bleed.

By early Wednesday morning, April 25th, 2018, Johnny’s symptoms were much worse and included confusion, delirium, feeling week, loss of balance and coordination, trouble with vision, stiff neck and talking non-sense. We took him to the ER at ECM in Florence and because of his symptoms, they ordered a CAT Scan. The ER Resident found and identified the Aneurysm and they called in Life Flight to take Johnny to UAB in Birmingham. The Neurosurgical unit at UAB is one of the best in the country.

Johnny arrived at UAB by about 12:00 pm, the neurosurgical team confirmed that Johnny has an aneurysm about the size of a plum… most are about the size of a grape. Dr. Stetler explained that because of the location of Johnny’s aneurysm and the size, Johnny’s particular case was very high risk and a bit complicated.

Johnny’s aneurysm HAD ruptured on Tuesday morning but, luckily, ¾ of the aneurysm was already filled with clotted blood there by slowing down the bleed. The best plan for correction was a two-step process.

Step One: Block off the flow of blood to the aneurysm using endovascular coiling.

Endovascular coiling is performed by inserting a micro catheter through a catheter in a main artery in the groin. The coil is attached to the micro catheter. When the micro catheter has reached the aneurysm and has been inserted into the aneurysm, an electrical current is used to separate the coil from the catheter. The coil seals off the opening of the aneurysm. The coil is left in place permanently in the aneurysm. Depending on the size of the aneurysm, more than one coil may be needed to completely seal off the aneurysm.

The coils used in this procedure are made of soft platinum metal, and are shaped like a spring. These coils are very small and thin, ranging in size from about twice the width of a human hair (largest) to less than one hair’s width (smallest).
Fluoroscopy (a special type of x-ray, similar to an x-ray “movie”) aids in this procedure. The catheter, which is inserted into an artery in the groin, is guided by a small wire inside of the catheter along the length of the blood vessel to reach the area of the aneurysm. The physician uses fluoroscopy to guide the catheter to the aneurysm’s location in the brain.

Dr. Stetler performed this procedure at about 9 PM on Wednesday, April 25th. The recuperation period after this kind of surgery can be as much as 14 days because of the dangers of Vasospasms (an abnormal narrowing or constriction of arteries due to irritation by blood in the subarachnoid space.) Vasospasms lead to seizures and stroke. Luckily, in Johnny’s case, the amazing doctors, nurses and specialists prevented any vasospasms from occurring and Johnny did not experience any seizures or stroke.

Johnny was in the Neurosurgical ICU for 7 days after his first surgery where we had a few ups and downs. On Wednesday, May 2nd, Johnny was progressing well enough to be down-graded and then on May 4th, discharged to finish recovering at home. That’s where we are right now in the process and so far, Johnny is improving a little bit at a time, every single day.

Step Two: Insert a metal sleeve strengthening the vessel where the aneurysm is located and blocking off the aneurysm.

On Thursday, May 10th, Johnny will begin the process of retraining his body, through medication therapy, to accept the metal sleeve. As with any foreign object introduced into the body, your body’s natural reaction is to defend against the object. Johnny will take some medications for about a week that will prevent that from happening. He’ll go back to UAB around the 17th, for additional testing to make sure that the medication is doing its Job. If everything looks good, Johnny’s 2nd surgery will be scheduled… somewhere around May 23rd.

The same procedure as before will be used to insert the sleeve… a catheter inserted into an artery in the groin, is guided by a small wire inside of the catheter along the length of the blood vessel to reach the area of the aneurysm. The physician uses fluoroscopy to guide the catheter to the aneurysm’s location in the brain and then installs the sleeve.
If all goes well and as expected, Johnny will have to stay in the Neurosurgical ICU following surgery for no more than two days. Once discharged, Johnny will have a few weeks of recovery time, possibly some physical therapy and weekly checkups. Within a month after the second surgery, Johnny should be ready to resume normal activity.

Johnny is expected to make a full and total recovery. He’ll need to take medications assisting his recovery for about 6 months but after that, should be literally, as good as new!”

We hope and pray this this procedure will correct the medical issues that Johnny is facing.  Okay, back to this story, The 72 Roadhouse in Rogersville held a Benefit for Johnny to help with his Medical Bills.  I was told that a little over $1,900 was raised at this event.

I spoke with David Cole, the owner of the 72 Roadhouse, about the event.  He told me the following “Johnny has played here several times and always sold the place out.  He was scheduled to play here tonight.  However, the medial issues came up and he was not able to.  So I figured we should help him with his Medical Bills.  A Benefit was planned to help with this.”

I am happy to say the place was crowded.  Kathy Staggs, the Hostess who met everyone at the front door had her work cut out for her.  Everyone seemed to enjoy the Benefit and it was for a good cause.  I spoke with Johnny.  He told me that he was feeling weakl but you could tell that he was weak.  However, he was in good spirits.

Get well soon Johnny.  We are praying for you.

  Bobby Inman has retired twice from Law Enforcement after 21 years of Service.  He is a Consultant for Southern Heritage Gun & Pawn in Tuscumbia.   He has articles published in Law & Order Magazine, Police Marksman Magazine, Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement Magazine as well as several published ebooks on Amazon, Kobo Writing, as well as Nook (Barnes & Noble).  He is owner of Poopiedog, an Animal Rescue Dachshund, who is his constant companion.   He is a Senior Investigative Reporter for the Quad Cities Daily

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