On July 14th, 2013, Dave suffered a heart attack due to a blockage in his "widow maker artery". Just prior to the incident, he enjoyed a week off with his family and friends in Ocean City, MD for the 4th of July. He tossed the pigskin in the sand, manned the grill in the alley, toured the streets on his beach cruiser and tagged along to Seacrets beach club to make fun of the scandalous dancing, body tattoos and genuine sloppiness that occurs after hours of drinking on rafts in the sun. To top off the week, he got up at the crack of dawn with his son, Hunter, to setup the first, McKissock Volleyball Tournament that successfully attracted over 70 players and spectators throughout the day. The following week he went into full, cardiac arrest while riding his bike in the neighborhood and has been on a road to recovery with a goal of getting back to the normal lifestyle he once lived ever since.
Dave was immediately rushed to Sinai Hospital where he endured a much debated procedure known as Therapeutic Hypothermia which many believe saved his life. This process cools the body to 91 °F in an effort to reduce further tissue damage from the lack of blood flow in the brain during arrest. After three weeks of being on the ICU floor of Sinai Hospital, he was moved to the Sinai Rehabilitation Center where he attended daily therapy sessions to prepare him to come home. He was diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury that greatly affected his memory and speech.
He could not talk for several weeks. He could not remember the years 2012-'13, nor many major events in prior years. He could not write, nor could he name his wife and children. But after months of physical, occupational and speech therapy (that he still attends to this day), he has recovered many of those memories, learned to write, learned to drive and made a recovery to a lifestyle that just 1.8% of patients with his degree of injury return to. He continues to struggle with comprehension and has just a small percentage of the short term memory he once had. It is frustrating for him, but he has continued to stay motivated throughout this tedious road to recovery. He is surrounded by friends and has an incredible team of therapists working with him day in and day out. TEAM DAVE was quickly created and over 500 green bands were worn on the wrists of his enormous support network. Without the support he continues to receive on a daily, weekly and monthly basis from his wife (Denise), sons (Austin, Hunter & Taylor), family and AWESOME FRIENDS, there is not a chance in the world he would be where he is today.
Our goal with volleyforTBI is to bring those special people together (and more) for a weekend at the beach to support Dave and all he has been through, and help the millions of others who have suffered from a traumatic brain injury.