April 27, 2010 was the day Dan Duggins life would forever be changed. Dan suffered a major brainstem stroke. For the past 15+ years Dan was a professional drummer, lived in the New York area and has been the drummer for Hot Rod Circuit, The Queen Killing Kings, Zigmat and more. Dan’s initial stroke symptoms were severe head pains, confusion, and numbness in his hands. Luckily, Dan was on his way to a gig and his band mate drove him to a local hospital. While waiting to be seen in the Emergency Room, Dan experienced seizures and was immediately admitted.
It was not initially recognized that Dan experienced a stroke, when in reality this is what Dan had. The introduction of the stroke was from a blot clot that traveled to his brainstem via a torn artery within his neck. At the onset of his stroke, Dan became what is known as “Locked in”. Locked in is a condition in which your brain is functioning and cognitive, but a person's body is not responsive. Dan was on life support, had a trachea implanted, and needed oxygen 24 hours a day. His outlook was grim, and the doctors were saying they didn’t expect him to live much longer. Many people who become locked in never recover, but after nearly two weeks Dan managed to break thru by moving his index finger on his left hand. Contrary to their belief, Dan hung in there and was transferred to a recovery unit where his vitals began to stabilize.
In June 2010 Dan was relocated to Richmond, VA, where his family lives. He spent the remainder of the summer at a local medical facility, where he was weaned off the ventilator and had the trachea removed. At this point Dan started his therapies. The light at the end of the tunnel appeared to be growing brighter; however, since Dan had no health insurance, he was discharged since he no longer needed 24 hour medical-care.
Dan, the Duggins family, and friends did not let this bring Dan's recovery process to halt. Dan is currently into a year of his recovery; he attends speech, occupational, and physical therapy three times a week at a local hospital. Dan is beginning to sound out words, can move all of his limbs (within limited motion), and his core muscles are used under Dan's control. He recently went to an eye specialist to help with his double vision, and the doctors are hopeful that with wearing special glasses his vision will return to normal. Recovery from this major stroke can take nearly a decade and not one doctor can define what recovery truly means.
You can follow Dan's recovery process on the Dan Duggins Trust Facebook Page for details. If you want to send him a note please send it to him at 4317 Joseph Drive, Glen Allen, VA. 23060 or you can e-mail Dan on the trust page. Dan is also available to Skype through the help of our father, Tom Duggins. You can set up a session by emailing Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org .
A PayPal account has been opened for donations. All of the donations from this account will go directly to paying Dan’s medical bills. For those wishing to donate, the account email is email@example.com.
There will be more benefit events coming up, so please keep checking back at the Dan Duggins Trust Facebook Page for details.
The Duggins Family would like to thank every person for his or her thoughts and support during the treacherous travel down a long and windy road.
Nothing will keep Dan from drums!
Stephen (left) and Dan Duggins (right)
Dan with The Queen Killing Kings:
Dan with Hot Rod Circuit:
Dan with Zigmat: