Car Accident and Illness

I started the year with an illness related to a car accident from 2016.

About six months earlier, we took a family road trip with a two car caravan to Oregon for the July 4th weekend. My wife drove her car with Colin, and I took Aidan in my car. This arrangement allowed me to drive my two-seater Porsche 1990 964 Carrera 2 which had recently been rebuilt/redone.

Close to the California/Oregon border, a CHP officer rear-ended my son and me in our car when we stopped at a cross-walk to let a couple pass. The officer stated that she was looking for people on their phones and became distracted, causing her to drive into us at about 20 mph.

The illness that followed six months later was a fluid leak in my spinal column, which caused the Cerebral Spinal Fluid in my brain to get low, causing my brain to sag in its skull.

The symptoms were a daily debilitating headache and intracranial bleeding. It took three surgeries and three months to solve.

The daily headache pain ranged from 3 out of 10 to 8 out of 10 depending on the day, and when it was on the higher end, I sometimes was vomiting from the pain it was so bad. Because of my blood thinners, the doctors were really worried about the impact of the brain sagging for too long.

I was very fortunate as my family and I found one of the best doctors in the nation to handle this case, Dr. Ian Carroll. He was just down the road at Stanford.

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I worked at BetterWorks through this entire experience, except for the three periods immediately following the three surgeries where I had to lay flat for 72 hours. Yeah, that was fun…

It turns out that Steve Kerr, coach of the Golden State Warriors, has the same CSF leak condition. I believe he has had similar surgeries to help solve the problem.

Going through this process was quite a difficult one. I ended up turning off social media, playing a lot of backgammon with Leah and the kids, and really just trying to make the best of it. I was depressed at times, and was really worried about ever getting cured. Knowing how dark some of those days were gives me an appreciation for staying the course, and just knowing that things can and will get better. I am really thankful to my immediate family and my parents and sister as well for the amount of support every one of them gave during this period of my life.

Author: Kris Duggan

1% better every day.

2 thoughts on “Car Accident and Illness”

  1. Hello Kris,

    Thank you for sharing your story! I could not believe how much has happened to you in the past couple of years! Wish I could of do something to help?! How are you feeling now?

    Since you are sharing your story, I got a few things to share with you as well:
    I remember when I first left Stanford and starting PAFit, still learning about the business and trying to get some clients using Craigslist. Believe it or not you are my first client from Craigslist:).
    Thank you for hired me, you gave me a chance to work with you as the same time learning from you and hope I didn’t disappoint you:).
    I missed those training days with you! I still remember those boxing dills, you were stopped and couldn’t stop laughing in the middle of our training because I was too small and short like lil chipmunk jumping up and down:).
    I enjoyed our training time very much! With very little time working with you. You’ve tauch me a ton, how to be a fun leader and a super goal-oriented person, to be a great team player, works hard to achieve good results. How to management team that made up of ambitious. You’re champ and you know it Kris!
    Let’s me know when you have time for a short hike or chat?!
    The holidays is coming, just want to wish you and your family a much better, happier and healthier year!


    1. Thanks Nina, such a nice comment. You taught me how to get fit and invest in my body and self. I have made a lot of self improvements thanks to you!

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