Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mitch Giroux: 2009 Inspiration of the Year

Mitch had a year in 2009 that he will never forget. This story begins in the woods of New England...

One nice summer day around July 22nd Mitch was out in the woods and managed to get a tick bite. However, he did not realize that it was a problem and continued with life as though nothing had happened. Unfortunately he started to get sick and then very sick. He did not have the traditional bulls eye mark that comes with Lyme disease. He went to the hospital in Taunton, Mass. on August 4th where they diagnosed him with Lyme disease. To make things worse it had progressed pretty far and they had to take him into Boston to Tufts New England Medical Center for specialized care.

Had the drama stopped there it would still be a big deal. That was just the beginning.

That night in the hospital in Boston he died. For 40 seconds Mitch Giroux was dead.

Fortunately, a hospital is a good place to die and they revived him. Then they put a pacemaker in his chest and eventually released him. He is a runner but had to sit out the cross country season because of the chance of a recurrence. It was interesting to watch him show up at practice or drive over water for some of the workouts. There was an obvious seriousness to his demeanor that had not been there before. At one point I asked him "Since you died this summer do you feel like every day, every second is a gift that you can't waste?" His answer was "yes" of course.

I was talking with one of our mutual friends and he said that Mitch wasn't as fun as he used to be. I had to argue that Mitch was probably enjoying life more now than ever before. He had matured and would never be who he was before, he would be better.

I have read that people with near death (or revived from death) experiences make permanent changes to their lives. Having known Mitch for several years that is absolutely true. He always worked hard but since this summer it is like he gives it everything and no holding back.

If you want to learn more about him read his blog. It is serious, honest, deep and a little scary at times. So my hat is off to my friend Mitch. I hope that I have learned something from his experience so that I do not have to die to appreciate life. I think that I can sympathize with him although I can not really understand.

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