First came the light-headedness. Then dizziness set in. All of the sudden, the back part of his head started to ache uncontrollably.
Moments later, he couldn’t feel anything on the right side of his body – his arm, leg…nothing. Before he knew it, the ability to hear and see out of his right ear and right eye were gone too. He vomited.
His sister dialed 911. Slowly losing consciousness and feeling cold, he was loaded into an ambulance en route to Community Hospital East. With his parents in their car trailing the ambulance, the young man developed a heart murmur. His breathing slowed. Abruptly, the ambulance shifted into emergency mode and sped off.
On Dec. 21, 2012, Brett Jackson suffered a brain hemorrhage.
Mike Jackson was at home when his wife, Tina, called to say their son was in bad shape at a New Palestine gym. Brett, a former Dragon who was coming off his freshman baseball season at Marian University, was working out with his sister, Erin, when his brain began to bleed.
When Mike arrived at the scene, he described his son as looking “obviously distressed.”
“We didn’t have a clue what was going on. Everything in the book ran through my head except what ended up being wrong with him,” Mike recalled. “I called his friends. When you start having something like this, you start thinking of the worst things. You start thinking, ‘Was he drinking? Was he doing drugs?’
“I knew my kid wasn’t doing that and would never do that – but that’s what you think in a situation like that.”
Mike and Tina were following Brett’s ambulance when their son’s heartbeat turned irregular, prompting the ambulance to flip on its emergency lights and step on the gas.
“Now we’re really freaking out,” Mike said. “We’re running red lights to get to the ER.”