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One year ago today Dr. Mark Kerner gave me my life back.

Monday November 28, 2011. Certainly not a date I will soon ever forget. Many of you know my story and have read about it through one posting forum or another. It’s a story that is tough to believe, but true. I am going to start the story back in April of 2005. My dad and I decide to take a trip to Lake Okeechobee in Florida. We had an amazing trip, but I had one day that I will always remember and it wasn’t for the fishing. We were fishing the famed Monkey Box and about half way through the day I got sick with the worst headache I had ever had in my entire life. We had to come off the water several hours early. I have had headaches before, but this one was definitely different from anything I had ever experienced. That would not be the last time I got one of those debilitating headaches. Over the next 6 years my condition sloooooooooooowly got worse. I would go months with no issues and then have a 2 to 3 month stretch where it was brutally tough to get through nearly everyday. I taught mathematics in Virginia for 11 + years before moving down here. The last straw towards the end was the inability to write on the dry erase boards for more than a few seconds at a time. Finally, in 2009 I started the process of being a lab rat. I had every type of imaging that you could have done and some (MRI) more than a few times. I had more scares than a Freddy Krugger movie, from cancer(non malignant tumor removed from skull) to MS and everything in between. I had a great team of doctors. They really cared about my life and tried everything under the sun to give it back to me. Fast forward to 2011. I have yet another MRI, but this time they focus on my neck only. I get called in the next day because they have urgent news for me. I am thinking right off cancer…..again. So I got somebody to cover my class and left work. When I got to the doctor’s office I had my team there. They showed me some pics and asked if I could see a difference between the left side of my spine and the right side. It was easy to spot. Spinal fluid shows up white on an MRI. The left side of my neck was normal with spinal fluid passing up into my brain and coating it. The right side not so much. I had three disks that were touching my spinal cord and blocking off the spinal fluid from reaching the right side of my brain. On my bad days they believed that I was getting little to no spinal fluid. This was also the cause of loss of strength and stamina in my arms. What caused this you ask? I don’t know. I have a spine condition that I have since forgotten the name of what they called it. So they sent me to physical therapy which was straight up one of the worst periods of my life. It lasted 3 weeks before I finally told my doctors that I couldn’t take it anymore. The pain can’t be described, both from a headache standpoint and now the spine/muscles themselves. I was then sent to Dr. Mark Kerner who looked at all MRI’s and within a month had me on the table performing an absolute miracle. Dr. Kerner called my surgery, a couple months later, a grand slam home run. This past week was a special Thanksgiving for me. Just thinking about where I was and where I am now is nothing short of a miracle. I told my family during this tough stretch that if I ever beat what it was that was killing me, I wanted to do something totally different with my life. I wanted to enjoy every second that I had left even if it was just a year or 30 years. Well a year has passed and it has been the best year of my life. Was it easy?…..hahahaha. If you only knew, but anything worth having, is worth fighting for and my gloves are still on thanks to my family, faith, and Dr. Mark Kerner.

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November 27th Math Teacher

November 28th Spine surgery

December 23rd moved to Zapata Tx in the nick of time for Santa to come down the chimney

Jan. – March mapped and scanned as much as humanly possible….fishing more and more as my neck allowed me to.

Jan. 27th – flew back to Virginia to have Dr. Kerner check me over. He says grand slam home run (see pic)

March 21st – catch a 48.9 lb stringer with a 12.2 lb kicker and 2 other 10’s. (8.4 was small fish in the stringer) This day really got my business going. I posted it on the Texas Fishing Forums and the rest you could say is history.

Today – Blessed beyond reasonable explanation

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Thanks again to the thousands of folks that read this blog. All of you who have or will be fishing with me, words can’t describe how my much I appreciate the opportunity.

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I will have a regular report tomorrow. I have a three-day trip on the books with Keith Combs, Jim Behnken, Tim Reneau from Power Tackle Rods and another gentlemen who I forgot his name. SORRY! :-/ We are all helping Keith with a sponsor that is coming to town and will be throwing a little money into the pot each day for a little potluck tournament. Should be fun.

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If for some reason I have not gotten back with you in regards to a trip please call, text or email. I received 25 emails, calls, texts while I was gone and tried like heck to get back in touch with everyone. If I missed you it was NOT intentional….lol.

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Jay

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