Written by John McElligott
These pictures were taken at Anchor Bar in Buffalo NY. This is where Buffalo wings originated. Prior to going to NY I had been given 3 months to live due to injuries in the military. I had broken my neck in 1967 jumping out of a helicopter falling 20 feet on to a rice paddy dike. The fall not only caused a neck fracture but later delayed paralysis (right arm) in 1972. The fall had also damaged the blood vessels to the back of my brain. Now the right arm stayed paralyzed for two years. All the doctors gave up on me except one… “me”. I gave up my private practice since I could not write or do a rectal exam. The latter exam required an assistant to pull my arm out of the screaming patient’s butt. Consequently, this is when I started my own company that did not require rectal exams, which I still operate to this day.
Now back to the blood vesicle on the right vertebral. The damage went undiagnosed until I had a stroke in 1997 that resolved. Since God made us with a right and left side I made due with one blood supply from the right vertebral artery to the basilar artery that kept both right and left side of my brain functioning. But after 30 yrs, the right vertebral artery was 98% blocked and the left vertebral artery was 100 % blocked with no flow. So I remained wobbly, and had to wear a Heparin Pump 24-7 to stay alive. I was told that I would eventually go in to a coma and eventually die. Well I decided to have experimental surgery at Millard Fillmore Hospital placing a brain stent in my RVA. I was the 13th volunteer ever to have this type of brain stent and the only one still alive.
The pictures above are at Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant with my then girlfriend, Lisa (now my wife), and brother Tom. We were celebrating before my surgery the next morning. I was given 1 in 10 chance of surviving the procedure. I did survive and went home 2 days later, and have never looked back. I am still working supporting 25+ wonderful employees.
Everyone asks when will you retire. I say to them and have since seeing the light at the end of the tunnel “The day before they cremate me”. Now I am a certified deep water scuba diver, and I have picked out where I will plant my Head stone-ashes. Hopefully, WG or Nugent can come to the Cayman Island, and speak at my going away party at Rum Point. Drinks are on me!!! I am redoing my will as we speak and adding another $10,000 to the bar bill budget. I want this to be a celebration to remember. WG and Nugent can make sure there are plenty of wheel chairs and walker for you guys. I included in the budget for my goodby party a round trip boat to and from Rum Point. Now the drink I recommend for the ladies is a “Mudslide” and for the big boys a Bahama Mama. The latter is limited to just 3 since the drink alone will cut you off.
Directions to Rum Point- Head straight for the sun beams. The bar is right there.
I will be there February 2nd to the 14 to make sure they will be ready for the big party when it happens. Right now it may be a few more years so in the mean time be happy, laugh and smile. This will be the 28th year in a row I have traveled to the Cayman’s and plan to stay on schedule until the day before they cremate me.