Aaron Allston Writes About His Heart Attack

Bonnie Burton | May 3, 2009

Del Rey author Aaron Allston — who recently underwent bypass surgery — is recovering and writing in his Livejournal blog about what happened.

He writes about his diabetes, painful foot ulcer and the recent heart attack that occurred during his book tour for his new Star Wars novel Outcast.

Here’s an excerpt from his story about his health condition and what happened during his heart attack:

I was also spending a lot of time asleep/unconscious and experiencing a series of intense, interconnected hallucinations, in which I had reached a malevolent afterlife in which I was tested and often tortured. These events played out in a series of semi-independent scenarios. When awake, I knew I had been hallucinating, but when hallucinating, I had no ability to distinguish between what I was experiencing and reality. It was, to say the least, a grim few days.

I coded — that is, my heart stopped, causing the medics to revive me with defib paddles — something like three times between the morning of my surgery and the following day. The last time, though my heart activity was restored, I evidenced very little neurological activity, and the medics scheduled me for an electroencephalogram to determine whether I had anything going on upstairs. Though the medical staff was not yet telling my family and loved ones to prepare themselves for the worst, some of the nurses and doctors were beginning to exchange little shakes of the head.


Ironically, even during his recuperation, Allston is already thinking of new plot lines and stories for future books.

All the hallucinations and delving around in my subconscious threw a lot of thoughts, emotions, even plot ideas and characters up out of my subconscious, like a bad storm churning up a sea-bed; among other things, I went into the hospital with only one chapter of Five For Frankenstein done and came out with about 80% of the novel outlined.

The downside of the situation is that Allston will be facing a mountain of medical bills. Fans who want to help Allston with his expenses can do so with the Aaron Allston Donation Fund.

Like one in six Americans, I have no health insurance, and now I’m committed to pay for major surgery and a three-week hospital stay. I will. I’ll be working harder and better. I’ll be applying for grants and dispensations with every agency that will listen. And friends have set up the Aaron Allston Donation Fund, which has already begun receiving donations that will help with my medical-related bills, past and future. (An aside to those of you who have donated or plan to do so in the future: Thank you so much. I’m flabbergasted every time a donation comes in, and hope to be able to do as much good for other people in the future.)

Read the full blog entry here:
Orange Juice, Laxatives, and Near Death Experiences
(via Aaron Allston Livejournal Blog)

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