As some of you may know by now, our good friend Nick O’Hara has recently been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, medulloblastoma. This unexpected occurrence has left him on the brink of emotional turmoil and financial devastation.
Nick is a native of Wisconsin but has spent the last 15 years in Montana. Nick had been struggling with symptoms from what he thought was a slipped disc for about a month. Dealing with a myriad of symptoms, a decision was made to fly him home to his family in Wisconsin for further medical analysis and care.
Nick’s medical bills mounted quickly as it was apparent that he was gravely ill. Following a rapid series of diagnostic tests, he needed an emergency procedure to reduce the build-up of pressure. He then underwent subsequent decompression surgery and required monitoring in the ICU for over a week before he had a partial resection of the lime-sized tumor that had been discovered on his brain.
As of today, November 28th, Nick is at home recovering from his surgeries and working hard to regain strength and mobility. His path to remission has yet to be defined. He'll be meeting with his medical team throughout the week to determine when he may start his radiation/ and chemotherapy.
For those of you who know Nick – you know these things to be true: he is humble, kind, hardworking, and has a sneaky good sense of humor. In Montana, Nick works as a chimney sweep and snowmobile guide, and travels back to Wisconsin each spring to help install piers on the area lakes. Because of the seasonal nature of his jobs, he has not had health insurance through his work. He is a physically fit man who, of course, never expected that he would need hospitalization and ongoing treatment such as this. He has always lived frugally and within his means.
The community of outdoor guides in Montana is small and tight-knit. Nick is well-known for his strength and stoicism but also his compassion. He is a volunteer asset for alpine search and rescue when conditions are extreme and technically demanding. Last winter, he performed CPR on a snowmobiler with traumatic mortal injuries for an hour until the medics arrived.
Nick is as tough as they come, but certainly has a long road to recovery ahead and he could really use your help. He is underinsured and his expenses will be quite substantial.
If you feel moved by his story, please make a donation to help defray his hospital bills and allow him to get the treatment he needs. Nick and his family are grateful for any support that can be offered.
For more updates on Nick's Recovery - Please visit his CaringBridge Page