As a healthy, athletic 49-year-old, it was inconceivable that Brian was having a stroke in his home August 2009. Luckily for him, his wife Jan saw the signs and knew right away. She called 911 and within minutes, the paramedics arrived and rushed Brian to Saddleback Medical Center – a designated stroke receiving center. Already notified of Brian's condition, a stroke team awaited his arrival and was ready to go into action, knowing that with a stroke – every second counts. Physicians determined that Brian had suffered from a hemorrhagic stroke deep in the basal ganglia – too deep and dangerous to operate. Brian was given medications to stop the bleeding and reduce the swelling and remained in the intensive care unit (ICU) for three days until moving to a regular patient room at the hospital for four days. After the bleeding stopped, Brian underwent months of speech, occupational, recreational and physical therapy.
According to Jan, "Brian returned to work as a mechanical engineer – thanks to the quick thinking of the medical staff that gave him back his engineering brain."
Jan and Brian wrote a book describing their experience and have spoken at various speaking engagements. They reminisce about the amount of support they received from family and friends and how grateful they were when Brian was placed in a private room of the hospital, making it easier for him to heal.