Jon White

Early one September morning, Jon White’s life changed forever. Jon was a busy man with a loving wife and children. But unfortunately, Jon also carried a familial burden: early-onset heart disease.

That fateful morning, Jon’s worst nightmare came true.

Jon awoke with chest pain and thrashed around in bed just enough for his wife, Nicole, to wake up before he fell into full cardiac arrest. Nicole called 911 and began CPR until EMS arrived to take over. In addition to CPR, EMS provided defibrillation several times. By the time his pulse was restored, 39 precious minutes had passed.

Nicole had saved Jon’s life. Though at the time, his survival was still far from certain.

That morning, Jon received a grave prognosis. Doctors gave him a 1% chance of survival and encouraged his family to prepare for the difficult decisions they would soon need to make. Jon’s family considered what he would want and, based on faith and love, opted to wait and see.

Jon arrived at Vibra minimally conscious but ready to begin his recovery.

Jon spent the next month in the hospital’s intensive care unit while doctors investigated and treated his heart and brain issues. Eventually, though still in a minimally conscious state, Jon was stable enough to transfer to Vibra Specialty Hospital of Portland for neuro recovery.

At Vibra, Jon slowly got better over the course of several months. Having been sedated, Jon received medications to wake him up. Eventually, he began to open his eyes when asked, weaned from the ventilator, and resumed eating independently.

Most importantly, Jon started to talk. He didn’t always make sense — not unusual for someone having gone through such an ordeal — but he never stopped talking.

Mobility was another significant milestone for Jon while at Vibra. His first steps were a bit scary, as Jon is a big guy. But soon after he took his first steps, Jon was walking the hallway with his therapists.

Eventually outgrowing Vibra, Jon transferred to Craig Hospital at the recommendation of the neuro team. He spent the next two months there continuing his recovery. Between the three facilities, Jon spent a total of six months hospitalized.

Today, Jon is at home with his family. He is walking, talking, telling stories, and living his life, just as he was meant to do.