Jon Johnston

My Heart Attack And TBI Survivor Story

I have a brain injury. Because of that brain injury, I deal with mental fatigue — all of the time. I have discovered that while writing is beyond me when I’m very fatigued, talking is not. Therefore, I’ve been using voice-to-text software, in this case,, to transcribe articles, or in this case, a YouTube video.

The transcriptions will probably be rough.

If you’re looking for help — dealing with trauma, then you might find these stories helpful. That is my goal.


Hello, my name is Jon Johnston. I am a 59-year-old IT consultant living in Minnesota.

On August 21 2015, I had a Widowmaker heart attack. I was working at a customer site. I fell over dead. I thought I had heartburn. My colleagues tried to figure out what was wrong and called 911. Paramedics arrived, started CPR. It was clear to them I had had a heart attack. They shocked me five times on the way to the hospital in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota – Hennepin County Medical Center – with no response. They shocked me two more times in the ER and brought me back. I was dead for over 20 minutes.

It’s been over six years. I’ve done God knows how many podcast interviews. I’ve talked about this so many times. And I still haven’t gotten past apparently how painful it is to talk about. I was in the hospital for 10 days. My wife was given the “He’s in God’s hands” speech and was told that even if I survived, I probably wouldn’t be myself anymore because of a brain injury. She had to tell my children and then they all waited for me to get out of the coma that was unduced to save my brain function.

That is my heart attack survivor story. In a nutshell. That’s where it began. I spent an active life. There was no sign that this was going to happen. I thought it was heartburn. I was a boy scout leader for 17 years, I taught wilderness survival. I did outdoor activities. I coached soccer for a decade. I stayed active all the time. Because of my activity, I had yearly physicals. None of them ever showed any problem with cholesterol, which is ultimately what killed me. A piece of plaque broke stray from an artery and went into my Widowmaker artery and stopped my heart.

I’m have started a channel on YouTube called “Manage your Damage”. I have spent the last over six years recovering my life. I’ve done a lot of experimentation on myself. I’ve worked on the anxiety and depression that comes with having a heart attack. I deal with fatigue, memory issues. I’ve dealt with a lot of stuff.

If you’re watching this or listening to this, as a heart attack survivor, you probably know what I’m talking about.

I also have a TBI traumatic brain injury. My heart attack initially my first heart attack occurred on August 21. January 2016, I had a second stent put in. My cardiologist said we knew we’d have to do more work, but we couldn’t have done it at the time because we didn’t think you’d live through it.

In June 2016, I was diagnosed with an anoxic brain injury. It’s been fun.

You might wonder why I’m sitting out here in the woods. And it’s because number one, it’s a beautiful day outside. And number two, don’t expect a big production. I have minimal editing skills. I don’t have a studio. I’m not part of a hospital. I’m not part of a clinic.

I’m just me. My goal for this channel is to reach out to other heart attack and TBI survivors to tell them what I’ve gone through what has worked for me and in a lot of ways so that you know what you’re dealing with.

And that you’re not alone, so please subscribe to my YouTube and I’ll see what I can do to help.

Thank you.