Joe Schmitz was taken in for unexpected surgery for a bulging disc in his neck on Thursday, March, 20, 2014. After a successful surgery fusing two of his vertebrae he was released from the hospital on Friday around noon. He returned home with his family but developed complications when an artery ruptured in his neck pressing against his airway. As his wife, Stacy, drove him to the hospital an ambulance was requested and they met the ambulance in Cold Spring for an intercept to pick up Joe. After he got into the ambulance he deteriorated rapidly and the ambulance crew was forced to take life saving measures including performing CPR and opening an emergency tracheotomy. Joe arrived at the St. Cloud Hospital under Code Blue conditions. It is believed that Joe was without oxygen for a significant amount of time. He was rushed into surgery to repair the ruptured artery and close up the emergency tracheotomy which was replaced with a smaller placed tracheotomy to assist him in breathing. The artery was repaired without incident however the amount of time that Joe was without oxygen has become the largest hurdle to overcome. Joe is currently being sedated to attempt to allow his brain to heal. He is breathing with the assistance of the tracheotomy and a ventilator.