Nick O'Hara

First post: Nov 19, 2022 Latest post: Dec 8, 2022
Nick’s Personal Background:

Nick O”Hara was born on January 8, 1988 in Hartland Wisconsin.  He is the son of Lisa Maas and Robert O’Hara.  Growing up, Nick was a gentler child who spent his days swimming, waterskiing, and sailing on Pine Lake, as well as building tree forts and exploring the wooded area on the property with his many friends and cousins.

Nick attended grade school at Swallow School and high school at Arrowhead, both in Hartland, Wisconsin.  There he skied on the Varsity Ski Team where his talents led him to great success in many races.  He even ended up winning the State Championship.  Nick’s competitive skiing took him to many U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) and International Ski Federation (FIS) races around the country.  The highlight of his racing was the Junior Olympics and finishing in the top 10.

Nick’s enthusiasm for outdoor sports prompted him to move to the mountains in Bozeman, Montana, with a close friend from Pine Lake.  There, he continued skiing and additional activities such as hiking, hunting, fishing, and snowmobiling.  For several years he was a fly fishing guide and a snowmobile guide. 

Every year in the fall and spring, Nick was nice enough to leave his outdoor paradise in Bozeman to return home to Wisconsin to help out his uncle who is always in desperate need of seasonal employees for his pier business.  There, Nick was the star employee and the only one with the skills and temperament to manage the crew effectively.  The crew was very disappointed when they found out Nick would be staying in Bozeman t instead of coming to work in 2021! 

Nick’s Medical Background:

In late October, 2022, Nick began experiencing back pain, which prompted him to seek diagnosis and treatment.  The back x-ray showed a curve in his spine that was causing bone spurs, which a few different chiropractors said they could fix with 6 weeks of treatment. 

As he was exploring options for the back treatment, his condition suddenly worsened dramatically, prompting him to fly from his home in Montana to his hometown in Wisconsin, where he and the rest of our family could support him while he got to the bottom of what was making him so sick (prolonged migraines and extreme nausea).

Luckily the nurse practitioner who was helping administer the back tests at Orthopedic Associates had previously worked in a neurology department in a former job.  Because of her experience, she was able to notice subtle red flags in Nick’s behavior that alerted her to the fact that this may be a brain issue rather than a back issue.  So she asked for permission to do some neuro tests.  Upon asking Nick to touch his finger to the tip of his nose, they discovered he couldn’t complete the task with his left hand (but could with his right).

As a result, Nick was sent immediately to Oconomowoc ER for scans.  This was when they found the golf ball-sized mass on the cerebral part of his brain.  The mass contained cysts, which indicates that the mass had been there for quite a while. 

From the ER, he went straight to Froedert Hospital where a team of neurologists were waiting. The doctors placed a shunt in his head to drain the fluids and relieve the pressure build-up in his head, which gave Nick immediate relief.  It was decided to remove the tumor.

On Tuesday, November 16th, the tumor was removed. Surgery went well.  Nick has slight loss of his motor skills on his left side which should come back with physical therapy.  His vision is a little blurry, which should also improve as the pressure from the swelling dissipates. 

At the time of this writing, November 18th, Nick is home at his family’s house recovering.  His pain is manageable, his cognitive functioning is normal, and he is able to do mild physical exercise.  His appetite is pretty good, and he can walk with some assistance.  His vision is slightly blurry, and his eyes are very sensitive to light. He is experiencing persistent headaches and pressure behind his eyes.  Overall, Nick seems to be maintaining an optimistic attitude, but is also dealing with the wide array of emotions that comes with a situation like this.

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