My personal experience with getting the bends – (hint: it sucks!)

Diving Orange Grove cave system

On July 4th I was five days into some intensive dive training in the caves of north central Florida. Unfortunately that particular day had a less-than-desirable outcome: I ended up getting fairly seriously bent.

Long story short, I ended up getting transported to Southern Georgia Medical Center where I spent five days alternating between the ICU and a hyperbaric chamber. My wife Amy had to fly down to drive me the 1,300 miles home, after which  I spent six weeks recovering. Just this past Friday I had a heart procedure that I hope is the last step in my recovery.

Though this was an intensely personal experience, I am sharing it because not only is it a somewhat interesting story, but I think it could be a some benefit to others who share a passion for diving… So if you want to hear about what happened, and why, check out this presentation I recently gave to the staff at the New England Aquarium:

5 Comments on “My personal experience with getting the bends – (hint: it sucks!)

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  2. A frightening story, John. Glad that you recovered in the end. But please, o please, get a better microphone or use a headset/ ear mounted mike for the video(s). Your voice quality was so bad, quite reminiscent of broadcasts 70 years old.


    • LOL – I’m sorry about that. That presentation wasn’t meant for the internet. It was only being streamed live so that staff at our (New England Aquarium) off-site facility could listen / watch. I did note at the particularly poor audio. My presentation on diving the Andrea Doria was done with the internet in mind – and the audio is much better! ( )

      I’ll be sure to get better audio next time I do a presentation…!


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  4. Pingback: A Tale of a Really Bad Dive – Part 2 | john h hanzl (author)

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