Benefit set for aneurysm victim

Jared Felkins • Updated Oct 18, 2013 at 12:34 PM

A benefit is scheduled for Saturday to help get a Lebanon man who suffered an aneurysm in June to get back on his feet.

The Shine Bright Benefit for Jon Hunt will be from 4-7 p.m. at the Wilson County Fairgrounds. It will feature a silent auction, bake sale, T-shirts, bracelets and cookbooks for sale, along with live entertainment, featuring Two Tall Divas and a Tip Top Daddy, the Debbie Doo-Wops and other special guests.

On June 30, Hunt suffered a subarachnoid brain hemorrhage or brain bleed. Sometime between 5-5:30 p.m., the hemorrhage started; at 5:30, Hunt was found on the floor seizing. He was immediately rushed to University Medical Center in

Lebanon, but after a few tests doctors discovered an aneurysm, which had been there since birth.

He was taken by Life Flight helicopter to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. That evening, he was admitted to neurological intensive care, where a hole was drilled in his skull to insert a drain tube to relieve pressure. “Unbeknownst to anyone, the emergency room staff diagnosed this as the worst bleed they had seen in more than 20 years,” said Brian Best, Hunt’s partner.

The following morning, Hunt had endovascular embolism surgery, which puts a coil in the aneurysm to fill up the hole.

“Many of the doctors still didn't think he would make it,” Best said. “Over the next 38 days, Jon had seven brain surgeries, was infected with meningitis from leaving the brain drains in too long – although they needed to be since his fluid build up was so severe – suffered a back bleed from the back drain and fought hard for his life. Good days mingled with bad...but Jon was finally released for therapy at Stallworth Rehabilitation Hospital, where he would stay for three weeks to get him back on his feet and help him regain some of his motor


Best said Hunt’s recovery continues.

“Jon still has a long way to go,” he said. “He can only stand for short periods of

time. But he can walk with the help of a cane or walker. His short-term memory is bad as well, but he continues to progress with the help of therapy twice weekly.”

Best said Hunt’s surgeon most aggressively treated the areas of the brain that deal with communication because he felt that would be most important to him.

“At a checkup Oct. 7, he was ecstatic to see Jon walking so well because he thought Jon would probably be confined to a wheelchair the rest of his life. But to quote one of his other surgeons, Dr. Lucy, ‘We did all we could to help you. But I have to tell you, you were a very sick man. You are here today because someone bigger than you or I stepped in; that plus your willingness to fight, friends praying and the love beside you every minute of the day are what kept you alive. God is not finished with you yet.’"

Hunt, the son of former Assistant District Attorney Jerry and Eva Hunt, has lived in Lebanon since he was 10, but his father was born in Lebanon. Hunt was once a Blue Devil mascot at Lebanon High School and cheerleader at Middle Tennessee State University. He is on the Smart Team at Dollar General and Best said one of the customers’ favorites.

“Some switch stores to go wherever he is working,” Best said.

The Shine Bright Benefit’s proceeds will go to pay Hunt’s medical expenses and go toward replacing lost income. 

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