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Curt Keller

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Curt Keller

Curt's Story;

September 9, 2012--It’s Sunday morning and I am getting ready to do my ministerial duties at church. I turn on my cell phone and see a message from my daughter in-law asking for me to call her as soon as possible. When I call her back, I learn that our son, Geoffrey Keller, had a malignant hyperthermia episode from an awake trigger and might not survive. My wife, Kathy, and I got in the car and began a seven hour drive to Tennessee. However, we received the call that Geoffrey passed away about an hour into the drive. We knew nothing of awake triggers (non-surgical triggers). Twenty-three years prior to his death, Geoffrey had an MH episode while under anesthesia. We were told by the doctor that we had little to worry about because as long as we knew he had MH anesthesiologists could be ready and use non-triggering agents.

We were able to track MH on my side of the family by identifying a cousin who died in surgery due to complications in the late 60’s. He was having a jaw set that he broke playing sports. I was too young to know much of that at the time and I did not know this cousin. However, a year after Geoffrey’s MH episode in the hospital, my niece was going to have surgery to put tubes in her ears. The doctor did not believe there was MH in the family. I had to have the hospital that treated Geoffrey fax the records to the hospital where my niece was set to have surgery. After they received the records, the doctors didn’t want to do the surgery.

Six years before my son died, my father had to have heart surgery. He had an MH episode during surgery. Evidently, he had neglected to tell the doctor about MH in the family and the anesthesiologist never asked about any history. He survived the surgery, but never left the hospital. He died in the hospital a week later.

Before I go on, I want to say that I cannot say enough good things about the doctors associated with MHAUS. Men and women I had never met took the time to talk with me about Geoffrey and provided me with information and comfort after he died. I will forever be grateful to them

After Geoffrey’s death, my wife and I decided that we would do what we could to help prevent others from going through the pain we have gone through and continue to go through.

We have designed and completed several fund raisers for MHAUS and hope others will do the same. We have asked that the funds we raise go toward research and information for awake triggers. As I have learned more about awake triggers, I have learned about “awake symptoms” – issues those of us with MH can have, such as muscle cramping and heat sensitivity. (I know that “awake symptoms” is not a technical term, but I am not sure what else to call these issues.) I have been trying to do what I can to help promote further education regarding awake symptoms and awake triggers. I have also tried connecting with others who are MH susceptible. Somehow, I feel we are connected, having similar experiences that others may not understand. I will continue to do what I can, and hope anyone who is MHS will feel free to get in touch with me to share their feedback and concerns. 


As told by Curt Keller

Views and opinions expressed on this page are only those of the individual telling their story. MHAUS has not clinically vetted the content. 


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