For Chris Locke, what started out as simple surgery wound up putting him in a coma for three days. “During the pre-op physical, my blood oxygen saturation was under 50 percent,” says Locke, 40, a C5-6 quad from Whitewater, Wisc. “So they gave me oxygen. That threw off my blood-gas chemistry — my body had become so used to low oxygen levels, the extra oxygen made me delirious, like I was drunk. They had to put me in a medically induced coma to readjust my body’s blood-gas chemistry.”
That coma quite possibly saved Locke’s life.