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Graham Hancock

Hidden History Researcher Graham Hancock Back from “The Gates of Death” After Serious Medical Issue

Our good friend, ‘hidden history’ researcher and author Graham Hancock, had a major health scare last Monday, suffering a series of severe grand mal seizures that resulted in a week of medical treatment during which he was “at the gates of death”. This episode follows on from a major seizure a few months earlier, which was originally diagnosed as a transient ischaemic attack (a “mini stroke”) due to atrial fibrillation of the heart.

However, it turns out that diagnosis was completely wrong, which was only discovered last week in the wake of these far more severe seizures. On his Facebook page, Graham tells that…

…although I do indeed have atrial fibrillation which can indeed cause strokes (the blood pools and clots in the heart), it turned out that the diagnosis I had been given was completely wrong. This was discovered in the early hours of Monday, 14 August, when I suffered further, far more severe grand mal seizures here at my home in Bath, UK. Again I was rushed to the ER and then to the intensive care ward. Again the medical staff, now at the Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath, were completely brilliant, caring and engaged with my case far above and beyond the call of duty. Again their intervention saved my life.

This time the seizures were multiple and recurrent and my beloved wife Santha was taken aside by the neurologist who advised her to prepare herself for my death or, if by chance I survived that I would be so badly brain damaged that I would effectively be a “vegetable”. They put me in an induced coma, intubated on a ventilator for 48 hours. Eventually they were able to withdraw the tube and start me breathing for myself again. It was Wednesday 16 August, late afternoon, when I began to return to some form of consciousness baffled to see that Sean and Shanti, two of my grown-up children, had flown from Los Angeles and New York to be with Santha at my bedside together with Leila and Gabrielle, two more of our grown-up children who live in London. For quite some time I couldn’t understand what had happened, why I had a catheter in my bladder, why my brain was so foggy.

Little by little consciousness increased. I was moved to the neurology ward and on Thursday night, 17 August, much to my relief, the catheter was taken out. All day Friday 18th I remained in the neurology ward, very wobbly but able to totter to the toilet with the aid of a stick. By Friday night I was feeling much better. Finally, Saturday, I was discharged and came home.

Tests carried out established pretty clearly (although there is still some mystery over what exactly is going on) that the seizures were not caused by blood clots deriving from my atrial fibrillation, but rather by long-term over-use of a migraine medication called sumatriptan, delivered by injection; I was taking up to a dozen of these shots a month and have been doing so for more than 20 years.

Graham notes that this terrible experience has at least helped him grasp more fully that “the borderline between life and death is poignantly thin, fragile and permeable. We feel firmly fixed in our lives but any of us may cross over at any time. Sometimes we come back. Sometimes we don’t.” Words to live by – we should all make the most of every day we are here, and be as good as we can be to our fellow humans.

Our best wishes go out to Graham, Santha and family, after what most have been a traumatic week, and all the best for a speedy and full recovery.

(And, after a post about some not-so-nice news, here’s a chaser to sweeten it a little: Graham and Robert Bauval have just posted a video of their climb, 21 years ago, to the top of the Great Pyramid on the spring equinox, 1996. A testament to the fact that Graham has very much lived his days to the fullest!)

  1. Whoa
    All the best wishes to Graham.


    Accept disgrace willingly.
    Accept misfortune as the human condition.

    What do you mean by “Accept disgrace willingly”?
    Accept being unimportant.
    Do not be concerned with loss or gain.
    This is called “accepthing disgrace willingly.”

    What do you mean by “Accept misfortune as the human condition”?
    Misfortune comes from having a body.
    Without a body, how could there be misfortune?

    Surrender yourself humbly; then you can be trusted to care for all things.
    Love the world as your own self; then you can truly care for all things.”

  2. Dear Graham you should have known
    …from Wiki

    “Large doses of sumatriptan can cause sulfhemoglobinemia, a rare condition in which the blood changes from red to greenish-black, due to the integration of sulfur into the hemoglobin molecule. If sumatriptan is discontinued, the condition reverses within a few weeks.

    Serious cardiac events, including some that have been fatal, have occurred following the use of sumatriptan injection or tablets. Events reported have included coronary artery vasospasm, transient myocardial ischemia, myocardial infarction, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation.”

    Anyway the real crime against Graham is migraine a most serious disease that the world still hasn’t found an answer on, still stuck in description, this when 10-15% of humanity suffers from it in different degrees. What is clear that the initial stress that triggers the migraine is diverse and can be physical as well as mental. Whatever i’m glad Graham survived this scare caused by the overuse of sumatriptan, as this substance is related to DMT, maybe Graham should stock up on that (illegal)stuff. On a personal note i would advise him to buy himself a sensory deprivation pod, some deep relaxation goes along way…

  3. Sumatriptan
    I feel I’ve got to ask the obvious question. If he’s been taking this medication for years, why was he also doing ayahuasca and other psychedelics? Stopping medication for a a few days in order to take psychedelics might not diminish negative interactions or long-term impacts because some meds stay in the bloodstream for weeks after discontinuing. I can’t help but wonder if reckless behavior didn’t play a role here.

    Anyway, I wish him well and a speedy recovery. Migraine meds terrified me, so I refused them, and soldiered on through the pain. Looking back, it’s a mystery how I ever managed. Now that I’m older the migraines have faded away and no longer plague me. There are some benefits to getting old, after all. I sincerely hope Hancock gets to experience them.

    1. Dope sucks
      Hello purrlgrrl I think that your strategy of suppressing migraines have made them fade away, as Graham is 70 already I don’t think he took his dope when ever he felt like it, but then maybe that’s what he did…

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