Like any high school student, Cody Dietz enjoyed spending time with his friends more than other activities – like being with mom. He had slept at his friends’ houses numerous times and would often enjoy Netflix binges or hours of video games on Friday nights or the weekend.
But after one visit to a friend’s, his mom hadn’t heard from him for hours. She grew worried. When she didn’t hear from him the next morning, she started to panic – Cody had never ignored her for this long no matter how mad he was at her. She gave him a call. And that’s when she heard the strangeness in his voice that confirmed her worst fears…
Cody grew up in York, Pennsylvania and for all extent and purposes, he was a normal kid. At least he was until life changed for the teen in 2008.
His life had been the epitome of normal. He lived at home with mom, Bonnie, his dad and sister. Cody loved being with his friends. He often spent the night at his friends’ houses to hang out.
But in June 2008, Cody decided to do some drinking. He went out with his friends and binge drank until he was hammered, then he decided to stay over his friend’s house so mom wouldn’t find out.
The next day, Bonnie was terrified. Cody hadn’t come home and didn’t pick up his phone when she called repeatedly.
Their panic escalated. Then a friend called Cody’s parents. The friend held the phone up to Cody, but all his parents heard was gargling. Something was horrifically wrong with this “normal” 17-year-old boy…
An adult came on the phone and told Cody’s parents the truth.
“Your son’s incoherent,” he said, as Bonnie later relayed to the Penn State website. “I want to call 911.”
Then they rushed Cody off to the nearby York Hospital. That’s when things went from bad to worse. Cody had suffered a major stroke. The left side of his brain was damaged. His condition was worse than their fears had allowed and he was helicoptered over to Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for emergency treatment.
When Cody arrived, neurologist Dr. Ray Reichwein knew it looked bad. “The timeline of the diagnosis is key,” he told Penn Live in 2012. “Many of the therapies have the best outcome when done within six hours. Cody’s delay in diagnosis was close to 12 hours.”
Because Cody thought he was invincible, he put his life at risk. He and his friends should have called 911 as soon as the symptoms of the stroke presented themselves.
“Cody had lots of brain swelling and no place for it to go,” Reichwein told Penn Live. “His type of stroke carries an 80 percent chance of death and his was probably close to 100 percent without further intervention.”
To keep the teen alive, doctors were forced to lower his temperature to 33°F. Then God stepped in to perform a miracle. Within a month, Cody was speaking. Now 2-years after his stroke, Cody is full recovered. That’s God for you.
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