Tucker Melcher, a Football Player Saved from Death

The Near-death Experience

Last spring break, a sudden pain bothered Tucker Melcher, the 21-year-old wide receiver on the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) football team, while he was on a trip to Huntington Beach with friends. The driver, Brent Zuzo, his roommate and teammate, noticed the seriousness and decided to drive directly back to Reno.

During the 9-hour trip, Melcher tried to close his eyes and sleep to get rid of this pain while the elevation pressure and traffic jam in Los Angeles made it worse. His right eye was completely swollen. He kept kneading his forehead.

“The feeling was like everything in my brain was going to explode out,” he said.

In last spring, Melcher suffered from a serious illness which brought him so close to Death. He now leads a life as a normal college athlete. Monday to Friday, he wakes up at 6:30 a.m., getting ready for the morning training. After a 2-hour training and team lunch, he starts his classes. He is one of the football team players and a sophomore in UNR.

A Long-term Recovery Process

Melcher was sent to Carson Hospital and took a CT scan immediately after his arrival. His pain was diagnosed as bacterial infections which caused him to develop a fever of 105.6 and had two seizures. He spent 5 days in the hospital fighting with Death, but the road of recovery was even longer.

It took Melcher five months to get back to normal life and 15 months to stand on the field again. During the time, he lost 37 pounds and his left side of body was totally paralyzed. Despite of this physical pain, he also struggled from the mental frustration when undergoing physical as well as speech therapy. He was so disappointed that he could not even jump through a 2-feet box.

Then his parents were the core support to help him go through everything. Also his coach Hof along with other athlete trainers visited him every day.

“They talked to me about football even though I could not respond,” said Melcher in a blissful tone.

“Jimbo once told me, ‘you will be my roommate no matter you are in the football team or not.’” Jimbo Davis is one of his roommates as well as teammates.

With encouragement from his parents, coach, and teammates, Melcher gradually gained his weight back and recovered from the illness.

Rebirth and Transformation

Melcher vividly remembers his first practice after recovery in 2015 spring, “You can’t put into words to say how awesome the feeling was.” Every single teammate welcomed him back and helped him catch up with the practice.

Since his life was almost taken away by “something you can’t even see by naked eyes,” Melcher learned to treasure little things around him.

He claimed he was a stubborn and arrogant man before, but now he leans back and calms down. Also, he pays more attention on all relationships now. He visits his parents and texts his younger siblings more frequently.

Though suffering from this near-death experience, Melcher has always stayed positive. He never asked “why me,” instead, he believed in a famous quote “never give up.”

“Don’t give up on any part of your dream.”

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