Founder & CEO Story
When I first stepped onto the softball field at age 4, I knew instantly this was the sport I wanted to play as long as I possibly can. I started competing on a well known and respected travel team at 8 years old, for years we traveled throughout the United States competing in tournaments every weekend.
By my sophomore year of high school, I was on a new elite and well respected travel and high school team as a star athlete. I was getting recruited by Universities interested in me as a student athlete, the coaches could not directly talk to me, they were speaking to my coaches. I was inching closer and closer to achieving my dream I set at 8 years old of being a college athlete.
But none of that matters when you do not have your health.
That very same year, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. If you have ever been close to someone that has had to deal with this horrible disease, you know what it looks like.
And through all of it, my mother did not want me to stop playing. Looking into the stands and not seeing her there as she was recovering from surgery or treatments shook me. I thought this would be the hardest thing I would go through.
Quick story: When I was 13 years old, I heard some amazing news. I found out that the Olympics were going to bring back softball starting in 2020. I quickly did the math. I would graduate high school in 2016, and 2020 was my college graduation. This excited me to no end!
At 13 years old, I grabbed my journal and wrote down my three goals:
1. I will be a college athlete.
2. I will have a successful college career.
3. I will try out for the 2020 Olympics.
This was my dream – to be an Olympic athlete.
It’s now my junior year of High School, my mom finally went into remission. I got to tour one of the Universities that were interested in me. I got to see the field and talk with the coach and the players. The coach told me, “Get through districts. We want you to practice with our team after, and then we want to make you an offer.”
I felt like I was walking on air. Everything was moving along according to plan.
I had three games left in my junior season. After 36,000 hours of practice, games, tournaments and traveling, missing birthday parties, school functions, time with family and friends, I was one step closer to my College & Olympic dream!
April 13th, 2015. It was the first of my last three games. It was a normal game day. What I did not know at the beginning of that game was it was the last time I would ever put on a uniform to play softball.
It was the last time I would struggle to pursue my Olympic dream because it was the first day I started struggling to survive.
Third base was my domain. I was known for how well I could read the small ball game, which was bunts and slaps for those not as familiar with softball terminology. Hearing opposing coaches yell to their players, “Do NOT hit to that third baseman! She will get you out!” always made me smile.
It was the very first play of game 1 and the first batter bunted the ball. Straight to me! Come on! Your coach just told you not to do that. You’re in my house now!
I charged the ball - just like I have done successfully hundreds of times in games and thousands of times in practice.
And that is when the world went dark, I had just unexpectedly blacked out. Later my teammates told me I was out for about 5 seconds but it felt like a lifetime.
When I got up from laying on the ground my head was on fire, I felt like my brain was about to explode. At the time, I did not know this, but I was experiencing my very first migraine. I was telling everyone I was fine and to leave me alone. I was an athlete, I always lied about if I was okay or not.
My neck was also in extreme pain. But the worst part was the feeling of utter confusion. I didn’t know where I was. I didn’t know what happened. I didn’t know who these people are around me. All I could think to do through the fire searing my brain, the pain screaming in my neck, and the utter terror of not knowing what was happening while I was walk back to third base. Muscle memory brought me back to safety of “my house” at 3rd. I stood at 3rd for 3 more innings until I was pulled out on concussion protocol.
Two days later I was in the office of an orthopedic doctor. He explained that the extreme neck pain was just good old-fashioned whiplash, and that I would be completely fine.
Two months and over 50 mind altering migraines later, I went to see a neurosurgeon.
Which by the way, I had never experienced a migraine before in my life. Two months in, I’m at over 50 migraines?
After rounds of CAT scans and MRI’s, I was sitting there, confused, angry, and to be completely honest…really, really scared. I was only 17 years old. I had no idea what was going on in my own mind, and I was terrified. I remember being in the waiting room frozen. Scared to even walk in to find out the results.
For an athlete, the biggest fear is losing your career due to an injury or a health condition. It’s even harder when it is completely out of your control.
The doctor came in and said, “Jordan, you have Chiari malformation.”
He saw I looked as confused on what Chiari is, as most of you reading this will be.
He explained that Chiari malformation is a very serious neurological disorder that I was born with. This disorder is where the cerebellum extends into my spinal canal. This causes a block against cerebrospinal fluid to flow to and from my brain. That is how I blacked out during that game, my cerebrospinal fluid got blocked because I turned my neck wrong.
The surgeon told me, “Brain surgery will be required.”
After complete shock and silence for about five minutes, I asked, “Will I ever be able to play softball again?”
He said, “You’ll never be able to put on your uniform again.”
I went to see multiple doctors to get different opinions, but all of them told me I needed to get the surgery done.
The entire time I kept thinking, “This is crazy! I was able to play softball for 13 years without having one symptom of this illness!
I came back to my original neurosurgeon and scheduled the brain surgery for December 1st 2015, two months after the diagnosis.
He went over the surgery, it will be 10+ hours with 5 days in PICU. He also told me a dura patch (dura - thicker, outer covering of the brain/spinal cord) The Dura had to be available or he would have to cut open my leg and use a large muscle.
He went over what prep my family and I have to do. Which was get a will, living will and power of attorney signed before the operation because of how intense and risky this surgery was.
After I heard all of this I just could not listen anymore, my biggest fear since I was a little girl was losing my sport. I have just lost my sport, my dreams and my health and was having to wrap my head around this major upcoming brain surgery.
Surgery day is here, I am beyond scared, confused and angry. The operation was about 10 hours and I was in PICU for only 4 days, because I was in great shape I recovered faster than most.
After 2 months of recovering at home, symptoms started to appear again. Migraines, dizzy, confusion. I went back for MRIs & CT scans to find out I have scar tissue building where the operation was that is now blocking my Cerebrospinal fluid to my brain.
Again we were back with doctors every week. My team of doctors would ask how I have been feeling since I saw them last and I could not remember. It went on for months of not being able to tell my doctors how I have been feeling.
Then I realized I needed a tool to solve this problem. I thought of having a medical log where you can track your pain and symptoms as they occur to be able to eliminate the guessing game about how you have been feeling.
I wish I had this tool before I was diagnosed. For month’s my family and I were overwhelmed and extremely stressed because of the lack of communication and understanding of my OWN health. I wanted a way to take control of my health, and I know there’s others in my shoes in need of this tool.
That is how Limitless Medical Logs was born.
“It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get up” – Vince Lombardi
Jordan Ray, Founder & CEO Limitless Medical Logs