Egg Harbor Township’s Lance Summerson, 37, was a new father who thought he was healthy when a hemorrhagic stroke almost ended his life.

Summerson was with his 9-month-old son, Ryder, in August when he got the worst headache of his life. His dad had taken Ryder to let Lance relax, and later found him unconscious.

The first hospital told his wife, Erin, that Lance had just hours to live, and she should say goodbye. But a relative called Atlantic City Regional Medical Center, and soon Lance was having brain surgery there, Erin said.

“Everybody was telling him to hang on, hang on,” Erin said. “He kind of remembers that.”

After intensive care, Lance said Ryder’s name.

“I lost it then. My biggest fear was he wouldn’t remember our son,” Erin said.

High blood pressure and weakened blood vessels in the brain caused an aneurysm to burst, Erin said, affecting the left side of his body. Lance didn’t know he had either problem. He always had his blood pressure taken at the same time of day, when it was only mildly elevated, she said. She now recommends taking readings at various times.

Lance is making good progress at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Galloway. He has regained some use of his left leg, but still cannot use his arm.

“His personality has changed a little bit. He’s a little more emotional, and much more social than before,” Erin said.

Erin’s coworkers at Pigtails Hair Salon in Somers Point are holding a fundraiser, since Lance is unable to work at his IT job with Jem Associates in Pleasantville.

Award for publicist

The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce is honoring city publicist Mark Soifer with a Citizen of the Decade Award at its dinner Nov. 7 at The Ocean City Yacht Club. Soifer has been promoting Ocean City for more than 40 years. Call 609-399-1412.

Medical excellence

Phlebotomist Cori Picinich, of Cape May Court House, won Cape Regional Medical Center’s October Service Excellence award for administering CPR to a man who collapsed in the parking lot, while walking into the hospital for an appointment, said Barbara Moore, Director of Laboratory Services.

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