Three weeks after suffering a subarachnoid hemorrhage in his brain, Liberty County Court at Law No. 2 Judge Wesley Hinch is on the road to recovery and is anxious to be back on the bench.
“The neurologist has told me that I am available to return to work as soon as I am strong enough to do things. They have encouraged me to take a couple more weeks,” Hinch said. “I don’t appear to have suffered any of the cognitive impairments that often occur with brain injuries, so I am extremely grateful.”
Hinch came home from the hospital last Friday, Sept. 10, and paid a brief visit to the courthouse on Monday to check in with his staff and fellow judges, and to see the progress being made on his new courtroom.
“My return should coincide with the completion of the courtroom. The trim is going up now and we are going to do a walk-through next Monday for a final punch list,” he said. “I am very thankful to Judge Tommy Chambers (Court at Law No. 1) and Judge Chap Cain for kindly offering to help me bridge the gap while I regain my strength.”
Even though it will not prevent him from returning to work, Hinch has been advised to have a fourth angiogram in the coming days to see if doctors can find the source of the brain bleed, which they have so far been unable to do.
“My brain was enflamed during the other tests. My hope is they are able to determine the cause,” he said.
On the morning of Aug. 26, Hinch was doing an early morning workout at his home in Liberty when the brain hemorrhage began.
“I thought I would do a few pushups and some other calisthenics and then get ready for work. On about the third pushup, I felt an explosion go off in my brain. I knew there was a problem, so I did an immediate self-assessment. I called the court to say I was going to be late because I was going to the emergency room. Then I called my wife, who had just left for work, to come get me. She was close by and it was quicker for her to get to me than to wait for an ambulance,” he explained.
His wife, Kimber, took him to Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center where doctors and nurses immediately began to assess his medical condition. Before long, it was determined that Hinch needed to be airlifted to Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston.
Throughout the ordeal, Hinch said he never lost consciousness.
“I was counting the minutes as they ticked by because I was hurting so intensely. I was just watching the minute hand flip to the next minute. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced,” the judge said.
Hinch credits the capable staff at Liberty-Dayton Regional Medical Center for their life-saving intervention and for making the call to get him airlifted to Memorial Hermann.
“I know there are criticisms of our local health facilities but I am so thankful to have had them just a few blocks from my home. They were able to process the information, conduct a quick exam and get me to a facility where my condition could be treated. I was in the Hermann Hospital ICU within an hour of arriving at Liberty-Dayton hospital,” he said.
He believes the quick action of the local hospital saved his life.
“Time is of the utmost importance in these situations. Even if it didn’t save my life, I believe it kept me from suffering some of the cognitive impairments,” he said.
For Hinch, the ordeal has been a reminder of the benefits of living in a close-knit community.
“We have had hundreds of friends reach out and step up to help or offer to help. Some gentleman even stopped by my house and helped my son finish mowing the grass. Other friends have provided meals. I haven’t been keeping an exact list but I want to say how very grateful I am for our community,” he said. “I am grateful to God for sparing my life and allowing me to have another day, to draw another breath, spend more time with my family and continue helping my community.”