My name is Thomas Donadio, I was born September 4th, in New York on -
“The Day of the Builder”
For more than 25 years I was quietly battling a litany of health issues such as crippling migraine headaches, Lactose Intolerance, coma-like blood sugar level drops, severely diminished brain function from debilitating stage three Sleep Apnea, Tinnitus, dislocated shoulder joint with 2 torn muscles, A-Fib (Atrial Fibrillation), Degenerative Disc Disease with herniated discs in the cervical spine and lumbar region, Vertigo, MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), thousands of debilitating allergies, and gut microbiome imbalance so bad that my body was actually dismantling itself, just to name a few.
I was in my thirties when on two separate occasions I was told I only had 6 months left to live. I survived a collapse in which I became unconscious, then suffered through a coma, cardiac arrest, and clinical death.
After battling so many illnesses and enduring so many years of trauma, I lost my ability to think, problem solve, and make decisions. I felt purposeless and lifeless. I wanted to give up so many times, but I kept on getting up again and again.
There are dozens of reasons I decided to finally tell my story. The most impactful reason was meeting someone that said to me, “You would be doing the world a disservice by keeping your story to yourself. There are people out there that need your help.”
My second reason is that…. “I hope my story will be someone else’s survival guide.”
This is my story: it’s my blood, my sweat, and my tears, and I own it!
At the age of 32 I was told I only had six months left to live.
At the age of 32, I was told I only had six months left to live. The medical system had failed me. For 10 years I had struggled to find out what was wrong with me, only to be told that my days were numbered.
At a very early age, I discovered I had a passion to build. As a child in the car, I would see a bulldozer on a job site and go crazy with excitement. I was fascinated by heavy equipment and was a Builder at heart. By the time I was in high school, I had my own construction business and filed for my DBA (Doing Business As) when I was 17 years old.
I consistently practiced a strict health and exercise regimen. I saw my doctor twice per year for my physical examination and blood testing. I went to the dentist every six months for my x-rays and cleaning. There was never anything wrong with me. I felt amazing.
However, in my late teens I started suffering with crippling migraine headaches that would attack me every single day at the same exact time. They would last anywhere from a matter of minutes up to 3 hours. I had no choice but to sit in a chair with my eyes closed until they passed. Luckily, these headaches only lasted a couple of years. Then, later in life, I discovered I was allergic to ultraviolet light from the sun.
When I was 22, I ended up in the ER for the first time. I was feeling sick, nauseous, and dehydrated. I had almost passed out. After spending three days and two nights in the hospital, they diagnosed me with Lactose Intolerance and told me I would have to take over the counter Lactaid pills with everything I ate. Despite the diagnosis, I always had a nagging feeling that it was not just lactose that I was allergic to. I knew that other non-dairy containing foods gave me problems as well. As time went on, it got harder and harder to eat normally. It was stressing me out always having to take these Lactaid pills and carry them with me everywhere I went. I started only eating when I needed to because I did not want these problems to interfere with my work.
Then, I woke up one morning in the summer of 1996 and could not move my legs. The day prior was leg day in the gym. Somehow, my calf muscles had completely locked, and I could not stand up. I had to crawl on the floor. I waited until my doctor’s office opened, called him, and told him what happened. My mother went to pick up my prescription medication which took 3 days to take effect and allow me to stand again.
On December 18, 1998, when I was 28, I ended up collapsing in my office in the middle of the afternoon. When I regained consciousness, I drove myself to my doctor’s office rather than go to the ER. After examining me, she discovered that I had a blood sugar level of only 21 and gave me orange juice to drink. As I heard her consult with another doctor in the hallway, I heard him tell her with a blood sugar level of 21, I should be in a coma. My doctor wanted me to go to the ER, but I refused and went home instead. Orange juice was one of my favorite drinks, so I started carrying it around just in case I needed it. I was not quite myself and struggled to get through the next few years constantly feeling like I was going to pass out.
After this, around 2001, I would have incidents when I would feel like my mind would go blank momentarily. It felt like I was losing my equilibrium. It was as if I had an electrical shortage and was blinking in and out. Doctors put me through a series of tests to evaluate my cardiovascular fitness. The most outrageous of these tests was something called the Tilt Table Test where they hung me upside down. I also wore a Holter Monitor for 2 days to monitor my heart rate. That required having EKG tabs attached to my chest underneath my clothing. While I passed all the tests, it was determined that I had an Intermittent Heart Rate that was “normal.”
I had always worked out daily, but in my early thirties, I found myself struggling to maintain my normal schedule of waking up at 4am to workout. I found myself going to bed at 10pm and only being able to sleep until sometime between 12 midnight and 2am. There were many nights I never really slept at all. Again, I went to doctors, had examinations, consultations, bloodwork, and everything came back “normal.”
Then, there was an incident at my grandparent’s house that I clearly remember. I was sitting in a reclining chair and fell asleep from exhaustion, then I caught myself choking in my sleep and woke up. I was actually choking in my sleep and constantly waking up for a couple of years but could never pinpoint it until this awakening. Sleeping was a living hell for me. I spent most nights waking up from choking only an hour or two after going to sleep. I would be tossing and turning the rest of the night unable to fall back to sleep, or I would just get up and walk the floors until it was time to get ready for work. I became exhausted and often napped in my truck at lunch time just to regain focus and get through the day.
I finally went to my doctor who referred me to a couple more specialists, including a neurologist. I was put through numerous different tests over the next few months only to be told that, “it seems you have a neurological disorder causing your brain to short circuit and we don’t know what’s causing it.” I reacted by saying, “What the hell does that mean?” He shrugged his shoulders and told me there is no cure and could be fatal by eventually shutting down my organs. He gave me six months left to live, at the age of 32 (in 2002).
So, after 10 years of torture and getting nowhere with the medical system, I prepared. I liquidated my business, auctioned everything off, and set things up so that my assets would automatically be left to my parents if something happened to me. Then, I went down south to live out my last days. We had a vacation home there.
My life, including everything I had worked for, was uncontrollably self-destructing, which made me happy that I only had 6 months left to live. I started looking back and playing my life like it was a movie. I had watched all of my accomplishments and all of my struggles pass bye. I started asking what all of this was for, what was the purpose of my life? It felt like a complete waste. My brain was dying out, and I just couldn’t take it anymore.
Although the fighter in me was diminished, it was still alive. I figured since I was no longer in New York, I would try to find out what was wrong with me one more time before completely giving up. I went to see a new doctor and told her I was having trouble sleeping and that I knew I was choking in my sleep. She recommended that I go to a sleep lab, and I did. I checked into my sleep lab room to be monitored for one night by a bunch of wires attached to my head and body and machines all around me to measure what my brain was doing, or not doing, when I actually slept. The experience was a miserable disaster. I don’t remember sleeping more than 30 minutes. That is when I learned I had Stage Three Sleep Apnea.
I met with one ENT that said there was no guaranteed cure since my Apnea was already at stage 3. I was 36 years old, and my days were numbered. Apparently, the first time I was given 6 months to live, at age 32, I was mis-diagnosed! After seeing several more ENTs, one of them recommended I get surgery, but they also said I would have a 50/50 chance of pulling through because of my age and the extent of the damage. At this point my brain was fried, I had not had a solid night sleep for years. I was no longer comprehending anything and just started agreeing to everything everyone said and following them wherever they wanted me to go. My only two options were either to have surgery or eventually just “Sleep to Death.”
On June 1, 2006, I had major surgery for sleep apnea, a date I will never forget. I was told that if everything went well, I would be driving myself home in 24 hours. After the surgery was done, I ended up in a brief coma that I awoke from by a doctor lightly smacking my cheek. I woke up in fear and had no idea where I was or what was going on, so I reacted by taking a swing at him, in self-defense. They did not know how to treat me or what to do with me, so they put my lifeless body in a wheelchair and parked me in the lobby of the hospital and discharged me the following day. My parents, who were at our vacation house down south, were called to pick me up.
Once I got home, I went straight to bed and the next day I woke up unable to swallow or breathe. It was sometime in the late evening when I crawled across the living room floor and I told my parents something was wrong, and I needed to go back to the hospital immediately. As my parents drove me to the hospital, I felt like I was going into cardiac arrest again and took control of the steering wheel, forcing the car to turn into a firehouse where I opened the car door and rolled out onto the pavement. As I laid on the ground, I went into convulsions, the paramedics there took my vitals, hooked up a bunch of bags and hoses and put me in an ambulance to a hospital-different from the one where I had the surgery.
While at the hospital, I learned that my heart had stopped for 15 minutes. Clinically, I died. I ended up staying there for approximately two weeks. At first, I could not walk. I had my own morphine pen to control my morphine drip and I was given a bottle to urinate in because I could not get out of my bed to use the bathroom by myself. For a change of hospital room scenery, I was assisted into a wheelchair, moved to a different area, and just sat there staring out the window for days. I was determined to get out of there and to regain enough strength to walk on my own. After about 10 days, I was able to walk up and down the hallway located outside of my room and eventually left the hospital. However, I had lost 85 pounds by then. I had nothing. My brain and bodily functions were minimal.
Then, months later, while at a lab getting my blood drawn for more follow up tests, something in me snapped as the nurse was about to stick me with a needle. I swatted her hand away and said, “no more, no more needles and no more blood, it’s over.” The nurse was compassionate and asked me what was going on. I shared a few things with her and told her I wanted a Holistic Doctor. The nurse told me to wait right there and when she came back, she had put the name and number of a holistic doctor on a small post-it note. She crumpled it up, put it in my hand and told me to just cooperate by making a fist and holding onto it.
When I got home, the first thing I did was call the holistic doctor. I met with him in December of that year (2006) and told him my story. Thankfully, my surgery for sleep apnea was working and I started breathing and sleeping again. Next, I wanted a full examination with a full body cleanse to rid my body of all the drugs and toxins that had accumulated from all of my illnesses over the years. I wanted a clean, fresh start.
In January of 2007, I started my first full body cleanse. Through this holistic doctor, I also learned how to naturally eliminate allergies. I started improving physically, but mentally my brain was still crashing. I would get in the car, blank out and forget where I was going. I would be a few blocks from my house and had to pull over and park because I did not know how to get home. There were times when I felt great for a month and would get on a plane and fly up to New York to work. I took my chances. And then, I relapsed.
A few months later, I caught the flu. At that time, I was unaware that the flu is an allergy. My doctor gave me two supplements which worked well but my immune system was so depleted that it still took me 12 days to recover. During this time, I was having sinus issues. As I was trying to clear them, I felt a large pop in my left ear. It felt like a vein blew up and caused a loud screaming sound in my head. I went to the emergency room where I was examined by another ENT who diagnosed me with Tinnitus.
That summer, I fell asleep laying down in my backyard and dislocated my right shoulder after swatting something that I felt biting me on my leg. Without even thinking (subconsciously), I flipped over out of my chair onto the ground and rammed my shoulder back into its socket, the same way you would see in action movies on television. As I did that, I yelled in excruciating pain. I ended up driving myself to the ER and was given an X-ray. The doctor looked at the X-ray and recommended I get an MRI, which I chose not to do. I had no strength in my arm and could barely move it and chose to continue pushing through the pain and discomfort. Through physical therapy, I managed to heal it after moving back to New York in the fall of 2007.
I thought I was doing well for the next three years until I suddenly started feeling like I did in 2001 with my brain cutting out. It felt like my brain was a light bulb and someone was turning my switch on and off. Little did I know, my heart was stopping.
One day I was sitting on my living room couch reading something when that feeling struck, and my heart started beating erratically. It was beating right out of my chest, as if I were involuntarily flexing my pectorals. I started shaking and went light-headed. Instinctively, I raised my arms above my head as if to reach for the sky and it stopped. I did not want to go to the hospital. Instead, I went to see my holistic doctor in New York who was also a cardiologist. As timing would have it, he had just gotten an advanced EKG machine and he hooked me up to it to monitor me. That’s how it was discovered I had A-Fib (Atrial Fibrillation).
Then in 2012, I reinjured my right shoulder that I previously dislocated about 5 years ago. I was doing hammer curls in the gym and felt the muscle tear in my deltoid area, then my neck tightened, and my dumbbells dropped to the ground. I went to see a spine specialist in the Upper East Side of Manhattan. My MRI indicated I had degenerative disc disease of the cervical spine with duplication in the lumbar region with herniated discs. The doctor recommended fusing the discs together in my neck so they would stay in place and told me I would not get worse. I told the doctor that I had surgery once in my time, but I was not planning to have anymore. I started doing physical therapy at a facility nearby and that helped me to heal. Then, I ended up finding a physical therapist and chiropractor in Brooklyn that I worked with. Utilizing electronic stimulation, full extension exercise, a cervical spine stretcher, an inversion table, full body stretching, and chiropractic adjustment, I was able to move my head and neck in full rotation again.
Then two years later in 2014, my skin started breaking out in painful welts. I was examined by another doctor who told me I had MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus). MRSA was going around at this time, and he felt I may have contracted it from the gym. He recommended I take antibiotics which, reluctantly, I did. After the first or second dose, I felt bad flu-like symptoms. It turns out I was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics. I was given something milder which helped me. I was disgusted with the fact I was medication free for 7 years but took the antibiotic to help cope with the pain and rapid spread of MRSA. I chose to do a 21-day organ specific, full body cleanse that pushed the toxins out of my body. They exited my skin with such force that large and incredibly painful pimples erupted everywhere expelling green poison caused by MRSA. I looked like I had bullet wounds all over my body.
The antibiotic I took for MRSA finished killing off any healthy bacteria I had left in my gut and unleashed an all-out allergic reaction to anything I consumed or came into contact with. Everything I ate or drank gave me serious skin reactions. I learned about and utilized natural allergy elimination from my first Holistic doctor back in 2007, so I searched and found a practitioner in NYC that can do the same. In March of 2015, I started doing allergy elimination treatments three times a week. I discovered that I was in fact, allergic to everything I encountered.
As I was dealing with allergy elimination, my skin started getting worse. It was peeling off like wallpaper, starting with my forearms, then traveling up my neck to the scalp. Patches of my hair were falling out. I could not shave, and I had severe dandruff. I ended up going to see a dermatologist who recommended using topical steroids on my scalp and neck. After about two weeks it cleared up. Then I stopped using the topical steroids, and my skin issues returned, full force. Through it all, I kept up with natural allergy elimination treatments and my holistic lifestyle. In 2018 I also started doing acupuncture and my skin finally started clearing after eliminating thousands of allergies, including the flu.
But I did not stop there. After enduring so many illnesses and so much pain and so much torture for so many years, I made a firm decision to disappear and take back my life once and for all. I started out by realizing that everything in life is constructed, including the human body, whether the construction be by man or by nature. It also must be connected, and this connection is made through energy. So, I viewed my life and my physical body as if it were a deteriorated house. I envisioned what that house would look like after I completely transformed it. Then I assembled a step-by-step plan, a.k.a., “The Blueprint”, outlining how I was going to rebuild that house and adapted it to rebuilding the human body. Then I figured out what specialists I would need and assembled a team of natural health doctors to assist me. Basically, I utilized my natural born skills, my entrepreneurial mind set, my education, my experience as a general construction contractor, holistic health, and acupuncture to completely rebuild my mind and body.
And this is my story.
As I reflect on my life, I often wonder, did all of this happen “to” me or did it happen “for” me? There are many different opinions. Some medical, some holistic, some logical, some religious, some spiritual, some said I was living out my predetermined life path, and some said there was a battle over my body between good and evil.
I was never one to talk about myself much, which is why this story was never told before. Most of it was kept quiet as I was living it due to the fact there were times I no longer had the strength to push myself up off the floor, and there were times I did not think I was going to make it out alive.
My past experience and education allowed me to gain abilities I never had before. I now understand life in ways most people cannot. I can think in numerous different directions at the same time. I can peel away the layers down to the thousandths. I understand the connection between the universe, the brain, the body, what we eat, what we think, and the simultaneous harmony in which we vibrate energy in and out. I now view the connection between the brain, the body, and life, as an algorithm and I understand how to recode it.