On February 23, 2002, late on a Saturday night, while I was at work, I was found unconscious in the men's restroom by Sascha Mendjan, an undergraduate student who had been working in our lab. Sascha found me in the restroom stall, around 7:30 pm, having problems breathing and leaning against the wall of the restroom stall. Sascha jumped over the door, placed me into a semi-prone position, and called for an ambulance. The ambulance arrived within minutes. The EMTs started an intravenous drip, stabilized my condition and rushed me across the street by ambulance to one of the best hospitals in Germany. I had suffered a hemorrhage in my skull and had probably lain unconscious for up to one hour with heavy bleeding in my brain.
The first critical step was to relieve the pressure on my brain caused by the hemorrhage by inserting two drainage tubes into my skull. On the following day, following a CT-angiogram, it was discovered that I had suffered a brain aneurysm of the anterior communicating artery, part of the circle of Willis.