Adam Hervey, founder of Echo Park art and music venue Perhspace, suffered a brain stem stroke last Tuesday, January 16. According to close friend Adam Garcia, the 36-year-old Hervey began feeling strange, before losing hearing in his left ear and vomiting uncontrollably. He was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance shortly thereafter.
Doctors at Glendale Adventist Medical Center found a blood clot in one of the major arteries going to Hervey's brain and determined he was having a stroke. His mother gave the go-ahead for a high-risk brain surgery. Hervey was immediately rushed into the procedure. “They're not very pray-ey as a family,” Garcia says, “but the hospital asked if they wanted them to call a priest because it was very likely he might not live through the operation, and if he did, he might be a vegetable.”
Not only did Hervey survive, but he was awake and conscious within 45 minutes of the surgery. He spent the following week in the ICU and is currently still in the hospital, where he will likely stay for the next two weeks.
Progress has been steady. Hervey's breathing tube has been removed, and he can type messages on an iPad. “It seems like he's stabilizing; every day has been a huge step forward,” Garcia says. “At this point it seems like he's cognitively all there. We're all breathing a huge sigh of relief. He's not dying on us, and we can move forward from here.”
Glendale Adventist has one of the few certified Advanced Primary Stroke Centers in Los Angeles County. Hervey will likely stay there for rehabilitation.
Pehrspace is run on a volunteer basis, but Hervey has health insurance through his day job. Initial estimates suggest that out of pocket costs for the surgery, the hospital stay and subsequent rehabilitation may run a minimum of $30,000. A benefit has been set up at Friends of Adam. Thus far, slightly more than $11,000 has been donated.
“This is a guy,” Garcia says, “with a million best friends.” Hervey's caringbridge.org patient update page already has more than 200 notes of support from people around the world.
Hervey founded Perhspace in 2004. The all-ages venue, a contemporary of other local DIY-type, punk and noise-oriented spaces like The Smell, is known for its artist-friendly vibe. It's not unusual for Hervey to give the entire take from the door to the band playing that night. Hervey and Garcia also formerly played together in the band Timonium.
A benefit concert at Pehrspace is currently being planned.