This NFL Season Brings Former Patient and Husband Closer Than Ever
Photo left: Bob and Amber attend a recent game between the Minnesota Vikings and San Francisco 49ers.
Former CNS patient Amber Remaley, and her husband Bob Gregg, share a love for the National Football League (NFL)'s San Francisco 49ers. The couple, who married in 2012, have created lasting memories over the years attending live games at the 49ers home stadium and rooting their team onto victory on NFL Sundays at home, dressed head-to-toe in their Niners gear.
However, the couple could never have imagined the new meaning this NFL season would bring to their lives after Amber suffered an acquired brain injury (ABI).
On April 25, 2019, Amber started feeling ill and was experiencing flu-like symptoms such as headaches, fever, body aches, and fatigue. Feeling too weak to go into the office, she decided to stay home that day.
In a rare chance event, Bob happened to be home that day as well, to watch the 49ers select their new defensive end Nick Bosa in the NFL Draft, and noticed that her symptoms began to worsen that morning. “Amber couldn't keep her head up and then lost the ability to communicate in any way,” said Bob.
Amber was taken to Sutter Santa Rosa Regional Hospital’s Emergency Room. Soon after, she fell into a coma and was diagnosed with viral encephalitis, which is an inflammation of the brain caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and an ABI.
Nine hours after arriving at Sutter ER, Amber was admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital and then transferred to Kentfield Hospital before being admitted to the inpatient program at CNS San Francisco.
“When Amber arrived at CNS, she could not recall memories and had a limited vocabulary,” Bob shared. She also had trouble with decision making and navigating herself from point to point; he continued.
After just a few weeks at CNS, Bob noticed that Amber had made huge strides in her recovery and said she seemed, “almost back to herself."
After the dust had settled, the couple recalled the significance of the order of events leading up to Amber's injury, "There was no way I should have stayed home that day,” Bob said. “And why did Amber slip into a coma THAT day,” he questioned. “If not for the existence of our favorite football team and the prospect of drafting Nick Bosa, I wouldn’t have been home, and Amber would have most certainly died,” Bob said.
By January of 2020, Amber's sense of direction had returned, and her memories continue to be restored.
Most importantly, "My marriage still has its quarterback: My wife and best friend," Bob says. And wearing their Niners gear has new meaning for both of them. "Every time I put on my 49ers socks, hat, or t-shirt, I think of Amber," Bob says. "She has beaten the odds, and through her long and arduous journey, her spirit and positive outlook have never wavered.”
The couple says they have CNS, Kentfield, Sutter, and Memorial Hospitals, and incredible friends and family to be thankful for. And, of course, Nick Bosa and the San Francisco 49ers.
Photo right: Amber shows her team spirit at a live game surrounded by fellow fans.