The Story of a Survivor

It started with user group pizza. It still hasn't ended. How Rocky Lhotka's life changed -- forever -- in an instant.

Some stories just have to be told. It's as simple as that. As a journalist with 25 years in the biz, as well as a writer of screenplays and novels, I've told thousands of stories over the years. I've interviewed First Ladies, governors, senators, murderers, Hubble space telescope scientists, and many, many more. Since I joined 1105 Media in 2000 (then known as 101 Communications), I've focused on the IT world, and told those tales. All that to say that I'm no stranger to stories.

Still, even with all the stories I've told, I'm not sure I've come across a more amazing one than Rocky Lhotka's. Rocky, for those of you unaware, is a prominent software developer. He's an uber-.NET guru responsible for the CSLA.NET framework, used for creating business objects on top of a data layer. He's also CTO of Magenic, and a speaker and co-chair of our Visual Studio Live! developer conferences.

I first heard that there was trouble with Rocky when I found out he wouldn't be at Visual Studio Live! in Redmond last August. There where whispers that he'd suffered a major health scare.

So I reached out to Rocky, and we discussed a bit about what happened to him. If anything, "major" was an understatement of what he went through. But he said that -- health permitting -- he'd try to make it to the Live! 360 conference in Orlando last November. He did make it; in fact, his flight to Orlando from his Minnesota home was the first time he'd traveled since his issues surfaced. Needless to say, it was a nerve-wracking trip.

At the show, we talked in a lot more detail about his experience. And although much of it was horrifying, it's also enlightening and inspiring. It's a story, as I said, that just had to be told. You can watch it below.

I can't thank Rocky enough for agreeing to do this, and many thanks also to his wife and children for their assistance in allowing their photographs to be used.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization Review.

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