Jason is in the hospital recovering from an Aortic Dissection, a condition in which “a tear occurs in the inner layer of the large blood vessel branching off the heart,” as St. Clair Hospital’s website puts it. It’s a serious thing, and we are so grateful Jason’s wife Sally told him to call an ambulance immediately when he told her about his chest pain. Jason was rushed to the hospital, which is just a stone’s throw away from his house, and is now healing. He’s still feeling some pain and dealing with all sorts of post-op discomfort, but not enough to keep him from THANKING YOU ALL for your support.
If you’ve been watching Jason at Jalopnik and now here on The Autopian, usually driving some crazy old car or telling you some wacky thing about a taillight, then the video below is probably going to make you feel a lot of emotions. It certainly had that effect on me, because Jason is the craziest, most amped-up, wackiest, most fun human being I’ve ever known, and to see that fun have to be throttled back because his body won’t cooperate…it’s a little tough to see. The world is a better place when Jason Torchinsky can truly be himself, which is to say UNHINGED; he’s healing, and will undoubtedly return to that nominal state, but there’s a bit of a battle ahead still. You can see in Jason’s video here that, though he’s still dealing with that battle, he’s doing well enough to thank you all for your support and to suddenly transform into his usual self when he’s being silly and talking about a scar:
Jason, who is a bit short of breath and down on energy (he has hiccups that are causing pain in his ribs, which had to be broken for the operation) starts the video with: “Hi everybody, I just wanna say thank you all so much for all the support and everything everybody’s done in reaching out. It means so much to me. This is not a great plan I had, but it is what it is. And I’ll be back as soon as I can, and just thank you!”
Then comes some sort of transformation in which he gains enough energy to re-enter full Torch mode for a few seconds: “Oh yeah and check out this badass scar, that’s pretty good. They cut open my STERNUM. Sounds crazy, but I just appreciate everybody’s support and reaching out, it means a lot to me, so thank you everybody.”
Since the video was shot, Jason’s wife Sally told me that Torch, unable to resist his calling in life, is considering blogging about the amber reflectors on his walker — reflectors that he finds funny, as they seem to imply some kind of highway capability:
Anyway, Jason wants to say thanks to all of you. Fellow industry colleagues, friends, readers, other publications (I’ll just note that Jalopnik’s tweet was classy). Thank you to Thad for starting the Torch Medical Fund on GoFundMe (Sally told me she’s had so many folks ask how they can help, she created this “Jason’s Coming Home From The Hospita” Amazon registry. If you want to help in any way, you’re welcome to contribute to either of those two, but there’s no obligation at all. Your kind words mean so much to Jason).
It’s a trying time for us here at The Autopian, and even more of a trying time for Jason and his family. But we also realize how much of a trying time this might be to many of you, dear readers. When you spend over a decade reading someone’s every word and following them on social media, it’s hard not to build a bond with them. I often think of writing as a porthole into one’s soul, and once you read enough of someone’s words, you really feel like you get them. Like you know them. Jason has touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of people with his work, and you should all know that as much as he means to you, you mean just as much to him. You’re the reason he has continued to do what he does for over a decade. So thank you! From the bottom of Jason’s humongous, patched-up heart whose sound confused the doctor when they first listened to it. “Uh, your heart…it sounds… is that the click of a turn signal’s thermal flasher relay?”
Jason: “Wait, they’re not all like that?”