(Topic ID: 244670)

Well wishes to Keith Johnson after heart attack


By vireland

4 months ago



Topic Stats

  • 48 posts
  • 41 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 4 months ago by JWJr
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider

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    88
    #1 4 months ago

    Keith Johnson (pinball_keefer) mentioned it in the jjPotC thread today, but it was pretty shocking that the reason he was out for a while and the code wasn't progressing on jjPotC for a bit is that he had a heart attack set off by his Type 1 diabetes. I think a lot of pinsiders would be surprised and concerned for his health if they knew! Here's his post from the jjPotC thread:

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    Mostly I lost the genetic lottery in terms of family heart disease history and being type 1 diabetic for 32 years which led to a heart attack.

    He's sacrificed so much to bring pinball code to another level, so I'm making this thread to increase the awareness of his serious health scare and to provide a space for well-wishes and maybe stories about how his work on games like Simpsons Pinball Party, Lord of the Rings, Family Guy, World Poker Tour, WoZ, and jjPotC, etc have really been appreciated.

    As I said in the jjPotC thread, I LOVE his work, but his priorities need to be his health first and code second since the consequences of his health situation are now very clear. I'll try to limit my complaining so he doesn't feel guilty or pressured because some new "want" isn't implemented or a niggly bug has to be overlooked a little longer. It could be much worse - he's never put out massively buggy code like Ghostbusters and left it.

    So Keith, take care of yourself. You're only one guy, you have limits, and there's no free play if you waste this credit.

    #2 4 months ago

    Get well Keith. One of the best in the business when it comes to deep code with fun modes that utilize the whole playfield. TSPP is a masterpiece.

    #3 4 months ago
    Quoted from YZRider926:

    TSPP is a masterpiece.

    Indeed. As is LOTR.

    Best wishes, Keith!

    #4 4 months ago

    Let’s not forget HRC too! As a card carrying member and former varsity captain of the High Roller Casino fan cub, Keith was more than welcoming and receptive in my early years in the hobby helping me out with the Director’s Cut roms.

    He’s an absolute asset to the community from feedback, amazing code past and present, and even chimes in here every now and then.

    Nothing but well wishes to him.

    #5 4 months ago
    Quoted from scottslash:

    Indeed. As is LOTR.
    Best wishes, Keith!

    Couldn’t agree more.

    Reason why I own both.

    #6 4 months ago

    Nothing but respect for type 1'ers; get better dude!

    #7 4 months ago

    Get well soon Keith!

    #8 4 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    but his priorities need to be his health first and code second

    Family...third?

    Yikes.

    #9 4 months ago

    Keith is an absolutely great guy to work with. I have the utmost respect for him, and "he sure plays a mean pinball", still!

    #10 4 months ago

    Oh, No....Not Keith! What a Great Guy and Tireless Worker!

    Please rest well and long and heal up.....

    #11 4 months ago
    Quoted from dirtbag66:

    Family...third?
    Yikes.

    Well, let's not get carried away. He has a job to do.

    Let's head off the "Where's God in that?" posts here. It was demonstrative, not an exhaustive top 5 in order.

    19
    #12 4 months ago

    Keith, thank you so much for not kicking off, and forcing this message into posthumous land. So often we don't get the chance to say how we feel about someone until they're gone, which is too late. Thankfully you did me the courtesy of staying alive and giving me a chance to write this post.

    My first contact with you was at Expo 2000. Yeah, that one. Well, despite the problems with that show, there happened to be a Dr. Who on the floor, and you put on a CLINIC of how to DESTROY ALL HUMANS that might challenge you on that game. You could not miss the side ramp. BOOM! BOOM! BOOM! You crushed the game. Some were agog, some in awe, I think you may have gotten some applause. It was great. Later on I tried that game and fumbled my way through epic ineptitude on my way to shameful embarrassment. What you did though, besides crushing my dreams of pinball wizard glory, was show me how a world class player performs the magical wizardry so many of us try to achieve.

    Later I learned that you and Lyman Sheats used to have daily duels on games to test their playability. I would have loved to be able to sit in and watch two masters lighting up the newest offering and working out kinks and developing ideas to make it better. What a job to have! So I think you also made other designers' work even better not only from your own brilliance writing code, but also your ability to execute gameplay that either reveals a shine or a break that needs to be fixed.

    Timing proved providential with the release of Simpsons. I had saved up the $4500 or so for a NIB game (that I bought to put on route), and when Simpsons Pinball Party was announced with you on code I was all in, no questions asked. Wow, did you not disappoint! What a fantastic marvel that team created. The best thing I can say about Simps is that it ties Twilight Zone for my #1 favored game ever. I still have yet to see SDMEWM, had to sell mine and I don't know of any others in town, but the mini wizard lock-a-ball +1 is genius. I never completed that one either, but I LOVED that ruleset. I hope to reacquire that game someday.

    Then there's LotR. Another inspired, phenomenal ruleset that I just cannot grow tired of. With Valinor out there on the horizon, waiting, beckoning, taunting, encouraging...I made it there once. Destroy the ring, there and back again and valinor all in one game?! Are you kidding me? Another masterpiece.

    And here's another game that is oft overlooked, underappreciated, yet is another masterfully designed and programmed gem: ELVIS. This is a great "sleeper" that should have already awakened like the giant robots in Captain America comic books. Made before the "tier" system the game has all the features it should with the code to back up a great Ritchie design. With ENCORE and a graceland tour at the end...yet another home run.

    On a personal note, I've had a few ideas about lighting effects and other stuff I emailed you that seemed to make it into some of your games, and that is something I can't really brag about, but it's awesome to me.

    I'll stop now, even though I could go on and on about how you specifically have made my hobby so much better for being here. So if you don't mind, let's not have any more heart attacks or anything that could even remotely have a chance to take you off the good ship earth. You have made my life just a bit more fun and I'd like that to continue for a while, if you don't mind.

    THANK YOU FOR ALL THE JOY YOU HAVE GIVEN ME!

    PS: the super cynical stuff was for comic relief, I'm sure you knew that already but others...

    #13 4 months ago

    Hey Keith, I hope you're better now bud, take better care of yourself.....salute

    #14 4 months ago

    Feel better Keefer and thanks for making pinball great!

    #15 4 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    He has a job to do.

    What job is that? Survive? Care for his family?

    #16 4 months ago

    Glad to know your feeling better Keith! Come back stronger than ever!

    #17 4 months ago

    I got into the pinball hobby just two years ago. I used to be a competitive video game player growing up, and had no idea pinball even had rules. And I love learning complex but well laid out rules to games! Board games, video games, whatever. What a shock to learn that pinball had rules at all, and of course playing quickly led me to Keith’s games - a treasure trove of exactly the kind of games I love. My first game I bought is JJP POTC. It’s brought me an incredible amount of fun and I just want to say thanks!

    #18 4 months ago
    Quoted from dirtbag66:

    What job is that? Survive? Care for his family?

    OMG. That was intended as an ironic statement. Explaining it will sap the comedic intent, so I'll just stop trying.

    #19 4 months ago

    Hope the doctors can get your heart DIALED IN!

    Get well soon!

    #20 4 months ago

    Best wishes to Keith. Hope you get well soon.

    #21 4 months ago

    Hope you get well soon, Keith

    #22 4 months ago

    Get well Keith. You're awesome.

    #23 4 months ago

    Best wishes Keith and a strong recovery.

    LTG : )

    #24 4 months ago

    You have brought me many hours of joy with your amazing coding and have been nothing but a gentleman in person to me. Get well and stay well sir!

    #25 4 months ago

    Hang in there Keith.
    Rest and get back on your feet.
    Pinball will wait. Take care of you.

    #26 4 months ago

    Keith, thanks for all of your amazing contributions to the world of pinball! You have brought joy to countless pinball fans, and have stretched us as players to achieve more than we thought we could with your deep code. Wishing you all the best for a continued strong recovery! Looking forward to all of the great things will work on in the future! Be well, good sir!

    #27 4 months ago

    Get better Keith!

    38
    #28 4 months ago

    Guys, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a big thing. Thought the relatively ancient John Astin reference would lighten the mood up a bit.

    I appreciate the kind words from everyone. This was back in Feb, I got 3 stents put in and have already finished 10 weeks of cardio rehab. I really am doing much better. I'm very lucky and thankful to have survived it, certainly, but I was ready to be back at work 2 weeks later.

    The #1 thing I'd pass on to others is if you've been diabetic for a really long time, neuropathy affects your INSIDES as well. So apparently most people would've been doubled over in ridiculous pain, and I felt like I had some discomfort.

    If you ever suspect anything, or have any chest pain at all, go get a stress test. The bother and time off and all that is certainly worth the piece of mind, I'd say.

    #29 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    Guys, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a big thing. Thought the relatively ancient John Astin reference would lighten the mood up a bit.
    I appreciate the kind words from everyone. This was back in Feb, I got 3 stents put in and have already finished 10 weeks of cardio rehab. I really am doing much better. I'm very lucky and thankful to have survived it, certainly, but I was ready to be back at work 2 weeks later.
    The #1 thing I'd pass on to others is if you've been diabetic for a really long time, neuropathy affects your INSIDES as well. So apparently most people would've been doubled over in ridiculous pain, and I felt like I had some discomfort.
    If you ever suspect anything, or have any chest pain at all, go get a stress test. The bother and time off and all that is certainly worth the piece of mind, I'd say.

    And here I wanted to upvote you just for the marvelous Astin reference, but felt that might seem distasteful.

    Glad you're on the up, and up! You seem a pretty neato guy!

    #31 4 months ago

    Love you Keith, glad you're doing good!

    #32 4 months ago

    Best wishes Keith, hope you feel better soon.

    #33 4 months ago

    Best wishes for a full and speedy recovery Keefer!

    Thank you for all the great game code you've created to date!

    #34 4 months ago

    Get well soon, Keith!

    #35 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    Guys, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a big thing. Thought the relatively ancient John Astin reference would lighten the mood up a bit.

    Having, let alone surviving, a heart attack is a big deal. We're glad you made it!

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    I appreciate the kind words from everyone. This was back in Feb, I got 3 stents put in and have already finished 10 weeks of cardio rehab. I really am doing much better. I'm very lucky and thankful to have survived it, certainly, but I was ready to be back at work 2 weeks later.

    So was it a blockage due to poor heart function from neuropathy? Or, something else? I must admit I'm not familiar with diabetes effect on the heart over time.

    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    The #1 thing I'd pass on to others is if you've been diabetic for a really long time, neuropathy affects your INSIDES as well. So apparently most people would've been doubled over in ridiculous pain, and I felt like I had some discomfort.
    If you ever suspect anything, or have any chest pain at all, go get a stress test. The bother and time off and all that is certainly worth the piece of mind, I'd say.

    Yes! And a stress test really isn't bad. I've had one done and imagined they'd be running me to exhaustion. It's more like a brisk walk and doesn't take long at all.

    #36 4 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    So was it a blockage due to poor heart function from neuropathy? Or, something else? I must admit I'm not familiar with diabetes effect on the heart over time

    Heart and stroke are the two biggest accelerated long term health risks with diabetes. The pain, numbness, infection risks/etc from poor vascular flow in extremities is not fun... but it's the brain and heart that will usually knock people off.

    #37 4 months ago

    Hope you can get back on your feet soon and enjoy what you love doing, which among many things I hope, is making games with incredible code! Feel better and don’t rush back.

    #38 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    The #1 thing I'd pass on to others is if you've been diabetic for a really long time, neuropathy affects your INSIDES as well. So apparently most people would've been doubled over in ridiculous pain, and I felt like I had some discomfort.

    Sh...t. Thanks for the heads up on that. I know a lot, and I read a lot, but I wouldn't have ever known that. I've suspected for a long time I'm hypoglycemic, and expect it to turn into diabetes at some point barring a major life change, PLUS I've already got numbness in my feet and hands. So...yeah. Guess I'll get my ass back to the doc and try harder. Oh yes, family history of heart attacks. Wonderful! :Þ

    #39 4 months ago
    Quoted from vireland:

    So was it a blockage due to poor heart function from neuropathy? Or, something else? I must admit I'm not familiar with diabetes effect on the heart over time.

    Diabetes has two major effects in this case:
    1. It accelerates the build up of coronary artery plaque that leads to an increased frequency of heart attacks
    2. Long-term diabetes can destroy the sensory nerves in your heart and other organs that let you know when you feel pain. So, whereas most people experience a heart attack as a severely painful episode and rush to the ER, some diabetics will have lesser symptoms. This is dangerous because it can mask the underlying issue and lead to delayed treatment of a heart attack.

    #40 4 months ago

    Best wishes to Keith, and I love reading the informative posts in this thread because everything is correct. I feel like I'm sitting in the back row of class in med school daydreaming about pinball all over again (that's a lie, I got into pinball after medical school, fortunately...probably would've had bad grades if that wasn't the case).

    #41 4 months ago

    Glad to hear you are doing better Keith.

    #42 4 months ago

    stress tests can also be done with infusion of medication and no treadmill walking is necessary. Simulates the same thing.

    #43 4 months ago
    Quoted from phoenixpin:

    Diabetes has two major effects in this case:
    1. It accelerates the build up of coronary artery plaque that leads to an increased frequency of heart attacks
    2. Long-term diabetes can destroy the sensory nerves in your heart and other organs that let you know when you feel pain. So, whereas most people experience a heart attack as a severely painful episode and rush to the ER, some diabetics will have lesser symptoms. This is dangerous because it can mask the underlying issue and lead to delayed treatment of a heart attack.

    Thanks for the explanation. I had no idea these effects were related to diabetes.

    #44 4 months ago

    Best Keith! Get well!

    #45 4 months ago
    Quoted from pinball_keefer:

    Guys, I didn't really mean for this to turn into a big thing. Thought the relatively ancient John Astin reference would lighten the mood up a bit.

    bruh. BRUH. How's that for not turning it into a big thing? (guess the reference?)

    Richard

    #46 4 months ago

    Glad to hear the worst appears to be over! Keith has been busting ass on great code as long I've been in the hobby. Waaay back when LOTR was on test, I'd email a suggestion or two, and sometimes they were implemented and installed the next day. Stay well, man.

    #47 4 months ago

    Welcome back Keith! Take care.

    #48 4 months ago

    Get well, Keef.

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