Kevin Forehand’s birthday celebration on Saturday had multiple layers of significance for the Tracy man and his family.

Forehand’s 50th birthday, which was actually on Monday, would be memorable in any event. His family pulled off a huge surprise party for him, including friends and family members whom he hadn’t seen for a while, several years in some cases.

The surprise included a parade of police cars in front of his home, including his commander and officers from the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police, where Forehand serves as a police officer, plus patrol cars from the Tracy Police Department.

The 50-year milestone takes on special meaning because it marks Forehand’s survival of a health crisis that nearly claimed his life this summer.

“To me it means a lot of love, a lot of support and family. That’s what it means to me, to see how my wife and neighbors and everybody put this together, being that I almost passed away in this very place. Seeing the support and the encouragement, it’s just a blessing to me.”

Forehand said he had been doing yard work at his home when he was overcome by a sharp pain in his abdomen. He went to his garage to sit down, but fell to the floor and was soon on his way to Kaiser Permanente Modesto Medical Center. Before he knew what was wrong he had passed out just after arriving in the emergency room.

Doctors discovered that an aneurysm had burst on one of his iliac arteries and he was on the verge of bleeding to death. He was transferred to UC Davis Medical Center, where the artery, plus another near his heart, had to be repaired.

“What I do know is that I was given five liters of blood to sustain me until I got to U.C. Davis. They performed surgery, and I woke up 10 days later after being in an induced coma,” he said.

“It was a dire situation. It was a life and death situation, but I believe God spared me. I’ve still got some progress to make, but for the most part I’m doing better.”

He’s been at home recovering for several weeks, and the visits from family members, friends and colleagues were a welcome boost as he continues to recuperate.

“I like that fact that it brought people together. People who would not see one another in 10 or 15 years, people I haven’t seen in a couple years, or four or five years, are here.”

• Contact Bob Brownne at brownne@tracypress.com, or call 209-830-4227.

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