Kennesaw State sophomore communications major Alex Dahlberg is soaring through his new college experience after surviving a coma and a near-fatal illness in 2018.
During a visit home in December of 2018, Alex was first diagnosed with the flu. Unbeknownst to him or his family, that would lead to Mononucleosis (Mono) caused by a virus called Epstein-Barr Virus which made its way to Dahlberg’s brain, according to his father Tom Dahlberg. Dahlberg’s diagnosis would soon lead to him entering an induced coma for days.
According to Dahlberg, “a coma feels like a dream you can’t remember.”
Dahlberg has faced a variety of challenges since his near-fatal experience in 2018 with what started out as the flu and became a viral case of meningitis.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meningitis is an “inflammation (swelling) of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord.” A bacterial or viral infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord usually causes swelling.
Although Dahlberg was not contagious nor had a bacterial infection, he did suffer some inflammation in his brain. According to his mother Pennie Dahlberg, “other than the brain inflammation, we were told Alex was strong, his body was strong and that he was a fighter.”
According to Mayo Clinic, inflammation of the brain is called Encephalitis. Several causes include viral infections, autoimmune inflammation, bacterial infection, insect bites and others. In some cases, there is no known cause.
After months of recovering in 2019 at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Dahlberg began his journey to recover physically and continuously thrived to regain his cognitive skills.
His story displays how quickly life can change, but he tells others to remember, “everything will be okay. One day, I couldn’t walk for a year or read for a year.” Today he is able to do both.
Since his amazing recovery Dahlberg has returned to college as a KSU Owl and mentioned how he enjoys KSU. Other than “feeling older as a student,” his first year as a KSU Owl has been a great experience.
He commends KSU on the support they give him and the resources they provided as he reentered the college environment.
“Kennesaw has helped me adapt now that I have a disability,” Dahlberg said. “Everyone has been helpful.”
Dahlberg first began his college journey in 2018 as a freshman at Belmont University School of Music in Nashville, Tennessee. His college experience started off as any 18-year-old’s dream.
The now 22-year-old’s mother said, “he had made many new friends and loved being surrounded by other students who were also musically gifted.”
Dahlberg was also athletic throughout his high school career and completed the Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta on July 4, 2018.
When asked where he sees his future, he says “to just be successful in anything I do, because I’m doing better than others thought I would.”
“I hope to blend my love of music with a communications degree to create a future in the music and entertainment business,” Dahlberg said.
Now at 22 years old, Dahlberg is still writing and recording music. His new release “Cannonball” can be found on all streaming platforms.
Learn more about Dahlberg’s KSU journey and his story on the Encephalitis Society website. His music and all new releases can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and YouTube. He can also be found on Instagram.