After sitting upright on a hospital bed for four hours, struggling to cough up the blood that had filled my stomach and lungs, I was exhausted and fading fast. The emergency staff worked diligently to try and stop the bleeding, so they could anesthetize me for surgery to close the cut artery. My dad had already shut down emotionally, and I could hear my mom screaming and crying in the background. The doctors urged me to keep coughing, but I didn’t have the energy.

That’s when the code blue buzzer sounded, prompting two cardiac nurses to rush in to make a last ditch effort to save my life. Amid the struggle, the hospital chaplain also arrived, in the event a final blessing was requested.

“Stay with us, Regan! Keep coughing!” the nurses yelled.

I was trying, more than they knew, despite the fact that I had just heard the chaplain tell my parents that their son had only a few minutes left to live. I remember awaiting the arrival of vivid flashbacks of life, love, family, and friends; but they never came. Nor did the expected white light or overwhelming sense of calm. For me, there was only continued chaos accompanied by overwhelming feelings of regret for having never pursued my dream.

“You stupid bastard,” I thought to myself as my body clung to life. “You never did your music, and now you’re going to die.”

* Excerpt from Regan Ziegler | My Story


Regan Ziegler Music

The most important thing I’ve learned in life is to never, ever give up on your dream.

Born and raised in southeastern Kansas, I moved from the flint-covered hills of El Dorado to Nashville to pursue a career in music. But as it turned out, probably like countless others who migrated to Music City with a similar dream, I never made mine the priority. Instead, I invested the bulk of my youthful energy in pursuit of the almighty dollar, and with a level of dedication that made everything else secondary.

Days, nights, and years disappeared while I renovated and flipped properties, and then tirelessly built what would become a successful, custom countertop company. Yet all the while, music was on my mind; and on long trips and lonely nights, my hollow-bodied Gretsch was my greatest companion. Every now and then, a burning desire to advance my musical agenda would rear its beautiful head, but each time, some uninvited twist of fate would interfere with my efforts.

In short, I broke both my wrists (which affected my ability to play guitar); experienced hearing impairment (which affected my ability to sing); nearly died after a botched surgery (which affected everything); suffered from what doctors said was a chronic case of trigeminal neuralgia (also known as “the suicide disease”); and ultimately shuttered my business of 14 years (which affected both my livelihood and my sanity). These events, as traumatic and discouraging as they were, would actually change the direction of my life for the better.

Safe to say, it has been quite a journey, and I’ve been kicked in the gut more than a few times. But each time, I have gotten back up, usually stronger but always wiser with the knowledge that chasing a dream just doesn’t always go as planned. Most importantly, I learned that God always had another plan for me. So now, with faith as my guide, I’m taking the wheel with my eyes wide open, determined to get back where I belong.

With nothing left to lose, I’m focused exclusively today on writing and recording, determined to fulfill a dream that started in southeastern Kansas many years ago. I don’t know exactly what the future holds, but I do know that I’ll finally be sharing my story, one song at a time. To those who know me and those who don’t, I humbly invite you to follow me on this journey – I’d be honored to have you along for the ride.