Jay Marvin, longtime AM 760 host, recovering after suicide attempt

Update below: In 2009, AM 760 host Jay Marvin suffered a health crisis involving a potentially lethal infection and epic back surgery that laid him up for the better part of a year. As a result, David Sirota took over Marvin's slot that December, with Jay formally retiring from radio last September. But his continuing physical and mental health challenges came to a head earlier this month, when he tried to take his own life.

Here's the explanation of what happened from Marvin's wife, Mary, corresponding by e-mail. "Last Monday morning, I found him unconscious," she writes. "The paramedics couldn't get a blood pressure and his heart rate was 35. He was in critical condition for several days, but he's better now.

"He was so depressed because of his chronic pain and no longer being able to work, he took at least 170 1mg Xanax," she continues. "The doctors said the only reason he lived was because of the massive amounts of medicine he has had to take over the last two years. He hasn't had a good day since last November."

Marvin also responds via a poignant e-mail note of his own. He praises Mary and several doctors and staffers at Porter Adventist Hospital "for helping to save my life?" -- and yes, the question mark is part of Marvin's message.

He adds, "No job after 36 years, chronic back pain, not knowing where I fit it in at 58 or what I'm supposed to do with my life, now that I can't work."

In our 1998 profile of Marvin, he talked frankly about his struggles with bipolar disorder and depression. His current fight is likely the most difficult he's ever faced. I'm sure I speak for everyone when I say I hope he wins it. Get well soon.

Update, 12:08 p.m. March 30: To document his struggles, Marvin has launched 256 Blogs to Go, which he describes on its home page as "Mental Health, Jabs and Punches from Jay Marvin." The first post, dated today, is headlined, "Bottles Pills No Exit Plan." It includes Mary's description, published above, followed by observations from Marvin's point of view. Here's an excerpt:

Death became an obsession with me after getting out of the hospital following my painful back surgery.


Back to the Sunday night/early Monday morning. Around 2:45 in the morning, a destruction derby, power outage, down and out wave slammed into my head and heart. The surfboard flew from out from under me; the pills went down my throat and I passed out.

I had come very close to committing sucide.

In Colorado I'm not alone in this disturbing life ending move. The Fort Morgan Times reported in a story September 9, 20100 the sucide rate had gone up 17.3 percent.

Next? Finding my way back.

More from our Media archives: "AM 760's Jay Marvin continues to battle serious health issues."

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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