For those of you who already know what you're about to read, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your love and support. My family and I would not have been able to get through this without you.
Things seemed to be going well. The common phrase we heard nearly every week was that "the wound was healing nicely." Well, most of it was. A small section near the bone in his foot just wasn't filling in, but medical professionals didn't seem terribly concerned. They'd seen this kind of thing before.
Turns out, it wasn't normal. My father began experiencing more pain in his foot and developed a low-grade fever that wouldn't go away. One thing led to another and Dad was rushed to the hospital Wednesday afternoon. The bone had become infected and the condition was life-threatening. Early Friday morning, just over 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital, the decision was made to amputate a portion of my dad's leg.
Terrified, shocked and a little overwhelmed, I rushed home. I had no idea what to expect and no idea what I might find. I quickly learned I had no reason to worry. To my surprise and delight, my dad isn't just doing great -- he's doing awesome! I found him upbeat, alert and determined to get through this. So determined that Saturday morning, the day after having his leg amputated, he walked from the bed in his room to a chair with a little help from a walker and his new physical therapist. It was astonishing. I have never met a stronger, more determined person, and I'm so proud to call this guy Dad!
The nursing staff at St. Elizabeth's Hospital
Dad calls these folks angels of mercy and there is just no other way to describe what they do. Dad has received excellent round-the-clock care from courteous, professional, cheerful nurses, aides and assistants who give 110% every day. You have made this so much easier on all of us, and we cannot thank you enough for what you've done. I have to give a special shout out to Jason, the night nurse. I didn't get a chance to meet Jason, but my parents can't stop talking about "what a cool guy" he is :)
This wounded warrior who lost his leg three years ago dropped everything to take an emergency call with my dad the night before dad's surgery. Because of their conversation, my dad went into surgery with calm nerves and strong confidence knowing he had made the right decision. TJ, you'll always be our hero.
Dad is a devout Catholic and I know it made him feel so much better to go to confession and receive Communion before going into surgery. Thank you for offering peace and love in a place so full of uncertainty.
My coworkers at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
As soon as news came in that Dad was in the hospital, I was told to "do what I need to do" and "don't worry about work." I'm so lucky to work at a fantastic organization with people who are so supportive and kind. You guys rock my socks!
Friends and Family
You know who you are. Words cannot express how much your phone calls, hospital visits and little favors mean to us.