It was Saturday, Feb. 2, when Kim and I arrived at Stanford Hospital, where Anthony was in the intensive care unit. He had gotten his bicycle tire caught in a San Francisco trolley track and taken a terrible fall. Although he had his helmet on when he fell, he was now fighting for his life.
Within a few days, I got a call from Gayle. Our family had been turned upside down; I didn’t really know
how much, but now I know that Gayle did. I couldn’t really understand what she was saying. I was thinking about doctors, nurses and what to do next. Gayle kept saying you’re going to need this and that. Anthony’s going to need care, we’re going to need a place to stay for a while and it’s going to cost money. I knew for sure that whatever she was saying, it came from the heart, but all I heard was blah, blah, Wells Fargo account, blah, blah, we need to raise money, blah,,blah,,blah.
Well, now it’s Friday, Sept. 6, and I couldn’t be happier that Gayle called me during those terrible times. Now I know more then ever why she called me. I know Gayle was called on so Anthony’s life, Kim’s life and my life would be a little and in some
cases a lot easier. Through Anthony’s fundraiser event, spearheaded by Gayle Price, the efforts of Jody Gouge, Carolina Services Inc., owned by Ed Tarr, and the overseeing of construction by David Wright, my family’s life is easier. God is good and, as far as I’m concerned, his work is seen through the efforts of the people I mentioned above and all the many, many other people who have “passed it forward” through their efforts to help Anthony.
Anthony, Kim and I leave Shepherd tomorrow – Saturday Sept. 7, when we get into a van from Mobility Supercenter that is equipped with an expensive Bruno set, which comes out of one of the side doors and lowers itself to the level of a wheelchair so that it’s easier to get Anthony into the van. Mobility Supercenter wanted exposure in Mount Pleasant Magazine, and I wanted the van for Anthony, so we were able to secure a van that will help carry Anthony around. To get the van, we needed additional money, which we received at Anthony’s fundraiser.
I’ve driven from Charleston to Atlanta and back so many times that I’m sure I could drive it in my sleep. After driving 5.5 hours tomorrow, we will arrive to what I’ve been calling the “Mount Pleasants Pass It Forward Home.” Why? That’s the only way to describe the house Kim and I call home and where Anthony will continue his recovery. Over the past 30 days, under the guidance of Ed Tarr of Carolina Services Inc., headed by David Wright, and Jody Gouge have taken our humble abode and changed it into a show house showcase. And on top of that, its wheelchair friendly and the special bathroom Carolina Services built for Anthony will clearly make our family’s life easier.
Saying goodbye: Getting ready to leave today was joyful, sad and inspiring all rolled up in one. We wanted to make sure to say goodbye to the health care professionals in Ward Two at the Shepherd Center. For the past two months, we’ve been at Pathway, and we haven’t seen any of Anthony’s friends – the nurses and rehabilitation staff. These were the first staff members who were there when Anthony and Kim arrived from California April 21. At first, they were preforming their jobs, taking care of Anthony and working on his speech, eating and physical therapy and checking his vitals. We all became fast friends. They are all great people, and we consider them our Shepherd Center friends. They truly care about our family, so much so that before we left them to go to Pathways, they threw a party, emphasizing Anthony’s progress (See their photo).
They all got a kick out of the stickers used at Anthony’s fundraiser event and
the resulting tattoo I got to pay tribute to my youngest son. The day we left for Pathways, not only did the staff give Anthony a party to remember, but we purchased some modest gifts for the health care team who had inspired, cared for and nurtured Anthony further down the road to recovery. It gave us the opportunity to show Anthony’s family’s appreciation. We gave them plants. We told them as they watch their plants grow, Anthony is taking what he learned at Shepherd to continue to grow.
As I travel in our van on Interstate 20 to Columbia and Interstate 26 to Charleston, I know I will feel blessed because the fundraiser helped us get the van and the airline tickets to get Anthony and Kim to Atlanta and from California. When Kim and I push Anthony’s wheelchair into our newly renovated home, we will feel blessed that Carolina Services, Inc., Ed Tarr, Jody Gouge and David Wright gave of their hearts and pocketbooks and decided to pass it forward through the floors, bathrooms and walls and through the Grace of God.
Thank you, Dear Father, for using your grace to make my family’s life a little easier.