Anthony’s Best Way To Heal

 Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital sign outside San Francisco Street signIt feels like a mountain of joy to be here with Anthony and Kim. I arrived Thursday at 10:15 p.m. at the San Francisco airport. I was climbing the walls of the plane to get out so I could get the rental car that would take me to see Kim and Anthony. I texted Kim when the plane landed and called her after I got the rental car. The plan was for me to stop by to see Anthony on my way to our apartment. As I mentioned before, we have a temporary refuge at the San Francisco Seminary, which is a 15-minute walk to Anthony’s bedside.

I arrived at Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital just before midnight. Kim had told the staff and Anthony I would be coming, and I was to press the doorbell on the right side of the front door to let them know I had arrived. Well, it worked. Within minutes, I could see Angela, Anthony’s nurse for that night, walking down the hall. She greeted me with a smile and said Anthony knew I was coming. I asked her if he was up she said he was last time she checked on him.

It was emotional! As I stood by his bed, his face started to crumble and tears starting flowing. I had a long conversation with myself during the flight. I WAS NOT GOING TO CRY when I saw him. I had to be strong for him and deliver the most positive message I could muster up that night. It was just he and I, which gave us an opportunity to talk one on one.

He looked good as I stood over his bed. As a matter of fact, his vital signs were the best I’ve seen. His left side is still not responding very well but his right side shows a lot of promise and eventually, we hope, his left side will come around. I knew he had not had a brain storm in six days, which was a great improvement from sometimes two brain storms a day and a heart rate reaching in the high 150s.

The look on his face and eyes seemed to be saying, “Dad, get me out of here.” It was tough for me, but I was not going to shed any tears in front of him – although there was a watershed of tears just a blink away. I told Anthony he would be able to leave, but it was up to him. It was about keeping a good attitude and working hard. I told him he would get his trach out but needed to learn how to swallow better. I told him he had passed three of his blue dye swallowing tests and the next one would be while he is sleeping. After he passes the night time test, it wouldn’t be long before the trach would come out.

He cried a lot, we talked a lot, and we just looked into each other’s eyes for many minutes of silent happiness. I read him what the Steel City Pizza gang and the what Team Media Services had to say on their Stay Strong Card. Words of encouragement from friends make it easier to achieve a positive attitude. It’s amazing what you can say with thumbs up, yes and no, with one finger up for yes and two fingers for no. His eyelids were beginning to get heavy. I told him mom and I would be there tomorrow and I left. We were both in good spirits, and I know he got my message. Attitude and hard work are the basis for any success. I know there has to be a lot of prayer in the mix, and we already have that.



11 thoughts on “Anthony’s Best Way To Heal”

  1. I wanted to let you know we pray for Anthony’s best recovery everyday. My heart goes out to you Gayle and Bill, as the Mother of a friend of Ryan’s, we have been following Anthony’s recovery and rehab. We will be supporting Ryan and the fundraiser this Sunday at I believe it’s at Tin Roof. Our love and prayers always!

  2. Bill, Kim and Family – May God’s face shine upon you and give you peace during this difficult time. I can’t believe this baby is all grown up and obviously a shining star in so many ways. I’ll be praying.

  3. Bill and Kim, I just found out about Anthony, and will all you all to my prayers for God grace to come and give complete healing to him, and to you all! May HE give you the strength and endurance to remain positive and supportive.

    Blessings to you all!
    Dave Cain

  4. Bill and Kim,

    The news gets better and better. With so many prayers being lifted for Anthony, I have no doubt that he will be getting that tube out very soon. I pray for all of you daily and look forward to these updates. God will work wonders in your son! Love ~ Nancy

  5. Mr.bill the way you explain every detail makes me so happy. I appreciate you keeping all of us updated on every single thing! Please kiss his sweet face for me!! I am so happy he is getting better..everyday there is improvement. This just goes to show how strong he his. Much love and prayers are being sent yalls way!

  6. Wow, I can’t imagine what that visit was like for both of you… I’m glad you are able to stay strong for him and help him pull through this, Bill! I continue to pray for God’s strength for all of you to get through this!!

  7. Thank you for this post Uncle Bill. I am praying every single day and I will not stop. Anthony, you are on my mind every day. I want you to know how much I love you. I have such a strong love and admiration for you, your parents and your brothers. I feel blessed to know you all. Please know that we are praying for you. We know how strong you are and that with determination, you will continue to accomplish your goals. Love you…Amanda Pastermack

  8. Anthony has made such amazing progress! He and your whole family continue to be in our prayers and thoughts. Keep working hard, Anthony! You are well on your way to the healthy recovery we have all prayed for. God bless all of you. Jean and Bobby Moody

  9. BLESS YOU, Bill. Thank you so much for sharing this. I am so heartened to read of the progress that Anthony is making and I’m SO happy you’re there with him and Kim. Please keep us updated and on how we may pray for all of you specifically. With gratitude for Anthony’s ongoing healthy recovery — Chris

  10. Happy Easter Anthony and family! Prayers continue and our thoughts are with you. I thank you for the updates, Bill.
    Anthony, keep up the good work! You have made amazing progress ♥ You have the strength in your mind, heart and soul to conquer what may come your way… be strong, Anthony. Know that you have the love of thousands cheering you on.
    Love to all,

  11. Bill, Thank you for posting this most personal message. I am sure it was hard to post this. However, it is very inspiring. Please let Anthony know how much we all love him and are thinking of him and praying for him. I’ve even told people I barely know to pray for Anthony to be able to swallow and get the traech tube out. It can be weird conversation to say the least but then I am weird. Seriously, a lot of prayers are being said for all of you.

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