As many of you know, our family’s journey started in San Francisco. Throughout our journey, Kim and I have had meetings with more doctors than we care to count, met many nurses, some better then others but all very compassionate. We’ve work with case managers from the West Coast to the East Coast who have guided us through the medical maze and insurance paperwork.
We’ve met many knowledgeable and caring professionals along the way, but nothing touches the heights of the angels we’ve met up close and personal. They, too, have been bicoastal, starting with the doctors and nurses at Stanford Hospital, who used the knowledge God provided them to save our son. Then there were Christine and Steve of the Peninsula Bible Church in Palo Alto. We visited their church shortly after Anthony’s accident. It seemed that every hymn we sang was about Anthony’s recovery. At Kentfield Rehabilitation and Specialty Hospital, we met more angels who worked tirelessly to help Anthony gain strength so we could bring him to the East Coast. No matter which coast Kim and I have been residing on during this journey, there have been even more angels back in Charleston who have been looking after our well-being and praying for Anthony’s recovery. All along the way, Anthony has had his own personnel angel – Elle, his girlfriend since he was 17. She always puts a smile on his face, no matter what kind of mood he’s in. She visits him as often as she can, and she cares for him every second of every day. She is awesome.
East Coast angels rock! More specifically, Shepherd Center angels rock! When Anthony arrived April 22, we did not know they even existed. What makes this place exceptional are the people inside the building, how the medical professionals work together as one unit is awesome and, in my mind, one of the reasons the people at The Shepherd Center are so successful at what they do.
Anthony met his Shepherd angels within hours of his being admitted. At the time, we did not know how special they were. Anthony has spent a total of 74 days at The Shepherd Center and has shown tremendous progress. He has been released from Shepherd and will start a second phase of rehabilitation at Shepherd Pathways (http://www.shepherdpathways.org/) July 10.
It’s hard to describe Friday; it was truly bittersweet. We had a family meeting that included Anthony’s team. We call them Anthony’s angels from heaven. Earlier in the day, Kim and I bought some plants for each of the angels. We asked them to think of Anthony as they watched their plants grow.
Earlier in the day, Anthony’s angels had a graduation for him. Pictured here are the all the angels in the neurological ward at Shepherd during Anthony’s graduation. They were showing off Anthony’s stickers, a likeness of him, on their left arm. Everyone was sorry to see Anthony go. Individually, many of the nurses and physical therapists stopped by Anthony’s room before they left on Friday to say goodbye and to tell him how much they were going to miss him.
It was a day full of smiles, laughter, tears and joy, A day that Anthony’s angels could spread their wings of comfort and safety that they had wrapped around Anthony in since April 22 and release him so he could continue his journey of recovery. The Macchio-Young family will never forget the love and positive energy we received from everyone we encountered at The Shepherd Center.