Many of us have been given a gift of making specials connections throughout our lives. While some people may view these as coincidence, others like me, view these special interactions as providence. Thus, it is with great thankfulness and joy, I get to share my journey. One that started with bewilderment and ended with compassion, forever changing my outlook on life.
I have/had been blessed to be in good health for 58 years, never undergoing any major surgery or long term stay in a hospital. But in the spring of 2015, that all changed when I started feeling strained while simply working in my garden for 10 minutes. At the behest of my wife, I made an appointment to have my shortened breath and lack of stamina checked. Unbeknownst to me, my doctor had retired so I had to choose a new one from a list of several I didn’t know. This was the first of many connections that would lead to a future that I had not considered beforehand. In Stefanie Jones, nurse practitioner at QuadMed, I learned about the caring nature found in so many people from the field of medicine. During our initial visit her compassion and supportive approach made me feel so much at ease through the questions she asked me about my medical history along with my current condition. Through these series of questions and physical examination she determined that there was a good possibility I was experiencing a congestive heart disease. She sent me to take a stress test right after that appointment and the results confirmed her suspicions.
Two weeks later, on August 11th, 2015, I would have quadruple bypass surgery. Through my recovery, I made other connections with several of the caregivers. Their tender care saw me through the first four days of severe pain while lying in a bed hooked up to multiple tubes and wires. I felt like a car having diagnostics done to it but these wonderful people made me feel relaxed and comforted. Recovery was painfully slow but through it I learned how important preventive maintenance for our bodies really is. Exercise and a much better controlled diet were now my best friends.
I marveled at the loving, caring people that I encountered in the medical field. Many of them, I have become great friends with and keep in touch with today. The amount of gratitude I feel to be given a second chance at life is beyond description. It governs everything I do and become involved in. Which leads to our special connection with Children’ hospital. As the founder of Caring Christians Four Kids, my personal story has acted as a catalyst to help the Herma Heart Institute at Children’s. It was one of our board members wives that first mentioned a possible partnership with them and we all were thrilled, surprised and grateful that our inquiry was welcomed with the same caring, loving interest I felt during my recovery. So this connection was and continues to be special for us. We have walked the halls in the Herma Heart section of the hospital. Having gone through something similar, I have a unique perspective of the children, parents and care givers. Tears are plentiful but somehow a necessity.
Being able to support such a cause as the Herma Heart Institute is a fulfillment that comes from the path of connections that have been made for many years. From our organizations humble beginnings helping needy children in Kenya to now devoting our annual run walk event to support research at Herma Heart the connections we have made guide our journey. You too, can make a similar connection and help children with heart disease in the process by participating in the 4th Annual Celebration of Life Run Walk held on August 10th, 2019 at Froemming Park in Franklin, WI. For more information visit our events page. Give a child the gift of hope through your connection with them.