Letter to the Editor:
On Dec 23, 2006, I was going up an old fiberglass ladder to do some cleaning, bucket in one hand, and the ladder collapsed under me and I broke my leg. I first have to say how incredible the EMTs, Charles Callwood and Carmen Wheatly were. They responded quickly, and were very professional and competent.
Because the location was difficult they had to call St. John rescue to come and use the Stokes basket to get me to the ambulance. Alfredo Alejo, John Bowman, Bob Malcarne, Daryl Tasman and Jose responded. As we drove out in the ambulance, John sat in the back with me and braced my leg as we bounced out over the long dirt road. I thank all the EMTs and Rescue Squad. Bollo was the captain of the ambulance boat and did a great job. The EMTs in St. Thomas were also excellent. These dedicated professionals are our lifeline.
From the moment I was wheeled back into my room from the first surgery on the morning of the 24th and found Jane Kyser setting up a Christmas tree, complete with hot pepper lights; and I realized that she had brought all the essentials for a hospital stay including a phone, I have been completely blown away by the love, support, and help I have received from the St. John community.
Of course I would never have gotten through any of it without Charlie. Cheryl Miller, Denise Georges, and Elizabeth Grammer helped me get through the difficult 12 day hospital stay.
Margie Labrenz helped me with among other things the excruciatingly slow process of being sprung (discharged). There was no way I was staying another day.
Virginia Thornwaite opened her home to me, and got me through a time when I could barely get out of bed. We had great conversations too.
Lee Sabonis, Chris Barbich, Susie and Patti Christy, and Joanna Werman have helped me immensely.
Dave Dostall and Nate Emerich had to carry me in a wheelchair up some steep stairs to get me into the house.
Matt Mueller built a ramp over the steep stairs. Sylvia Weaver has brought me fresh greens from Josephine every week.
I apologize for not having the space to list by name everyone who brought groceries, water, cooked food, DVDs, books; who gave me massages, gave me rides, who called and sent letters, and many many other things.
This brings me to the benefit last night. What a warm wonderful evening. What a fantastic gathering of people. It had me shaking, just vibrating from all the incredible energy.
I have to thank Janet Rutnik, Debbie Schnell, Lisa Durgin, Mary Blazine and Cid Hamling for all the work they did in organizing the event. To all the businesses and individuals who donated raffle prizes and to everyone who bought raffle tickets a huge thank you. Compass Rose hosted the event and actually refused reservations to accommodate us.
Sometimes we get together and complain about excessive building, traffic, and the way we have to move so fast now, and we wish for a time when we said “Good Morning, how are you?” and actually waited to hear the answer. But despite it all St. John has heart!! And I thank the St. John community from the bottom of my heart. I feel so lucky to live here.
Love to all,