Meeting One Of My Heroes

I grew up a Cincinnati Reds fans. I was blessed to grow up in the era of The Big Red Machine. My favorite player was #5 Johnny Bench. The greatest catcher to ever play the game. So of course, I always played catcher and wore #5. I was determined to be the next Johnny Bench.

Fast forward a few decades and I never did become the next Johnny Bench. So far, nobody else has either. I am still a huge Reds fan and Mr. Bench is still my favorite all time player.

Laura and I are blessed that several of our dear friends are neighbors with Mr. Bench. They have made it their mission to let this Johnny Bench fan meet his hero. And last night was the night.

I know several people who have met their childhood hero and been disappointed. The person just didn’t measure up to who they thought their hero would be. So I was a little nervous meeting my childhood hero.

I met Mr. Bench has he walked in from a golf tournament he was hosting. The fundraiser was for my friends school for at-risk students called Believers Academy (www.believersacademyinc.org). The school is doing amazing work. My friends had invited Laura and I to attend the auction that would raise money for this amazing school located in West Palm Beach, Florida.

I have to say, I was not disappointed in meeting Mr. Bench. He was one of the nicest people I have ever met. Our friends had arranged for us to sit at Mr. Bench’s table. I do not believe Mr. Bench has ever met a stranger. He treated everyone he met with respect. I was most impressed with how well he treated the staff at PGA National, where the event was held. Mr. Bench is truly a class act.

I hope if you ever get to meet one of your heroes, they will not disappoint you. I can honestly say, I walked away from my encounter with Mr. Bench a bigger fan. Go Reds! ~OC

Selfless Love on 9/11

Today, we remember that Tuesday morning eighteen years ago. Hard to believe, it has been eighteen years since we watched in horror as the tragedies of that day unfolded. There was a lot of hate perpetrated that day. Hate that not only changed the lives of many families, but the life of a nation. But as we reflect back on that Tuesday morning, I hope we will remember there was a lot of love happening that day.

The Man In The Red Bandana. Welles Crowther, a 24-year old equities trader is credited with helping at least a dozen people get out of the South Tower of the World Trade Center. This young man gave his life helping complete strangers.

Let’s Roll. A group of strangers came together to take back United Flight 93, preventing further mass destruction.

Put Back On The Uniform. Retired US Marines, Jason Thomas and David Karnes were complete strangers at the beginning of that Tuesday in September. But as they watched in horror what was transpiring at the World Trade Center, they put their uniforms back on and headed into the chaos. They are credited with saving two survivors.

More Than a Tour Guide. Army Specialist Beau Doboszenski was working as a tour guide at the Pentagon on 9/11. He gave medical aid to the injured outside and rushed into the Pentagon to help others trapped inside.

These are just a few stories of heroism from that Tuesday in September. As we remember and pay respect to all the victims of the 9/11 tragedy, let us not forget there was a lot of selfless love happening on that tragic day. ~OC

Thank You 4 South Heroes

As I sit here in the quietness of my house, I realize it has been almost 4 months since my last hospital visit. That’s a pretty big deal, when you have spent as much time as I have in the hospital the past 17 years. The staff on 4 South at Good Samaritan Medical Center have become family over the years. They have blessed Laura and I so many times the past 17 years. Here are just a few examples of going above and beyond the call of duty.

 

A Recliner. Some of you might not beware I can no longer sleep in a bed. With my Parkinson’s and other health issues, a bed is extremely uncomfortable. At home I sleep in a recliner. I have done this for years. During my hospital stays, the staff on 4 South always makes sure I have a recliner in my room. They could easily just say, Todd you need to sleep in the hospital bed. But they don’t. I have seen them walk all over the hospital to find me a recliner. To help make me feel as comfortable as possible.

Sitting With Me. The staff on 4 South just doesn’t come in the room and move on to the next patient. No, there have been many times they hung out a bit to catch up on life. Even on those crazy busy days the staff still pop in to say hello and check on me. I have never felt like a number during my stays on 4 South.

Caring for Laura. The staff has not only taken care of me for the past 17 years, they have taken care of Laura. Laura has never been a patient on 4 South, but the wonderful staff always makes sure she is doing okay. They realize the importance of the caregiver.

A Room With A View. Good Sam is located by the intracoastal in West Palm Beach, FL. Some of the rooms have beautiful views of the water. The staff always tries to make sure I have a room with a view if possible. When I am in the hospital for weeks at a time, waking up to an amazing view is a blessing.

Good Sam Is My Cheers. Have you ever watched the old tv show Cheers. The lyrics from the theme song says “Everybody Knows Your Name.” That is how Laura and I feel when we walk into Good Sam. Everyone knows our name. I bet you have the song in your head now.

A Life Saved. The nurses and staff on 4 South always go above and beyond for their patients. Let me share just one example. Back in 2014, during a visit on 4 South I passed out in my room. My heart rate was out of control. The staff actually had to stop my heart and start it again. During this incident, one of the nurses ran down 3 or 4 flights of stairs to get some medication I desperately needed. Her quick actions probably saved my life. Thankfully, I have no memory of that day. Laura does and is always thankful for the quick response of the staff that day.

As you can see, the staff on 4 South is pretty special. Some of the staff have been taking care of me for 17 years. Some have gone and come back. Some have retired. I have friends that joke Good Sam is a vacation spot for me. Well, I wouldn’t call it a vacation spot, but I would call it my second home. I would call it family. ~OC

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