Wednesday, August 10

What A Small, Small World!

I am sitting in a little shock right now! For close to a year, I have been following this blog about a precious family*** whose seventh child was born with Trisomy 13. I have watched this blog and read all of her posts about losing her precious son just weeks after he entered this world. She frequently mentions her brother, Father Kevin, and I kept thinking that I know him - not only does his name sound familiar, but he looks familiar in the pictures. And the wheels kept turning and I kept trying to place him and yesterday I finally remembered how I know him (I will get to that shortly)!

Rewind to the summer of 2002. I was participating in Crossroads Pro-Life Walk. This particular summer, we walked through FL**, GA, AL, MS, and LA. We then bussed to Canada to participate in World Youth Day and see the Pope John Paul II. From there, we walked through NY and PA and ended in Washington DC at the steps of the Supreme Court. This was a witness to all life and when I say walk, I literally mean that we walked every single step - 23 hours a day someone was walking. On average each person walked about 20 miles a day, offering up everything for the unborn and praying for all to respect life.

When we were in GA, I was on the day shift with half of my team. It was the end of the day and were on some backroads with nothing around but the woods. . . enough said! This was June 26 because I remember waking up the next day and calling my little sister to wish her a Happy Birthday. Anyhow, that next day, I woke and my right calf was red and HURT. As the day went on, I felt worse and was not able to finish my shift (only 15:20 miles that day!). The weekend got closer and I deteriorated even more. We finally arrived in Savannah on Friday, June 28 where we were met by a priest. Our team leader had injured his foot and was talking with the Priest about where to get it looked at. The priest made arrangements with a local doctor to get him in, but unbeknown to me, he also made me an appointment. I tried to convince him that I was fine, that there was absolutely no need, but he insisted and you really can not say no to a priest (plus he was the Chaplain for the Fire Department and knew that whatever was going on did not look good!)! So, later that afternoon I was seen by a doctor. By this point I was running fever, my calf was even more tender and swollen. Things were getting worse. The doctor diagnosed me as being bitten by a Brown Recluse and gave me meds and strict instructions. I was also to call him on Monday with an update. I left there upset and frustrated as I was now not allowed to walk with my team. . .The priest took me to the pharmacy, filled my scripts, and bought me crutches. He then brought me to the place we were staying and made sure that I had everything I needed. He was absolutely incredible, meeting my every need. (The above picture was taken for a news article just before I went home ~ There was nothing that was going to make me stop!)

I ended up having to come home to MS and what was thought to be a brown recluse bite, turned out to be a copperhead bite! After 2 weeks inpatient, 2 surgeries to remove the necrosed tissue, and a stint in ICU, I was allowed to go home and continue recovering. The next week, I received the okay from all of my docs to surprise my team in Canada for World Youth Day! I had to stay in a wheelchair, but I was able to go and continue the journey to Washington, DC! I will NEVER forget getting out of the car in front of the bus that my team and little sister were in as they had NO idea that I was able to come. It was incredible and by far the best surprise I have ever pulled off! (The picture to the left was taken at the protestant hospital in Jackson, MS - All of us sang the rosary followed by the Ave Maria - Imagine their shock!)

Since this, I have often thought about that priest because if it were not for him, I would have never gone to the doctor. And for that, I might have never gotten help. That priest is the same priest that I have heard about for nearly a year from a family that I have never met, only known them through their blog. The Father Kevin I had been seeing in the blog, is the same Father Kevin that helped me! What a small world this is!!!!

**When we were in Jacksonville, FL, some friends of ours had a party for us. Attending this party was a young man. He took me and some fellow walkers to a local walmart to get a few things. This gentleman also took an interest in me! He would call me and write to me OFTEN! My co-walkers were insistent that he really liked me, but I was naive. Well, his persistence paid off because just 504 days later we married!
This picture was taken the day we left Florida - our first state line! Robert joined us in walking that day ~ I remember when he walked with Father and I ~ I walked ahead while Robert stayed back 100 yards or so with Father Weslin and they talked! Never would I have thought it would take us to where we are today!

***This family is now expecting their 8th child! They are an incredible witness to love, faith, and family. You can follow them on their other blog!

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