Greg's Caringbridge Journal
Imagine. Life is good. A warm summer Sunday afternoon. You are preparing to grill lunch for your family and friends. Your wife is upstairs cleaning, potty-training your 2yr. old son, while your 6yr. old daughter watches a Disney movie. Yes, a perfect summer's day. The last weekend of outdoor fun before first grade begins. But all that changed, in an instant.
August 3rd, 2014, life changed for the Dobson family. This is the story of my sister, Jennifer, her husband Greg, and an accident that will forever change their lives.
That instant came. A grilling accident, an explosion. Greg was on fire, a neighbor runs to save him. Simultaneously, the house catches fire. Another neighbor helps Jennifer get the children out to safety. Greg is rushed to Defiance Hospital, then life-flighted to the Burn Unit at St. Vincent's in Toledo. Jennifer follows knowing he is badly burnt. Both forced to leave their burning home for the firefighters to save.
Greg was burnt over 75% of his body, mostly 3rd degree. He was placed in a medically induced coma for the pain and intubated to assist his breathing. The staff was vague with Jennifer at first, guarding her from the magnitude of the situation. She continued to question them, and as she gained information, the doctors began being more honest with her about Greg's injuries. Brutally honest. Greg's life was in grave danger. The chances of survival were not good.
Over the next couple months, Greg's condition changed daily... really sometimes hourly. Who knew that a burn affects EVERY SINGLE SYSTEM IN YOUR BODY? His body was constantly fighting a new fight, just when one system would stabilize - another would try to fail. This went on for months, one step forward and 2 steps back. I watched as Jennifer kept track of Greg's every condition and could now spout off meds and labs that would make any critical-care nurse proud. All the while, driving daily from Defiance to Toledo, an hour each way, still dealing with a burnt-down house, destroyed vehicles that were in the garage, trying to find a temporary residence for her children, prepare their daughter for 1st grade, going to work just to keep some income, and keeping abreast on Greg's constantly changing condition.
Greg is strong. A veteran Marine. Against all odds, his healing progressed. Very, very slowly. But still bits of progress. I lost count of the surgeries... 8. Maybe 10. Dialysis several times a week. ..yes we pray daily for his kidneys to heal. Kidney failure is now a reality due to the burns causing the kidney's to stop working.
Although it will still be a very long road before he will be healed enough to return home, the odds that were once against him are now in his favor! And then a lifetime of healing to follow. God is with Greg and his family. I know he is. I have seen the power of prayer work to heal Greg. I have never seen that before.
Jennifer and the children have tried to settle in their temporary home as best they can. The battle for Greg's healing is still being fought, as well as the house being rebuilt. After being on leave from the accident, Greg lost his job delivering meals to people in need. His clients loved Greg and looked forward to his visits and miss seeing his smile. His right hand may never heal, the right side of his body was burned the worst. He may never be able to work again.
And now, of course, the bills begin coming. Big medical bills. The last thing this family needs to worry about. Their burden is heavy. Let's try to ease their burden...Every single donation together will work to help. Just like the hundreds of single prayers together, worked to heal.
No one wants to ask for help. However, the family remains grateful to all the family, friends, and strangers who have offered support.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13
- Karen Westrick
- Thomas Treece
- Christina Richards
- Amy Liffick