The Heart of a Chef

Late Sunday night (March 22, 2020), almost three weeks ago, my husband, Fitzgerald Dodd, sat at the kitchen table and declared that he had to finish the SBA Economic Injury Loan application before we went to bed. COVID-19 was sequestering all of his catering business as the restrictions on social gatherings were getting tighter and tighter. Then it happened.

He made an awkward noise and started to grab the center of his chest. As a physician, I naturally went into 'first-responder mode' and asked all the pertinent questions as I settled him on the floor and gave him four baby aspirin. I thought it was a heart attack but his answers to my questions did not match. After seconds of watching him, I knew... and I prayed as I frantically dialed 911.  

He was rushed to the hospital and then to another specialty hospital for emergency vascular surgery on his aorta. What I feared was confirmed and it took prayer and the skill of a highly trained vascular team to correct his issue in over 14 hours of surgery.  A second surgery was done days later to washout and close his chest.  After almost a week, he was able to come off the ventilator briefly, only to have to be reintubated and eventually trached to relieve the pressure on his vocal cords and assist with oxygenation.

I struggled to cope with what was happening, but the GRACE and PEACE of God was with me. To make matters worse, COVID-19 shut all hospitals down to visitors.  I was not allowed to see him but I called for updates round the clock and made frequent visits to drop off pictures, notes and trinkets to let him know that he is not alone as soon as he had an awareness of his surroundings. By the GRACE of God, he will make a full recovery! 

We just moved to Dallas in the new year and, in the transition, our health insurance associated with my last practice terminated. I have not established with a new medical practice or taken any contract jobs since the move. Fitzgerald is still in the ICU and will likely discharge home directly from there. His rehabilitation is expected to take a few months with need for follow up with doctors from cardiology (heart), nephrology ( kidneys), pulmonology (lungs) and with the E.N.T. (ear, nose and throat) specialist to have his tracheostomy removed.  We planned to do his physical therapy mostly at home to save costs but I am certain they will also have some visits to follow his progress to full function. 

This Go Fund Me is to help cover the medical expenses and sustain us as we continue on the journey to restoration. It is hard to ask for what seems like an excessive amount but medical care can absorb funds very quickly. Every gift, no matter how small, is precious to us. We are saying thank you in advance and will keep our supportive family updated. Please do not think that you have nothing to offer. We are just as grateful for prayers!

I can not help but see the amazing testimony for salvation in Jesus as God writes our story. When we get to full recovery and press forward to opening day for our restaurant, it will be a tangible story of the the Lord's provision and healing hands. Thank you again for your support!

Donations (1.1K)

  • Gretchen Buie
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Salome Austin
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Lilla Heiczinger
    • $20 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $25 
    • 3 yrs
  • Faye Johnson
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs


virginia smith
Dallas, TX

Your easy, powerful, and trusted home for help

  • Easy

    Donate quickly and easily.

  • Powerful

    Send help right to the people and causes you care about.

  • Trusted

    Your donation is protected by the  GoFundMe Giving Guarantee.