On September 29, 2021, Our brother-in-law was suffering from shortness of breath and flu like symptoms. After a 24 hour period of worsening conditions, John was taken to the Hillsdale Hospital Emergency Department where it was discovered that he had contracted covid-19. John spent 3 days in-patient at the hospital and was discharged home. After two full days at home, John’s conditions raged with a fierce vengeance and he was found by family members incoherent and confused in his bed. Upon entry into the ED, John’s stats were dangerously low and he was immediately placed in isolation and given oxygen. No one would have ever expected what the next 43 days would have brought to our sister, Paula, and their family. For many who know the family, Paula has been battling stage 4 terminal cancer and has been the warrior! She has lived years beyond the best prediction and continues to fight, although tired and her numbers not improving.
Paula and John are the owners of Quincy Diner, a small breakfast and lunch restaurant, which has suffered significant economic losses due to the pandemic notwithstanding the mandatory shut down of restaurants across Michigan prompting a major financial hardship. Quincy Diner did qualify and receive the Paycheck Protection Program where they received a fraction of what they would have earned from their business had it been able to remain open. Until her cancer diagnosis, Paula worked full-time as a paraprofessional at Reading Community Schools while working her restaurant fulltime as well. neither her, nor John, are a stranger to hard work! John, a manager at Firekeepers Casino, remains a full-time employee and worked the diner as the general manager, spending a full shift each day after his full shift at work. The friends and family members of Fire Keepers have supported the diner by visiting with teams of staff to have breakfast or lunch. John is currently under FMLA which expires next month and while his workplace has been great, there is a great fear for the family of his job loss. Paula’s sister came back home from Kansas City to help Paula run the restaurant during John’s illness and the family is coming together whenever possible to provide support and relief as well as driving Paula to her cancer treatments at the University of Michigan.
John suffered many medical setbacks since his arrival at the hospitals. John’s condition continued to worsen until he was required to go onto the ventilator nearly two weeks ago, where he remains today in critical care unit. During the period in which John was placed on the ventilator, sadly, his lung blew out requiring emergency surgery for a chest tube, which remains today. The past week has been most difficult for John’s journey as he received a tracheotomy and a feeding tube. He continues to struggle as he is heavily sedated and unable to speak due to his trach and his sedation with several units of blood given over the past few days as well as numerous care professionals at his side.
Within the next few days, if he is stable enough, John is going to be transferred to Specialty Select Hospital in Battle Creek Michigan. The journey will be long and we don’t know the outcome other than his life will be altered with the potential of a tracheotomy long-term. While we are a family of faith and John & Paula both have remarkable faith, Paula understands the reality and the very long battle this will be over the next year to get John home. If you know John Parney, you know that he is a fighter! A former United States Marine who served our country boldly and honorably discharged, he is a patriot through and through. He is a man of remarkable faith as well, having asked for his room to have Christian music piped in. He will fight and we will continue to pray!
For those who will ask, no, John was not vaccinated from COVID-19. However, during his battle, when he was able to talk, John shared with his family that he will be getting vaccinated because the battle, at that point, was worse than any training he endured in the military.
We are attempting to raise $25,000 to Paula in her travels to see John, anticipated hospitalization costs for rehab and living expenses given John is no longer receiving any income from his job. Any amount you pledge is greatly appreciated by our family during this time.
The Hodshire & Parney Families