Dave retired a few years ago, he is 55 years old. He worked on his family farm until he was 17 and then he joined the Army and served his country for six years. From there, Dave went on to be a prison guard for 21 years. He’s a tough -- teddy bear !!! Mary is a loyal, dedicated employee who has worked at NIH since she graduated High School. Mary was eligible for retirement on September 1st at 55 years old. Like many of us – they have worked their entire lives looking forward to retirement!! They had plans for this season of life and it was an exciting time for them.
On Sunday, August 27th a turn in the road (literally) changed their lives forever. Dave went out with his cousin on a motorcycle ride. That afternoon, he was in a head on collision with a pickup truck. He was thrown from his bike – and life flighted to Hershey Trauma Center. Dave had shattered his pelvis, his spine had separated from his pelvic bone and somewhat crushed his bowel. The surgical team knew he needed surgery quickly but his blood pressure was very low so they had to wait until he was stable. The good news was he could still feel/move his legs and he had not sustained any head injury. He was in for an extensive surgery and long rehab but things looked positive.
On Monday, Dave had a 12 hour surgery to repair his pelvis and spine. The surgery went well and while they expected a long road, the doctors were confident Dave would make a full recovery. We were all thankful and relieved, none more than Dave and Mary. In the days following – things went from bad to worse, much worse. When Dave came too from the surgery he was unable to see, total darkness. Doctors poured in and out of his room for days, Mary and Dave hung tight to the hope that this was a temporary condition. Later that week, their worst fears were confirmed. Dave had lost A LOT of blood during the surgery, this along with some other issues lead to a condition that 1 in 10000 people encounter. The blood supply to his optic nerve was cut off and Dave has been left totally blind.
We have not stopped praying for a flat-out miracle that Dave’s vision be restored. God is still God and He is still working miracles. Mary and Dave are holding onto their faith and relying on God’s strength to get them through this – and they are doing so with remarkable grace. Phil 4:13
Life has changed for them – in a way that most of us cannot comprehend. Dave not only has to fight his way back to walking, he must learn do to every single daily activity all over again – blind. Personally, I cannot imagine this. My heart breaks for both – but especially for Dave. When I visit with them I see -- love. Dave is as strong as an ox and he is fighting with everything he has to be walking. Mary is remarkable with her loving, compassionate demeanor as she cares for Dave’s every need. Think about that for a second – think about all that he must relearn.
They are not sure how long Dave will be in rehab (HealthSouth) but as you can imagine the medical bills are racking up quickly. Adding another layer to this already heartbreaking situation – next week someone will assess their home to determine if Dave can return to there to live. Is their home set up in such a way it will meet the needs of someone who is blind? They could be facing anything from minor modifications, to large construction projects, to the possibility of having to relocate. (all out of pocket expenses)
Dave and Mary need our help. They are facing some insurmountable circumstances in the upcoming weeks and months. We can help them by easing their financial burden during this life aleting event. I honestly don’t even think we can wrap our heads around what they will need. I’ve set a big goal – one that I believe will give them some breathing room, some room to make changes, some room to pay bills….just some room. Please prayerfully consider donating to our fund – 100% of all money raised will go directly to Dave and Mary. Thank you taking the time to read their story and for your generous donation – in advance.
Adrienne (Mary and Dave SIL)
- Robert Clary
- BILL SMITH
- william newman
Organizer and beneficiary
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