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The Fragile Line

$53,561 of $50,000 goal

Raised by 515 people in 19 days
On the day we were to fly home to Portland, Oregon from a beautiful gathering of the Power Sisters and their husbands in The Burren, Co. Clare, Ireland, Steve was admitted at Galway Clinic private hospital for emergency surgery for a dangerously infected massive appendix. Left to heal in Kinvara, Co. Galway, we have had to cancel all work for June (or  longer), extend  the car rental, hotel, food and costs of living that go with daily needs and post-surgery medical costs. The policy for care of private patients in Ireland from outside the country requires prepayment before admission. There's more to the story, that was just the beginning, but the short version is that what had started out as a family celebration turned into a life-threatening event that set us back dearly and ate up our savings in a matter of days.

We are in a modest room that is serving us well at Kinvara Guesthouse within steps of markets, pharmacy, and the medical clinic for the duration of our stay. It remains to be seen how much, if any, of the medical bill will be reimbursed. The surgeon in Galway will remove Steve's twenty-seven staple-stitches in a few days, and then he will need at least a week, possibly more, to endure the long flight home without danger. It is a slow and very painful process because the muscle was cut deeply to extract the infected area.

We are homesick for our life and all who wait for us back home, and we are incredibly thankful for Steve's life, our family and community at home, and our dear friends who have encircled us here to support us in this little Irish village we love so much.

Thank you for any help you can offer without distress. It's not easy to ask for this kind of help, but we trust you to know that your contribution will go a long way to ease the trauma of medical economics in the unexpected life-or-death turning point in Steve's fate. If he had boarded that plane on time, he might not have survived.

Steve's recovery is worth more than money, and however we figure out how to pay the bills, it will be worth it - to me, to our family, and to the people in our community who know and love him for all that he has given each of us over the years.

Take heart, and please accept our thanks for the many ways you enrich the life we get to share.

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(Photo  thanks to  Elizabeth Campbell) 
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SAVE THE DATE - Oct 20, 2019 THANK YOU PARTY

Dear friends! Steve is healing well, we are home in Portland with two hearts full of your kindness, generosity, meals and loving support that came roaring to pull us through a big, sudden, scary medical crisis oversees. You, friends, brought us safely in and we are home again, safe and sound. God bless you. God bless Ireland. God bless us all. We are a pair of happy, humble and grateful Portlanders. Our door is open to thank you in person if you happen by. Until then, thank you for walking with us from so far across the miles. We felt our deep community with every step and found no strangers, only friends, as we circled home again. Heartfelt thanks to each of you. Love, Kate & Steve
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Yesterday, Steve ventured out with me to the Kinvara Farmers Market. The wonderful musicians there handed over their guitar and banjo with a shout, “Play for us!” So we did, the same way we do at home but this time with gratitude so deep - as deep can be, in full hearted voices “We’ll May the World Go” just the way Pete Seeger taught us to. Thank you for sticking with us on this difficult and remarkable journey. Doctors gave Steve clearance to travel. Today we fly - home - with love and a lot of help from you. Thank you! Kate & Steve
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From Steve to all our friends, in his own words...

“A funny thing happened on the way to Shannon Airport” or, “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”. Look up “Traditional Irish Fry” and you’ll understand why I thought maybe my over-enthusiastic dive into my first-morning-in-Kinvara breakfast was the reason for my constant I’ll feelings throughout our two-week holiday. Thanks to Kate’s bossy ways and the smart Dr. Therese at the Kinvara Medical Clinic, I was rushed to the Big Modern Galway Clinic Hospital and triaged through blood tests and the all-telling CT scan, where my soon-to-be surgeon, discovered a giant pear shaped and very infected appendix! After a bunch of pre-surgery commotion and magic knock-out drops, I woke to the reassuring voice of Dr. Saleem telling me I was very lucky I did not take that flight back to Portland! I was then wheeled up to the Mother Theresa Ward where I spent the next five days in recovery, Stage 1. (Nothing like a steady diet of Jello (they call it Jelly here), mashed potatoes and poached cod to make a Portland man miss his NW cuisine!

A word about my 5 days in Galway Clinic:

Never ending IV drip of antibiotics and pain med, around the clock check-in care from nurses, my sweet Kate’s “steady as a rock” care and constant love for me throughout this ordeal (schlepping, driving to and from Kinvara every day, arranging and rearranging our travel and accommodations). My hospital suite mates, Peter, John and Seamus...... God bless you all... I am so Thankful and Grateful for how healthy I am beginning to feel, considering the alternative ways this tale might have gone.

An extra sweet moment: During one of my nights in hospital, I was awakened to find a young nurse changing my IV line; it was dark, so I could barely read her name tag, but thought it read “Ni Dhomhnaill”. I asked her if she was related to old friend and brilliant musician, Micheal (RIP) and Triona,one of Kate’s dearest old friends who lived in Portland years ago, to which she cheerily replied, “my auntie and uncle!” Her name is Dierdre, our Irish angel, and one of the “Three Little Nieces” Triona had composed a piece for so many years ago when they were babies. Small world?!

So, here we are, in the Kinvara Guesthouse in our favorite “Home Away From Home”, Kinvara, Ireland at the foot of the Burren. Twelve days since surgery, eight days out of hospital now. Had my first big adventure out to Keogh’s restaurant (across the parking lot) for a bowl of delicious seafood chowder. Haven’t had a pint of Guinness in almost two weeks, but that’s okay. I’m ALIVE. And there’s so much work to be done and songs to be sung. Earth First!

Not a moment goes by where I don’t thank my lucky stars, for being given a place in this choir of life and for having you all (Community of Friends and Critters) in it with me. Seeing your faces makes me smile! Here’s to a million more notes sung together......Onward comrades!
Slainte, L’Chaim, to Life.

Steve
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Steve’s healing is steady and slow, each day a little better, and he’s getting stronger step by step. Today we will venture out for a walk out the pier on Kinvara Bay, take in the tidal air and soak in the view of curraghs, hookers and the “castle on the hill where mossy mussels lay” at the rocky foot of Dungaire Castle at the head of the sea. It is good to be alive among friends nest and far. We have never been more grateful than in this moment for the kinship we share with you who together are bringing us in to shore. More soon, with love and thankful hearts. Thank you.
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Raised by 515 people in 19 days
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