Sentinel-Echo.com

Columns

March 25, 2014

Marine for Life: Took a licking; and kept on ticking

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — A little more than seven years ago, I walked in to a New Orleans Navy Medical Clinic for chronic nose bleeds and walked out with terrifying news.  The Corpsman didn’t know what was wrong, but he knew it was something major.  He said he could hear my heart leaking, badly.

I remember going through all the tests in New Orleans and then calling my parents back home in Albany, Ky. to tell them the latest reports on my health. 

My last visit to a cardiologist in New Orleans was devastating.  He said he believed the bacteria and mold from Hurricane Katrina had infected a preexisting heart condition and I was in bad shape.  He gave me a year to live at best, but he expected that I wouldn’t make it more than six months without surgery.

I held it together until I got to my car and then I called my dad and started crying hysterically.  I was 22 years old and I was dying.  I was terrified.

It doesn’t take the Marine Corps long to send you home when you get news like that.  So a few weeks later, I was medically retired from the Marines and sent home to be with my family.

It didn’t take long for my health to really start to deteriorate.  I was sick, and it happened fast.  I couldn’t sit up without help; walking without help from my dad was completely out of the question and, at times, I couldn’t breathe.  I stayed in bed most of the time and either watched TV or played video games.  I had a lot of time to think and to pray.

I chose to have my surgery at Jewish Hospital in Louisville.  My grandfather had surgery there just a few months earlier and we really believed they would take care of me.

Text Only
Columns
Facebook
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results