Monday, September 3, 2012

A year gone by

It was a year ago today, I:
     1.) swam the Maui Channel solo alongside my good friend Mike.
     2.) had my arm taken from me.

 I'd like to say that I have been focusing on number 1, but it is pretty hard to ignore number 2 for very long.

I have been thinking about all of the people that worked so hard to save my life,  to make me as comfortable as possible, started to teach me how to use what was left, and who showed me that I was loved.

At the risk of missing someone:

Thanks to my crew:
Captain Killer and his deckhand Pablo
Support crew: Nell, Jane, Kai, Laurel, Scot and (my in the water support) Mike.

 Capt Killer
(For keeping me safe and on course for as long as you could).
Mike and Jane
(For being at my side on the beach, chasing the ambulance and everything else)

(I cant find pics of the rest, but hope to add them later)

Grant and his crew.
(Especially Grant for being more stubborn than me... on that day).

The guy who held me onto Grants sled (This must have been a cruddy job).
Those enlisted to carry me out to the parking lot and wait for the ambulance.
The EMT (I know that both of us wished she could have given me morphine more quickly).

Dr Galpin and the other surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologist and other medical staff for working so hard (and long) to save my life.

To all of the nurses and nurse assistants at Maui Memorial that made my the first two weeks a little less painful (and not just with a handful of opiates).

I have to single out a few of the superstars:

(Thanks for keeping me sane)
(Still my favorite nurse of all-time, but don't tell Stanford)

My "shower ninja" Edwina
(I can't believe I don't have a photo of her in her yellow suit).

(I'm still working on my balance)

Thanks to all of my friends and family that made the trek to Maui only to spend each day in a hospital room.

(Who can transition so well from great friend to Dr Casey and back)

(You always seem to be able to calm me down or at least help me laugh at myself)

 Gabor and Joel
(The two of you brightened my room, brought me all the love from HMB and from everyone at CSM,)

(She came as a favor then returned as a friend)
(I wish I had met you before, but glad to know you now)

Chris (Who has always come to my aid)
Scot and Matt (For sticking by me for over 27 years)

My mom (Who held it together and is still holding it together)
(On the left is Marilyn who came to my moms aid and supplied my room with the tastiest baked goods)

My sister Jen
(For becoming my wound care nurse, advocate, assistant, therapist...
I'm looking forward to going back to being just your brother)

I also want to thank everyone that visited, sent cards and gifts, called, sent emails and all those that took a few minutes to think about me and to send some positive energy my way.

And this was just in the 1st two weeks!!!
The list gets too long for a blog post, but I want to thank you all.

I needed all of you this last year and continue to need you.


  1. Love, love, love all the great photos!!! Wow! What a thoughtful shout out John :)

  2. If our private conversation was considered stubborn on my behalf then I'm good with that. However, you were quit convincing at times. Glad to be your friend. As this year has come and gone, hope you finish the race next year, perhaps a goal.......?

  3. Life After 615:

    My brother and I did the solo swims on that same day as you; we were right behind (he's Life After 620 and I'm Life After 640). You'll always be a memory of that crazy day.

    You're an inspiration and continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. Stay strong and Fight On.