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Rather than sending emails and calling everyone, we have set up this wonderful CaringBridge website so people can stay updated on Mom's current status. Please read "My Story" to find out what happened to Mom, and we'll update the journal as her status changes or we get more information.
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On Thursday, January 13th, my mom and dad were having dinner at Raffas in Kingwood celebrating their dear friends birthday. After a lovely dinner and talking about ordering desserts, there was a loud BANG. A gun had been dropped by a man at the next table and when the gun hit the floor, it discharged. Unfortunately, the bullets upward trajectory hit my mom on the left buttocks and then continued through her hip, into her abdomen and ended at the right side of her chest. She was immediately transferred to Ben Taub Hospital (the best hospital in Houston for gun shot wounds) where she went into emergency surgery to stop the internal bleeding and to see how much damage there was. Thankfully, the bullet barely missed a major artery and missed all vital organs (liver, kidneys, heart, spleen) but made a mess of the small and large intestines. The initial surgery stopped the internal bleeding, removed several parts of both intestines, fixed other areas and got her stable. The second surgery on Saturday rejoined her small intestines and removed another part of her large intestines. She will have a colostomy for approximately six months. Most recent updates are in the "Journal" section.
To add to this unbelievable event, I (Richard) just happened to be at the bar meeting a friend at the same time as my parents were eating in the restaurant. I had no idea my parents were eating at the restaurant and they had no idea I was in the bar. After the loud bang, someone yelled that it was a gun and when I looked over into the restaurant I saw my dad standing up and leaning over to help my mom. I ran over to dad and told him I was there and began helping. He was momentarily confused since I just appeared out of nowhere. My friend then helped secure the gun and the man while we called 911 to get the ambulance and police. Other patrons in the restaurant were excellent and several people came over to help mom and keep her still and calm until the EMTs arrived. Call it an act of God or fate, but I was so glad to be there for both mom and dad during the initial stages of this very tragic incident. Thank you to my friend and all the people at Raffas that helped out that evening.
We have received so many prayers, well wishes and support from family, friends and strangers. It is truly amazing and we all believe they are working to help my mom feel better and make it through this very tragic incident. Although she is 71, mom is a fighter and with all this support and prayers, she WILL make it through this.
We plan to keep this updated with the latest so please check back and continue with the prayers and well wishes......they are working!
TO ALL MY WONDERFUL FRIENDS AND RELATIVES AROUND THE WORLD, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, WHO HAVE BEEN SO SUPPORTIVE THIS YEAR ESPECIALLY THROUGH THIS FANTASTIC CARING BRIDGE MEDIUM.
As you can imagine this certainly has been the most “annus horribilis” in our 44 years of marriage and a real test of “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health”.I can’t wait to start a new year afresh after all the trials and tribulations that this year has brought after the tragic shooting incident in a local restaurant on January 13th 2011.For days it was touch and go as to whether I would make it or not and our everlasting thanks go to the wonderful doctors and staff of Ben Taub Hospital without whom I would never have made it.I had two major intestinal operations within the first few hours there and came home five weeks later!Three more major operations followed so five in all within seven months which was very, very tough.
It was a real test of faith and even though this was shattered for some time I never felt that God had failed me.My spirit somehow managed to stay strong, feisty and positive, throughout.
Physically I am now doing well apart from the still paralyzed left foot and ankle.Meanwhile I have a wonderful custom-made brace which enables me to walk reasonably well with a cane so, after many months of hospitals and the four walls of home, I am now able to take on the outside world again – albeit at a much slower pace than before – and one that frustrates me greatly.I have had months of physical therapy and am now working with a personal trainer who has helped me enormously with agility, mobility, gait, posture and above all, confidence.
Again I would personally like to thank all of you who prayed for me, sent me flowers, food, cards, messages, etc. which truly meant so much to all of us during these very difficult times.The support we all received was unbelievable and for almost three months we hardly had to cook a meal as these were delivered regularly by our wonderful friends and neighbors.My sister, Margaret, came from England and was with us for 16 weeks all told this year and what a blessing she was.She helped keep the family together besides being the most wonderful nurse, cleaner and cook.
So, as the worst year of my life draws to a close and I try to look ahead to a new and precious year, I want to send each and every one of you my deepest love and gratitude and wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2012 – and to let you know how blessed I am to be here to share it with you all.