It was nearly 6:00 a.m.,,,, I was getting ready to go to work at a psychiatric hospital in Sonoma County. I really did love my job, and my house...I had worked there as a case manager for almost three years. The phone rang early that morning...and it scared me This time, it was a stranger saying to me, "your son, Jeremy, is near death. We are looking at putting him on life support. We suggest that you get to our hospital as soon as possible, as he is in critical condition". Then she said, "call Dr. Pthata", he is the heart surgeon at St. Patricks (in Missoula, Mt.) That was the voice mail I received after getting out of the shower. I called Dr. Pthata...left a message, and he called me back right away. He said, "we don't expect your son to make it through the night. You should come right away".
I called my friend, Trish..who picked up the airline ticket for me. Getting to San Fran airport from my West Sonoma home was no easy task. She agreed to take me to Petaluma, where I would get the bus to San Fran... then a flight to Salt Lake...and then a flight to Missoula, Mt. I was horrified, so sad, and guilt-ridden.
My flight from SF to Salt Lake was /cancelled/changed 3 times over the next two hours. In the mean-time, I had talked to the heart surgeon in Missoula, MT, who told me that Jeremy was in critical condition...and on life support. I watched as the Delta Pilot walked forward...to the Salt Lake flight. I intervened...saying "my son is dying in a hospital in Missoula, Mt. If I don't make the connecting flight in Salt Lake, he will probably be dead by the time I get there. I am asking you, to please ask the Salt Lake flight to wait for me..so that I can make it to Missoula..and my son, by 1:00 a.m. The Captain looked at me and said, "I will do all I can."
I got on that flight, and... 5 minutes before landing in Salt Lake, the hostess came to me and said..."grab your bags..you are getting off." Another lady said, "I live in Missoula..can I come too?" We got on a motorized vehicle and made it to the Missoula, MT flight...where the passengers had been waiting for me for 20 minutes". When I got on the aircraft, the passengers gave me a standing ovation...knowing my son was in critical condition..and they had said a prayer for him...it was awesome.
When we got to Missoula, Mt..it was past 1:00 a.m. The woman, from Missoula, who asked if she could accompany me... grabbed her bags and began to go toward her car. She saw me, knew what was going on..and tried to avoid me. I asked her..."are there taxi cabs in this town? I need a ride to St. Patricks Hospital," and she took me.
Okay...long story. More to come.