We were blessed to serve a marine that spent 3 tours of duty in Vietnam and was also a POW. Donald L is 69 year old from Missouri who was in Indiana visiting his sister and came down with pneumonia last month and in his weakened state, broke his hip and had to have surgery.
The VA hospital in Indy called us out to get this veteran home to VA hospital in Columbia MO for more care and rehab. It was discovered that the cause of his pneumonia was that he was aspirating when he drank or ate so the doctors decided to place a feeding tube and not let him take anything by mouth.
This infuriated his fiance when she came to visit and she demanded that he be able to eat. When I spoke to her she said, “he’s been on life support 7 different times and survived being a POW-the man deserves to be able to eat.” I could see both sides of the problem.
Americare Ambulance in Indy was gracious to donate their service and when we arrived to get him home, the first thing he said was “I’m thirsty.” I assured him we would give him some fluid in his IV during the trip so his body would stay hydrated and we would let the doctors in Missouri sort things out.
Before loading him onto aircraft Nellie, I asked if it was OK the pilot was “Army trained”. He laughed and said his son was retired Army and “makes more money than I do!”. We had a smooth trip into Missouri and the VA Hospital was happy to see him get home.
I called his fiance yesterday and she said that she and the doctors and Donald were “going into a meeting” to help figure out what is best for him.
I pray his ability to swallow will recover and he will feel God’s grace at this time in his life.
Thanks to awesome crew on a very hot day: Hal, Mike M, Mike O-and we were off for our second mission for the day!
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