A lot has happened since
4:30 pm, May 24th, when Steven called to leave a message on my voice mail.
After leaving the family's house late that night I came home still stunned
at what had changed. I closed the website and replaced it with simply a
photo of Adam ... the same one you saw when entering the site. Two days
later I would add the song by Faith Hill. The story of how that song came
to be placed on the opening page is here.
I have added another section
you won't find on the link buttons (left). This is a collection of some
of Daisy's personal thoughts not long after the funeral along with some
of my own thoughts. I have also included a poem I wrote which for a time
was placed on the wall of the masoleum where Adam rests. The absence of
anything from Tony is understandable. Daisy not only knows that I love
and cared for Adam very much, she is used to confiding in me when it comes
to Steven. Talking to me about Adam came naturally. While Tony and I remain
close, we don't have that same relationship so it is understandable I would
not be able to reveal much about Tony's feelings. Like most men, we often
keep things inside although Tony was the first to share some things with
me about what happened in Oklahoma. The difference in how they related
these things differed in that Tony kept his emotions inside telling me
only the events. Still, I know his heart is broken and he struggles daily
with the loss just as Daisy does. THOUGHTS
What you see below is exactly
how this page looked on May 24th.
UPDATES ARE AT THE TOP. FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT, YOU MAY WANT TO START HERE
4 am (ET) Daisy
talked with Steven who has been keeping unusual hours in order to keep
up with Katie's schedule. Adam remains in "stable" condition with
at least one parent always by his side. One floor of the hospital is set
up like a hotel so Tony and Daisy were fortunate to obtain one of the rooms
just a floor below Adam. One of them can get some rest but secure in knowing
if anything happens they can get to PICU in just a matter of seconds. Daisy
also reported that the incision has not been closed (apparently waiting
for the swelling to subside) and she can see his little heart beating.
While this may conjure a somewhat gruesome picture, it is probably some
kind of comfort for the parents to see Adam's heart doing what it was designed
to do. A heart that has been through so much over the past four years ...
the heart that for a brief time stopped yesterday ... the heart that
Dr. Elkins believes may now last Adam the rest of his life and never need
2:30 pm (CT) At this
moment Adam is undergoing a CAT Scan. It appears they were trying to bring
Adam out of his coma and once again there are some serious problems. Adam
also is battling a temperature of 102° F (39° C) and his blood
pressure continues to fluctuate. Dr. Elkins has advised Daisy not to leave
until Tuesday, at the earliest.
8 am (ET) I wish
this was good news, but it isn't. The bleeding hasn't stopped and fluid
is building up behind the heart. Adam's heart stopped during the night
and he was brought back through open heart massage. At 8 am (ET), the last
report I had, Dr. Elkins was with Adam and the hospital chaplain has met
with Tony and Daisy. If you believe in prayer, Adam needs them more than
ever right now. Personally, I don't care if you don't believe in prayer
... do it anyway. This child has fought so hard to live...
9:30 am (ET) Much
better news ... Steven just called me. His mother had called home to say
Adam is now in ICU after the doctor had got the bleeding stopped. If she
had been told what the doctor found as the problem, Daisy didn't say. Maria
reports her daughter "sounds exhausted".
3 pm (CT) Latest
update comes from Tony who called home to report Adam is listed in "stable"
condition and remains in ICU. By no means, out of the woods, Adam seems
to have a much better prognosis than earlier this morning and continues
to need your prayers.
9 pm (CT) Daisy called
home, so I just got the latest from Steven regarding his little brother.
Basically, no new developments ... Adam remains in "stable" condition.
Dr. Elkins told Daisy and Tony that if he remains in that condition they
may allow him to "wake up", an indication Adam is in a drug induced
coma to allow his body to recover from the grueling operation. Whether
or not he regains consciousness before Daisy returns home Saturday remains
to be seen. Naturally, she would not leave Oklahoma unless there are assurances
Adam is making progress.
8 am (CT) Adam is
taken up for surgery.This will be the longest six
hours Tony and Daisy have ever faced and hopefully, the last of its kind.
pm (CT) It won't be six hours ... Tony calls home to report Adam is
still in surgery and should be out by 4 pm (CT).
pm (CT) Daisy calls her mother to report Adam is still in surgery after
8.5 hours, but not to be concerned all is going well. Adam is still on
by-pass, just a lot of work being done on the little boy.
pm (CT) Adam is reported to be out of surgery and in ICU after 11 hours
of surgery. At that time Dr. Elkins had not spoken yet to Daisy and Tony
regarding the operation.
pm (ET) Steven calls me to say Adam was is NOT out of surgery. Apparently
the bleeding and swelling was so great they could not close up Adam's chest
and were waiting for things to subside.
At 2 pm (CT) Adam was settled
in his hospital room and Tony and Daisy were waiting for Dr. Elkins to
arrive. Following their meeting, Daisy called her mother (Maria)
and seemed to be more positive than she had been in quite some time. The
doctor explained what he would be doing tomorrow and was very positive
about the success of the operation. The MOST wonderful news given the parents
was that if Dr. Elkins was able to complete all the procedures he intended
to do during the operation, Adam would NEVER require another surgery on
his heart. That is one reason the normally two-and-a-half hour operation
will more than double to something like six hours. One footnote, Adam still
faces some other surgeries later, but relatively minor and do not involve
Steven says Tony, Daisy,
and Adam arrived in Oklahoma City around 11 pm (CT), last night. Adam seemed
to be bored with the whole airplane thing. Aside from the turbulence on
the first leg of the trip, nothing eventful happened except they got lost
on the way to the hotel. I couldn't understand that since Daisy had a detailed
map to the hotel downloaded from the Internet. I didn't understand until
Steven surmised it was probably in her luggage ... and you guessed it!
The airline shone through proudly by managing to lose it somehow. They
should have had it back by this morning.
It was a tearful goodbye
at the airport and it was a bumpy ride for Adam's first-ever plane trip.
The short hop from Augusta to Atlanta ran into turbulence from thunderstorms
headed toward Augusta. It was the same storm that almost threatened the
Tritt concert where I was working. Unexpectedly I was asked to escort
Chronicle (local paper) feature writer Don Rhodes backstage
to present something to opening act Charlie Robison as he came off
stage. My long-time connection with radio rated a personal introduction
to the Lucky Dog (record label) recording artist. I took the brief
opportunity to give him a couple of business-type cards with Adam's photo,
website, and e-mail. He wrote a personal note to Adam on the back of one
and it will be given to Tony and Daisy for safe-keeping later. For those
who don't know, Charlie is the brother of songwriter Bruce Robison
and husband of Emily Robison (Dixie Chicks).
Little is said about Tony
up to now. Not that he isn't doing anything, or isn't equally important,
but Daisy's presence can be overwhelming in such a situation ... but his
time will come. In another week, Tony will be the lone parent to stay behind
with Adam, completely isolated from his wife, family, and friends in a
strange city. Tony will have to become as much of a mother, as he is a
father, through a slow recovery. To understand this better ... Daisy has
always been like a lioness with her cubs ... protective to the point of
dangerous to anyone who interferes. Even the daddy lion can get
in the way and suffer an occasional "nip"! I feel sorry Dr. Elkins
... he probably doesn't understand that Daisy's questions before and after
surgery will be tougher than the final exam when he graduated med school!
Katie wakes up with a fever.
Nothing is more tearing, at a mother, than knowing she has to leave in
36 hours with Adam while Katie, at age 2, may need the comfort of her mother.
It would be difficult enough under normal circumstances. The others, Steven,
and Jonathan have different levels of understanding what is about
to change ... Katie has no clue. All she will know is that her mother,
father, and Adam are not around for a long time. Although Daisy will only
be gone a week ... to a small child it may seem like years. Imagine how
she will perceive the time Adam and Tony are gone!
May 17, 2001
Daisy has been a whirlwind
... more the image of the Tazmanian Devil cartoon character, so
by 11:30 pm, she has covered every detail at least a dozen times. The pent-up
nervous energy won't go away. This is when Daisy realizes second only in
importance to Adam's surgery is the carpets MUST be cleaned before she
and Tony head for Oklahoma on Saturday with Adam. Part way through
the midnight project, the Rug Doctor breaks down. This is just not
May 16, 2001
Nothing like a mini-crisis
at a time like this. Looks like Katie may have been bitten by a spider.
Hopefully nothing major but now Daisy will have to take her to the doctor.
The one who is least concerned is Adam who hardly notices the flurry of
activity. That's natural ... he is too young to understand where he is
going or why.
This is where reality sinks
in that by the end of this week, three family members will say goodbye
to the other four. But there is no time for emotions right now because
there is so much to do in getting everything ready.
It is Mothers Day
and Daisy has been feeling the concerns, emotions, and fears this
operation holds. Even though it has been in the planning stages for over
a year, it has suddenly started to sink in that in just one week she will
be separated from the rest of her children for the longest period ever.
Steven has been to camp and traveled places with me a few times, but being
separated from the other children has always been measured in hours ...
never days. Tony is a man, so he has to be the strong one and act brave,
even if he isn't.
Situation normal! I called
to arrange plans to go to dinner and heard screaming in the background.
Asking who got hurt, my son assured me it was nothing more than Adam
and Katie fighting over a bicycle. Of course it will be Katie who
misses her playmate the most when Adam leaves next Saturday.