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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone!
I've been around a while. My sig says 13 years, but I was a lurking guest for quite a while before that. I read a LOT, and post a little. Mostly when I really think I can help, sometimes just to add to or support someone elses comment, and certainly once or twice I was just trollin'. Maybe three times... :)
I've seen a few losers on here from time to time, but for the most part I am constantly overwhelmed by the willingness of many people to help a complete stranger. A lot of that can certainly be attributed to a shared, slightly insane, interest in these money pits we seem to love so much - But most of it is just because there are some really great people around here. I think the fact that our aftermarket support is so small, we build a tighter camaraderie than the mustangs, camaros, and 4WD's. It's that kinship I am counting on now.

My brother is in BAD shape. I won't go into specifics here because this post is already going to be long, and the whole story will be available in a link below for those interested in reading it. The easy explanation is that he has Spinal Meningitis. The real story is much more complicated, and even I cannot claim to fully understand it just yet. He had a seizure at work in late march. That's what the doctors diagnosed anyway. He has been sick more often than not since then, but two more trips to the emergency room - 1 more for seizure, 1 for general weakness - provided no answers except take these antibiotics. Well, on the 5/5, we took him to the ER again. Finally his illness was taken seriously. It may have been the uncontrollable shaking, or possibly the 125 pulse rate. Within 8 hours he went from walking (in pain) to hallucinating and what I could only describe as an awake coma. He was awake - BUT HE WASN'T THERE. It was terrifying. He has now been sedated and on a breathing machine for 6 days. His spinal infection is BAD. A normal Spinal fluid white blood count is 0 - 5, his is 795,000! He lives alone, and he doesn't make a lot of money. He hasn't worked a full week since his original ER visit - prior to that, he had not missed a day of work in 20+ years. The medical bills have just started coming in and his finances are already in trouble. Mortgage, Medical and Utility companies don't care about people. They work for $$$.

We do not have any timeline for how long he will be sedated, let alone in the hospital. We know that best case is weeks. His condition is not best case. In addition to the infection, he has had 2 strokes, and a mild heart attack since the 5th. Even when he is discharged recovery could take years. Literally. We won't even know the extent of the stroke damage (if any - finger crossed!) until he can be brought fully awake.

I have set up a GoFundMe page to help with his expenses. I KNOW that not everyone can donate. But I hope that you can just share it. You might have a friend that can. Prayers and kind words will be accepted with EQUAL gratitude.
My Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/marty.freeman.984 Stop by and send me a friend request. You can share the GoFundMe link from there, or you can go to Richard sure could use your help. by Marty Freeman - GoFundMe And read the FULL story, share, and/or donate.

Thank you so much for even reading this far!
Marty
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EDIT:
Everyone loves a list - I want to list everyone that donates from this site. Not to shame anyone that can't - but to make sure that those who can KNOW that their contribution is appreciated. The people in this list are the best of the best, and should know that if they ever need anything I can provide - it is yours. I would also add everyone who shares, but that isn't very easy to track. Trust me when I say that sharing matters just as much. I know for certain that at least a couple donations have come from friends of friends. If you share - you should post that you did - you deserve to be recognized!
Now for the list:
1. green-lantern - Technically donated from the "other" site, but I've seen the handle here and he deserves recognition.
2. 92VR4Widebody - Not only hooked me up with a great deal, but then donated better than half what I paid him.
2A. 92VR4Widebody - refunded a portion of Rumors purchase an asked him to apply it toward a donation! :)
3. Rumor - We met on rocky circumstances. Now he is considered a friend and all around great guy!
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Sorry to hear that about your brother, Marty. I don't know much about SM, but it sounds absolutely horrible. All I can say at this point (knowing unfortunately that it won't help much at all) is that God has a plan for all of us, every one. Perhaps this illness is meant to draw your brother closer to Him, maybe it's to draw YOU closer to Him. Maybe by me sharing your story on FB it will help others, or maybe there's a ton of other reasons that I can't think of right now where this could be used for His sake.

All I know as a functioning Christian (albeit human, recalling our recent interaction ;-) ) is that prayer works. I have had several incidents recently where I have prayed for somebody (in one case a person I didn't even know) and had my prayers answered. With this in mind, I will be praying for your brother. I will be praying that it is God's will to help him overcome this, but knowing that even should the worst happen, that the Lord WILL use it in some way for a positive effect for somebody.

May God be with you and your brother.

Randy
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Sorry to hear that about your brother, Marty. I don't know much about SM, but it sounds absolutely horrible. All I can say at this point (knowing unfortunately that it won't help much at all) is that God has a plan for all of us, every one. Perhaps this illness is meant to draw your brother closer to Him, maybe it's to draw YOU closer to Him. Maybe by me sharing your story on FB it will help others, or maybe there's a ton of other reasons that I can't think of right now where this could be used for His sake.

All I know as a functioning Christian (albeit human, recalling our recent interaction ;-) ) is that prayer works. I have had several incidents recently where I have prayed for somebody (in one case a person I didn't even know) and had my prayers answered. With this in mind, I will be praying for your brother. I will be praying that it is God's will to help him overcome this, but knowing that even should the worst happen, that the Lord WILL use it in some way for a positive effect for somebody.

May God be with you and your brother.

Randy

Thanks! Surprisingly, this has brought us closer. It's not that we don't like each other - we just clash when together too long. He is SLOWLY recovering, but it's also becoming clear that he won't really be the same person that he was. Tonight is actually a big night for him - he's moving to a long term rehab facility. Basically a hospital specifically for patients that need long term care. He will be on IV antibiotics at least 8 more weeks. I always thought that's what any hospital was for - so I'm learning more about the world of corporate medicine too!
 

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Come on guys let's help Marty and his brother!!! I donated and I hope you all will as well. Every little helps and supports one of our members on the forum.

We all hope for the best.

Let's try and get 100 members to donate!!

Come on guys let's do this!

Aaron C.
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Come on guys let's help Marty and his brother!!! I donated and I hope you all will as well. Every little helps and supports one of our members on the forum.

We all hope for the best.

Let's try and get 100 members to donate!!

Come on guys let's do this!

Aaron C.
You're gonna make me get all emotional. :eek:

I would absolutely LOVE it if 100 people donated - That would be amazing. But I also know that there are plenty of people who care, but can't afford to donate. Rest assured, that sharing the link on Facebook is appreciated equally. (well, almost. :) ) Seriously though, I don't underestimate the power of social media. All it takes is to get the word out, there are people out there that are literally looking for a good cause to help.
This is one of em.
Richard never did anything to change the world, but he served in the military, and I found out years later that he sent almost all his money to our mom - who was single and raising 4 of us. Afterward, he settled into a simple lifestyle. He has had two jobs in 20+ years - Steak-n-Shake, then Taco Bell, not glamorous, but it supports his lifestyle. Unfortunately, benefits and savings don't come with those jobs. There are those that say he could have gone to school and did better for himself. That is a valid argument, but he did what made him happy. More importantly - If everyone was a doctor or lawyer, then they would be poor and the food service workers would live like kings - looking down on all the poor, broke doctors. It's simply a matter of economics.
All that is a long-winded way of saying that there is a good guy that needs help. Money is great, but simply sharing is just as important.

If you want to read more, the links are in my sig. If you want to add me on Facebook go to https://www.facebook.com/marty.freeman.984 I try to make daily updates.

I'll step away from the podium now, thanks for listening :)
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I edited my first post - I am SO thankful for those that have helped that I felt like it was only appropriate to recognize them.
The GoFundMe site allows people to donate privately - If you choose to do so, add a note telling me you're from here (I am the only person that can see notes from donors that choose to do so privately), I will not call you out by name, but I'd still like to add you to the list.
THANKS!
Marty
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Can't edit my first post anymore, so here's the latest list:

1. green-lantern - Technically donated from the "other" site, but I've seen the handle here and he deserves recognition.
2. 92VR4Widebody - Not only hooked me up with a great deal, but then donated better than half what I paid him.
2A. 92VR4Widebody - refunded a portion of Rumors purchase and asked him to apply it toward a donation!
3. Rumor - We met on rocky circumstances. Now he is considered a friend and all around great guy!
4. Soccerman58 - He's in the middle of a big project, yet still took the time (and money) to help out! Thanks Phil!!
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Sorry I couldn't give much(that broke college kid life),but I wish him a speedy recovery!
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Sorry I couldn't give much(that broke college kid life),but I wish him a speedy recovery!
I was wondering where that came from! It came through while I was trying to put together an update. Every dollar counts, trust me! I really appreciate it! Some would argue that a small donation means even more when it comes from someone that has little or nothing extra to give! :D
And now I get to update the list! Yay!

1. green-lantern - Technically donated from the "other" site, but I've seen the handle here and he deserves recognition.
2. 92VR4Widebody - Not only hooked me up with a great deal, but then donated better than half what I paid him.
2A. 92VR4Widebody - refunded a portion of Rumors purchase and asked him to apply it toward a donation!
3. Rumor - We met on rocky circumstances. Now he is considered a friend and all around great guy!
4. Soccerman58 - He's in the middle of a big project, yet still took the time (and money) to help out! Thanks Phil!!
5. Acehomie - In college, broke (I know, those two are the same...), and owns a TT. That pretty much equals broke X 10. LOL Thanks!
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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I get to revive this thread for the best reason ever! Got a new donation! I'm not certain the exact handle on the site but it must be from here. No one else would have such an enviable name! (I SO wish I could afford a TT Spyder :) )

So - the new list!

1. green-lantern - Technically donated from the "other" site, but I've seen the handle here and he deserves recognition.
2. 92VR4Widebody - Not only hooked me up with a great deal, but then donated better than half what I paid him.
2A. 92VR4Widebody - refunded a portion of Rumors purchase and asked him to apply it toward a donation!
3. Rumor - We met on rocky circumstances. Now he is considered a friend and all around great guy!
4. Soccerman58 - He's in the middle of a big project, yet still took the time (and money) to help out! Thanks Phil!!
5. Acehomie - In college, broke (I know, those two are the same...), and owns a TT. That pretty much equals broke X 10. LOL Thanks!
6. spydertt ks-vr4 - Not even 100% sure who this is - and that just makes it even more appreciated!
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For anyone interested in a quick update - Dewayne is still recovering, he has good days and bad, like we all do but he is able to walk again (with assistance) and can roll in a wheelchair with minimal issues. One of the strokes he had caused a slight weakness on his left, so he pulls to the left a little. After 3-5 strokes, having only a slight weakness as a result is something of a miracle itself, so we're not complaining. He has, unfortunately, missed a few discharge dates due to setbacks. Blood pressure issues (cause unknown), low hemoglobin counts requiring blood transfusions (from his body using all the iron in his blood to fight infection), almost constant pneumonia (he can't swallow so even saliva ends up draining straight to his lungs), and possible seizures (we are not sure on this one - he HAS had a few that were witnessed - but some days he wakes up completely uncooperative, rude, and disoriented. We THINK this happens after particularly bad siezures) Overall his attitude is great, and he is working VERY hard to get home.
I read a story the other day about a teenage boy, I think from Minnesota, that died from what was originally thought to be a brain eating amoeba - turns out he died from spinal meningitis. It hits fast and hard, is tough to diagnose, and even harder to beat. While Dewaynes infection is only about half gone (Spinal WBC is 350,000, down from 795,000, but far above the normal of 3-5) - it reminds me that the fight is being won, albeit slowly. He is still alive.

Thanks again for your support everyone - I can't express how much it means to me.
 

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LessThanSane
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
You guys are really coming through for us! THANKS!

New discharge date: 9-1 - just under two weeks. :)

1. green-lantern - Technically donated from the "other" site, but I've seen the handle here and he deserves recognition.
2. 92VR4Widebody - Not only hooked me up with a great deal, but then donated better than half what I paid him.
2A. 92VR4Widebody - refunded a portion of Rumors purchase and asked him to apply it toward a donation!
3. Rumor - We met on rocky circumstances. Now he is considered a friend and all around great guy!
4. Soccerman58 - He's in the middle of a big project, yet still took the time (and money) to help out! Thanks Phil!!
5. Acehomie - In college, broke (I know, those two are the same...), and owns a TT. That pretty much equals broke X 10. LOL Thanks!
6. spydertt ks-vr4 - Not even 100% sure who this is - and that just makes it even more appreciated!
7. Anonymous Donation - Thanks so much!
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LessThanSane
Joined
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752 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hey Everyone!
The day has finally come! After nearly 4 months in the hospital Dewayne has been discharged. Yay! It looked like his discharge date would be extended again - he was having blood pressure issues and low hemoglobin counts that required multiple blood transfusions, but he has shown tremendous improvement overall, so I'm assuming that was the determining factor. Most of what we were expecting to need or do was pretty much right on - He needs a bed to keep him at a 30-45 degree angle at all times, mobility equipment, monitoring equipment - from blood pressure to alarms that go off when he gets out of bed or his wheelchair - to assistance aids for restroom and showers. Luckily we were prepared for that. It was not cheap! Other things have changed - He is NOT coming to my house. It was decided that Moms house would be better, and Mom was concerned that I did not know what all would be involved in his day to day care, so she took that responsibility on. So it looks like my kids can change their rooms back around, so they should like that. (It just doesn't make sense to change our entire living arrangements around for him to be here a day or two at a time, on random intervals). I intended to have pictures and video of his release, as well as homecoming videos of him reuniting with his kitty cats - but I didn't actually know he was discharged until hours after the fact - Sorry. He still has not seen Tyggi or Maxx, so I should have a video of that at least at some point. You wanna hear a secret? I feel like I can tell you now that this particular crisis has been averted. Tyggi was missing for 2 WEEKS! Tyggi likes to spray. A LOT. And as most of you know Carla is allergic to cats - we already had 2 of our own, so adding two more meant she had to start a daily allergy medication, but it was tolerable. The spraying was not. The final straw was when Tyggi literally sprayed Carla. I'd never seen a major allergy attack until then - it was harsh. After that, there was no choice - Tyggi became an outside cat. And he promptly disappeared for almost 3 weeks. I was concerned about how to broach that subject, and I'm not ashamed to say that I fully intended to dance around the subject as long as possible (his short term memory issues would have been an asset in that regard), unless he asked straight out. I wasn't going to outright lie. Well Tyggi has been hanging out the last three days. Maybe he knew his Daddy was coming home?

Now, just because he was discharged does NOT mean he still doesn't need help. He will not be able to work for a VERY long time (years likely) and he will undoubtedly have many scares that require immediate transport to the ER. His memingitis is not gone - far from it actually. The 4 months on IV antibiotics managed to drop his spinal fluid white blood counts in half, so he is at about 350,000 now. Normal is 5, MAXIMUM. The doctors seem to think he will be fine on oral antibiotics from this point on. Of course he still cannot swallow, so these will be crushed and given through his feeding tube. I do not think it will be enough, but I am also not a Dr, soooo.... Needless to say, we will have to monitor his condition closely to be sure the antibiotics are doing their job.

Now's the part where I shame you, again - We still need shares and donations. The fact that he is still here is no small feat so if you've ever wanted to be involved in a honest to God miracle, THIS IS YOUR CHANCE. (Many of you already are involved - and for that I thank you)
 
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