A Letter Of Thanks To The Long Hill Community - part 1
Folks - the following appears in the latest edition of the Echoes-Sentinel weekly newspaper as a letter to the editor.
Liver recipient grateful to Long Hill community
When my wife, Nancy, and I moved to Millington in 1996, we had definite ideas of what we wanted in a house. She wanted a front porch. I wanted a fireplace and to be close to a train station.
In the eight years that we’ve lived here, we’ve found much more than the ideal house for ourselves and our children, Alexander, 6, and Natasha, 3.
We’ve truly found a home.
The past six months have been extremely difficult for us. But, they would have been impossible to bear without the incredible support and boundless kindness afforded us by our neighbors and the community at large.
In late July 2004, I skipped one of my favorite events of the year - the Sunny Slope Block Party – because I wasn’t feeling well. That day was the start of a health crisis for me that resulted – against overwhelming odds – in my receiving a critical, life-saving liver transplant on Dec. 19.
The fine surgeons at the New York University (NYU) Transplant Center tell me I wouldn’t have survived to see Christmas without getting a new liver.
But, no doubt helped by the prayers ringing out from hundreds of Long Hill homes and area houses of worship of all denominations, my Christmas miracle came early.
While I owe my life to an anonymous 53-year-old woman from the Bronx, N.Y., who signed up to be an organ donor upon her death, my family and I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the Long Hill community.
By the grace of God, I was released from the hospital on Dec. 30, in time to welcome the New Year at home in the warm embrace of my family and friends.
Of course, it was fitting that neighborhood “elves” had snuck over before my return and decorated the porch with “Welcome Home’’ balloons and yellow ribbons.
It was but one of the many acts of kindness afforded Nancy and the children during my more than three weeks of confinement in the hospital in New York.
There are so many individuals to thank, I won’t try to name them all here for fear that I’ll unintentionally leave someone out.
But allow me to recount some unselfish acts that helped us out considerably and, frankly, have overwhelmed us.
When it became clear just before Thanksgiving that I was in need of an emergency liver transplant, many neighbors immediately inquired about becoming a donor. Friends helped set up a Web site, http://www.savedavid.org to spread the word about my condition and we established the Save David Foundation to help us cover costs not covered by insurance. Eventually, we’ll turn the foundation’s resources to providing similar help for other families in need and use it to fund research into liver disease.
A crew of dads fanned out in our yard with rakes to bag up leaves and worked in the basement to quickly install a new floor. Both acts helped make our Thanksgiving with my large family an even more pleasant time.
Neighbors helped Nancy by doing food shopping, laundry and baby-sitting and there seemed to be no end of the cornucopia of delicacies brought to our door by a stream of thoughtful friends.