Want to help a great family?

Scoop Sanderson

Earning My Ears
Aug 21, 2000
I got the following letter, and I thought of Miracle on 34th Street, the court scene, where they bring in huge bags of mail. It made me think of the heaping mound of pixie dust I think many of you could help create.

Read on and see if you're interested...

Hi Scoop!

Haven't emailed until I had better news. John has been in the hospital
since 12/10 and in intensive care since 12/11. One surgery at 1 a.m. on
12/12 and a second surgery on 12/20. He has been in extremely critical
condition but is finally doing better. For years he has had severe acid
reflux which has damaged the valve into the stomach. Sometimes when he
would eat or drink something that valve would close instead of staying
open and the food would hang. He would have to throw up to get it to
clear then he would be fine. On the 10th he was at the golf course and
took one bite of tuna, it hung, he threw up and he started having severe
chest pain. I took him to the ER immediately but they decided he was
having a heart attack and when it wasn't that thought it was an ulcer
since his orthopedic doctor had put him on some really strong
anti-inflamatory that causes ulcerations. They admitted him and 36
hours later, they finally diagnosed it as an esophogeal tear. They told
us when they took him into surgery that it was a fatal injury even
within a 24-hour period of the tear occurring and that since it had been
36 hours he only had a 5% chance of coming out of surgery alive.

They scoped his esophagus and the tear had self-sealed so they just put in 2
chest tubes and got him out of surgery to try to buy some time to
stabilize him. It was pretty touch and go for days as all of that
stomach acid, food, etc., that was in his stomach poured into his chest
cavity which infected and inflamed his heart, the plural cavity around
his lungs, etc. It was a mess. When he went into surgery he was in
septic shock, his blood pressure had crashed, and he was completely
dehydrated. They only gave him a 2% chance of making it after the
surgery was over since he was so very critical. After the first few
days, he seemed to be responding and doing a little better and they were
planning on taking him off the vent but he took a turn for the worse and
they had to take him back to surgery on the 20th, open his chest, drain
and clean out all the infection (it was causing his left lung to
collapse) and they put in 2 more drain tubes. Several days after his
first surgery his kidneys shut down. He was still producing some urine
but they were not filtering like they should have been so he went on
dialysis daily. Then his liver enzymes went sky high so they had to
call a hematology specialist in for that. They also had an infectious
disease specialist there to take care of the infection. As well as the
cardiologist, lung specialist, neurologist, kidney specialist, and I've
lost count of the others. Last week was pretty static, no real
improvement but no big setbacks. Found out he had a kidney infection so
they changed his meds. Then his kidneys started working and this last
Monday was his last day on dialysis. As fast as things went bad, they
are starting to improve. He is fairly alert, knows all of us and his
neurologist tells me he "still has all his beans up there!" He is
extremely weak, of course. His lungs are doing really good now and they
took the right chest tube out and we are hoping that they will be able
to take out at least one or two of the remaining 3 on his left side in
the next few days. One will still have to stay in another week
probably. His last dialysis treatment was this last Monday and his
kidneys are now working again! His liver enzymes are back to normal,
his blood pressure is stabilized, his white count is finally back to
normal so things are looking up. They started weaning him off of the
vent yesterday which I'm so thankful for. We are hoping he is
completely off of it by Monday. He's now able to breath on his own an
hour every 4 hours (all they will let him do) and tomorrow they will try
for either 1-1/2 or 2 full hours. They won't tell us he's out of the
woods yet as most anything could still go wrong but they did tell me
he's "extremely stable" now which is the first time they've told me
that. I came home for the first time to spend the night last night and
have been sleeping on the floor in the ICU waiting room for almost a
month now (good for the back anyway!). So, if they can get him off the
vent, that will be a huge step. They will start his physical therapy
and speech therapy (because he's been on the vent so long with his
tongue compressed) on Monday. The biggest challenge now is ensuring that
his esophagus has healed properly. They won't be allowing him to have
anything by mouth for a while yet. And, there is still a definite
possibility that they may have to do yet a 3rd surgery to take out part
of his esophagus and reattach it to his stomach because of the
ulceration from the stomach acid. They've been pouring this expensive
new drug into him that heals esophagus ulcerations but don't have a clue
as to how it is working yet. Eventually, they will have to scope it
again and check it. But, they sure don't want to rock the boat at this
point with us finally seeing some good progress. We expect he will be
in ICU at least another month, possibly longer depending on how it goes,
then he will go to a step-down room on telementary and then to a rehab
facility to help him rebuild his strength. If everything goes well and
we don't have to have a 3rd surgery, we are hoping he is back home in
2-3 months but it might be summer. We are still planning our Disney
vacation for this summer and telling John he will get to come pin trade
with you! I've been talking about it a lot trying to keep his spirits up
as he sometimes gives us that look that says, "I'll never get any better
than this." He was just laying in bed with his eyes closed, really out
of it most of the time. One day, I was telling his nurse all about you
and John last week and your pin trading and I looked down and he was
smiling with one corner of his mouth. That was the first smile we've
seen out of him! We were so excited. He had been so very sick that he
hadn't much even opened his eyes or acted like he really recognized any
of us so when we saw that smile, we knew he was still in there!

Anyway, we are much more hopeful. Lots and lots of prayer and God are
what's gotten us this far. His cardiologist told me on Christmas Eve
when his blood pressure crashed while he was on dialysis and we nearly
lost him, "Judy, this is the season of miracles and you've received your
Christmas miracle twice now!" He was so right. God has been very
gracious to us. So, hopefully, God willing, he will completely recover
and be back on his feet attending your pin seminar this summer!!! Just
wanted to know how very much all that pin trading and visiting with John
has meant to us. You have definitely touched our lives and that smile
was worth a million dollars to us. We had just about given up hope
until then!

Hope you and your family had a glorious Christmas. Will keep you posted
on our progress.

Judy and John Buckler
Arlington, TX

Still there?
I wrote them that I'd like to send John a little something, and this is their reply...

Scoop, you are such a special person. Don't feel like you have to send
anything. I just wanted you to know just how much your kindness and all that
"Disney Magic" has made a difference in our family and, particularly, John's life
(literally!) this last month. Every time his blood pressure would crash and he
would be doing REALLY bad I would tell him that Jenny and I were making our
Disney reservations and he HAD to get better to come pin trade with you. He was really unresponsive during those times and pretty much unresponsive until
Christmas Day when I was telling his nurse the story I was telling you about and then he was smiling! That was the first time he had been responsive or moved any part of him since his first surgery. So you can see, it meant a lot to him.
Ever since then, he's slowly improved! He is at Arlington Memorial Hospital,
here in Arlington, Texas. It's on Randol Mill Road but I don't have the address
and will send it to you later tonight when I come home. You are such a busy
person and I hate to email you to death but wanted you to know. Hopefully, we have turned a corner toward permanently getting well, but we still have a long way to go and the doctors won't say we're out of danger. Too much could still go wrong. But, like I said, things are definitely better and he's improving for right now. Never in my life did I expect "Disney Magic" and you to make such a difference in our lives! THANK YOU for being such a special person. You get my vote for employee of the century!

Judy and John Buckler

Scoop here again.
These are not rich people. I know these medical bills are going to be tough on them. But I don't think sending money is the answer. Not right now anyway.

What I'm wondering is if I post the address, would you be willing to send a card and a pin? Okay, just a pin? Any pin. Even a Minnie or Ariel (HE could use them for traders).

Look forward to hearing from you.

Happy New Year!

And... See ya real soon!

Your Pin Pal,
Hey Scoop,

I'd love to be one of the first to send a card and pin! I also challenge all the other good traders here to do the same. Just give us the details and watch the LBS's fly!!!

This is a fellow pin trader and a child who needs the help from the trading community. I have read the letter and my wife and I each will be sending a pin with the good wishes and greating of the New Year. Maybe with everyones help and support it will give John a boost.

I ask again to please get behind this one. Scoops has done so much at WDW for pin trading. This is the first time he has ask for us to do something for him. Thank you Kris & Sharon.
Dear Scoop,

I would love to send a card and a pin and some Pixie Dust.

Just let us know the address.

This could be bigger then the Miracle on 34th street with all the wonderful pin people on this board.

See Ya Real Soon - 54 days.


I think this is a wonderful idea...Count us in...and I'll bet our whole group will be happy
to join in..

Thanks Scoop

Donna & Ed..
I pulled this address from Yahoo. Scoop, please PM me if this is incorrect:

Arlington Memorial Hospital
800 W Randol Mill Rd
Arlington, TX 76012
We would love to send a card and a pin to do something to lift John (and his family's) spirits..please email me with his address..and I will get it right out in the mail!
I'm in!!!

Scoop did you want us to send them to the hospital or to his home? If it is to his home please PM or e-mail, dom13h@home.com and I will get a card and a pin right out.
How very sad for that family.....glad things are starting to look up. This group will rise to the task! :wave:
I would love to send some pixie dust in the way of a pin to him. Scoop, does John have any special type of pin he collects, i.e. character, park, etc.?

CATHY CMLEE230@aol.ocm

Tha Dizpins Family wants to help too. Just send me an e-mail and we will join in sending Pixie Dust...and some other goodies too.

You have definitely come to the right place! I am sure the DIS family is behind you 100% and would love to send their wishes and a pin to cheer John on with his recovery! :)

Please let us know the details - in the meantime, could everyone help keep this post at the top of the board? We know how quickly this board can move at times and I don't want it falling to the second page. Thanks! :)

Come on DISer's! Scoop needs our help!!!!
Send the addy this way please.

Hoping to help spread the cheer.

Come on everyone lets do something to raise Johns spirits.




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