A re-birthday story

A re-birthday story

One year ago today, my brother John—husband and father of six—nearly died from a heart attack. He survived but it was a very close thing. He took the day off to celebrate his new life and to thank the people who helped him. I would think he would extend those thanks to those of you here who read my plea for prayers on that day and responded. Here is his story:

It was one year ago on June 3, 2005 that my wife Patti gave birth to our 6th child, Theresa.  Patti and I decided that I would take two weeks off from work so she could focus on the new baby and I could be Mr. Mom for the other 5 kids.  They were wrapping up school, baseball was still in full swing and there was much to do around the house to get the pool ready for its first season.  So, on Monday and Tuesday night of the second week I had decided to take on even more.  After the kids were in bed for the night and Patti and the baby were ready, I headed into the office in Newton to take care of payroll and a few other things working from 10pm to about 1am.  I got up on Wednesday morning and figured things at the house were pretty quiet with three of the kids in school so my son Domenic, the 4 year old and I spent Wednesday in the ninety degree heat laying in a 15 foot pavestone walkway.  That night Patti figured she was up for it and the whole family piled into the Suburban and headed off to watch the oldest son’s baseball game.  During the game, I was eating sunflower seeds and I figured I must have got one stuck in my throat because I had a weird feeling in my chest.

We got home around 9:15 pm.  We put the kids off to bed and I figured I was tired, and decided not to go to the office but I went straight to bed.  I woke up around 3am from that indigestive feeling in my chest.  I wondered but it let me go back to sleep right away so I let it go.  Thursday morning was the last day of school.  I was up early and drove the kids to St. Catherine’s for their last day.  I then went to Rojo’s to get the car washed.  It was going to be a beautiful day.  It was weird, that indigestion was back.  No matter, I went to Home Depot next to pickup two 50lb bags of sand for the walkway under construction.  Again, that feeling came back at Home Depot.  When I got back to the house around 9am it was bothering me enough that I actually mentioned it to my wife.  I figured I would call my doctor’s office and ask if it was ok to take Tums or whatever, with my Asthma. 

I described the symptoms to Terri, the nurse and she said, “hang up the phone right now and go to the ER.”  I said, “no it is not that, it is just indigestion.”  She repeated herself but was just more emphatic.  I got off the phone, told Patti what the nurse said, Patti was standing right there.  Patti said, we should call an ambulance.  I said not for indigestion.  I said, “I would drive myself, I was fine.”  She had her hands full with the baby.  She said no way
to me driving myself.  So I said how about calling your mom and she could drive me.

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  • Thanks for sharing John’s story…it made me go for the tissue box…but that’s okay.  Wow, what a powerful witness.

  • Thank God John is still with us and such an amazing witness to the faith. I first met him back at the old OYM in Quincy when he used to run the confirmation retreats there. He was, and is, a wonderful example of Catholic manhood and we are blessed to share in his joy.