Sunday, November 15, 2015

Gone home!

Mom was discharged this afternoon. She now home resting. That was surprisingly quick! She said she feels good.

We (Ron and Loretta) had to leave to go back to San Diego. Janice is with mom until Thanksgiving.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Heart Valve Replacement Surgery - Friday evening

Another excellent day.

They moved mom out of ICU to what appears to be a normal hospital room. They have removed all of the tubes. Now the only wires are monitors.

Loretta and I arrived today. I just spend a couple of hours with her. She looked great. Sharp as ever. She had some dinner. She isn't very hungry, which makes sense.

I think she may be discharged within days.

More tomorrow!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday Update

Another good day. Small progress. Mom had some of the tubes removed. Still a few left to unplug.

Janice reports that she looks a lot better today. But she is very sleepy and keeps falling asleep.

Ron will be there Friday afternoon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Heart Valve Replace Surgery - Wednesday evening

Today was a good day, considering what she went through yesterday.

Toni got up and walked two times today. This is difficult because she has so many cords attached to her. So where she goes, all her equipment is close by.

She called me late this afternoon. She sounded good. She said that she isn't in pain.

So far.. so good. Keep your fingers crossed.

Heart Valve Replace Surgery - Wednesday morning

Toni seems to be doing pretty well. Janice reports that she looks great. Toni had a small breakfast, then got out of her bed. I think she tried her first walk. Not sure how far she got. She was able to get to a special chair so that the cardio recovery staff can work with her.

Janice left to run some errands and get herself some breakfast. So that's a good sign.

I will post another update tonight.

St. John VI--Last days

Two weeks in St. John is not enough.  Some day perhaps I will be able to stay long enough to be a 'regular'.

But for now it is enough to be known as "Tom's Mom".

Michael and Marianne

Ryan, Kim and Kate



The Island has been suffering a long-term drought and this photo shows the devastation to the trees.

A day trip to St. Thomas.  That is a Disneyland cruise ship.  I cannot help but think what a different experience those passengers have from mine.

Joe and his green chips

Kim and Tom shopping on St. Thomas.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Heart Valve Replacement Status - Tuesday Night

Mom woke up late this afternoon. So they took her off the respirator and she is breathing on her own now. She called Janice and spoke briefly on the phone.

Janice reports that Mom sounded very coherent. He voice was very scratchy, probably from the respirator tube that was in her throat all day. Mom told her that the staff at the hospital are amazing.

She is very tired and will rest. Janice will go over there first thing Wednesday morning. I'll post an update Wednesday.

Thank you all for the nice comments. I will read them to her later this week when I get over to Tucson.

Heart valve replacement surgery results

Greetings friends and family. Ron here with an update. Tuesday 1400h.

Janice has been at the hospital with mom since she checked in this morning. Janice sent me this update.

The operation went well. She did very well during the surgery. They replaced her mitral valve. The atrial valve was in good enough shape that they did not replace it. Janice reports that they removed a small appendage from the left atrial to prevent the chance of a future blockage.

Toni has been sewn up, cleaned up, and is currently in post-op recovery.

Janice is taking a nap now. That is a good sign. I will post an update later tonight when Janice reports in.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Team River Runner--And the winner is?

And the winner of the Chaotic Kayak Race...


Well earned, guys.

The day ended as beautiful as it began...

The money was counted....

And the final total was announced.  $57,603!!! Unbelieveable.  This amount of money brought 22 veterans, family members, caregivers and volunteer workers and counselors to St John on November 1st for one week.

Please check out the Team River Runner website to see the wonderful work this organization is doing plus the experience these donations brought to them. And if you can find the time please watch the documentary, "On Me".  The links to both can be seen on the blog entry just before this on.e

After the event the volunteers had a celebratory dinner in a local fish restaurant.

And well-deserved bragging ensued. 

And to Joe Mornini and Tom Larson, Thank you both for your work on this.  I think you are awesome (and I am not the least bit biased.)

Team River Runners Rule!!!


The Miller Beer Company made posters for the TRR fundraiser and Tom began the task of hanging them in every spot he could find.... 

(Ryan Major, vet and Team River Runner participant)

 That's my boy, never misses an opportunity to advertise.

This shirt is from the first year that Tom met them.

(Tom, Nancy, Kate, Shelton, Ryan, Megan--check out that mirror)
Hard working volunteers at organizational meeting for the event.  First we started with the rules: Only 3 people to a kayak.  Whoever is in the kayak at the start of the race has to be in the kayak at the  finish of the race.  Any age is okay.  Middle person is the gunner with the water gun.  Any size water gun is okay. No age limit--up or down. And a 5 second head start for every $100 the business donates to the event.

(Joe Mornini, Executive Director and CoFounder of TRR)  

(Shelton Gore, Vet, Team River Runner Participant

The day before the big event all participants came together and team names were drawn to decide when and against whom each kayak would race.

This is the trophy--a blue kayak paddle--the most coveted of all prizes.  Last year's winner, Scotia Bank, is the team to beat.

OOPS!  Two teams dropped out due to businesses not having enough employees to man the kayaks and run their businesses.  Hmm, even on this lazy island work has to come first.

(Me, Kim and Lori (Ms Jello Shot Queen)
Tom had previously informed me that he had volunteered me for something to do with this event.  "Okay, sure, happy to help.  So what do I do?"  
His reply, "Make jello shots!" That turned out to be only the start of it.

Seriously?  "Tom's MOM" was going to fill in?  It must be a mistake.  I know zero about kayaking.  And I can't swim!!

Sunday morning and everyone was eager to begin.  The weather was beautiful and...

the beach was perfect.

Ryan tried out the water and declared it to be the perfect temperature.

Just awesome scenery...

and beautiful beach babes.

These were the mascots...

and I got mine.


The jello shot table was ready...

and declared a success.

(Kate,  Lori, Tom's Mom)
The Dark and Sexy Jello Shot Babes.

A future kayaker and mom

Shelton opened the ceremony ....

complete with the National Anthem surrounded by some of the Veterans.

The kayakers were eager to get started.

No, you need to face the other way...

Like this?

Here goes the first heat.

Did the rules mention anything about species?

Well, I found my team mates.  The criteria was that we all had the same hair color.

I bet I could beat those 'old farts' in a year or two.

I think I'm getting cold feet.  Besides, that life jacket is just ridiculous.

See Ya.


And we are back.  If you look up in the right hand corner you will see the Sadie Sea and how far we had to paddle.  Please note that all the other kayaks are missing from this picture.

Holy Smokes!  We made it! Laughing all the way. I didn't even care that it was last place.

The day was perfect in every way.

Crowds stayed until the very last....

It is truly an Island Event Extraordinaire.  

650 Jello shots were sold.

There must have been a secret ingredient in them.

Daddy says I can't have any Jello--I don't understand.

Once again, I could not be prouder of my son.

 Just how successful was this event?  The final total will come tomorrow. Stay tuned.

(And so will my surgery.  Son Ron will publish the outcome here on the blog tomorrow afternoon.)