Wednesday, April 21, 2010
UPDATE on GREG (Inspiring!)
If anyone has ever doubted the power of love, prayer, and positive thoughts (and maybe good genes) doubt no more. Greg is a living, breathing example that at least small miracles do still happen! I’ve been waiting to send another update because I wanted to make sure his progress was going to continue, but I think I can safely say that the advances he has made surrounded by Oklahoma caring are nothing short of remarkable. I’ve been concerned that I might be accused of being a drama queen or crying wolf, but as anyone who saw him in the hospital in Sacramento can tell you we truly did not think he would still be with us today. Actually the doctors told us he probably wouldn’t even survive the trip home (after our RV adventure it’s a miracle any of us survived!). But he did and it looks like, at least for the foreseeable future, that he’s just not ready to give up on this life.
I don’t want to sound like we’re burying our heads in the sand though. He is still in a wheel chair, but he has regained some feeling in his upper legs so he can help himself get in and out of cars and chairs. He is getting physical therapy at the nursing facility and it seems to be helping a lot. They’ve even stood him up with a walker, but he has a long way to go before he can walk. He understands that may never happen, but he zips around in his wheel chair like he owns the place. We all now have a much greater appreciation for the challenges the handicapped face going out in public, or even getting into the bathroom in a home (like mine) that isn’t handicapped accessible. His kidney function is better, but he still has serious liver disease. We don’t know what the future holds for that, but, drum roll, he says he will never drink again! I truly believe he’s sincere, but time will tell. In the meantime he’s gotten his appetite back, eats like a horse, but isn’t putting on weight which is a concern. He’s down to about 145 pounds but feels pretty good so we’ll take what we can get. We’ve taken him off of hospice because he is doing so well, but also because they are still periodically giving him blood transfusions, another concern. He’s going to have some tests run soon to see what’s causing the internal bleeding.
He’s adapted to his new situation much better than we thought he would but, of course, now that he’s lucid and actually improving he’s ready to go back to his beloved California. It was much easier when he was out of his head and thought he was on a plane flying to a speaking gig. “No Greg that isn’t snow outside the window, it’s clouds”. He understands that he is not even close to being ready ready to go yet, but we don’t want to take that hope away from him. Realistically he is exactly where he needs to be right now, and even though it’s not an ideal situation, I know that we made the right decision bringing him home. He’s able to spend time with his girls and his grand-kids, Mom and Dad, the rest of our family, and his girlfriend Judy. She has been wonderful and is taking very good care of him. I’ve attached (I hope) a picture I took of the two of them last weekend at my folks house. He has on his “Super Grandpa” shirt and is still wearing his “Do Not Resuscitate” bracelet!
Last week he and Judy drove down to my house and we all went to Norman to have lunch with Mark Barrett, Greg’s attorney, and our good friend Susan Sharp, a professor at OU. Mark is preparing to get a court date so that we can continue the fight to get Greg compensation based on “factual or actual” innocence. He’s been trying to help Greg for over 20 years and we appreciate so much all that he has already done (like getting him off death row!) and I have all the confidence in the world that he will eventually succeed in getting him compensation too. I just wish those judges would give me a chance to offer my opinion. They might grant him the compensation just to shut me up!
So that’s where we are today, but still knowing that we have to take things a day at a time. Greg is a joy to be around, clear thinking, smart and funny. It’s heartbreaking that he had to fall so far to realize that this life isn’t so bad after all. We are so grateful to everyone for all your kind and loving thoughts and words. Greg and I are so lucky to have such wonderful friends and we feel your love every day. He loves getting cards and his phone is up and running if you ever want to call.
Greg says it won’t be long before he’s ready to get back out there and continue fighting the good fight. I hope he’s right!
Love to you all,
(NOTE: for any wanting contact info with Nancy, plz contact Bill Pelke and/or leave comment with your full name and email)
Posted by CN at 3:14 AM