Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Brother in Need

I stopped by to see Berndt at Queen's last night and we talked for a couple of hours. He's not usually that talkative - maybe it's the pain meds! He had his surgery yesterday morning, and it went extremely well. They removed his shattered L4 and fused the adjacent discs with a couple of short rods, and he was fitted with a back brace to stabilize the T12 fracture. He'll be at the hospital for about another week as his incision heals, and he'll be getting some physical therapy advice to help him during the six weeks he needs to wear the back brace.

But he also needs our help with that part.

He won't be able to live in the cramped little cabin of his boat while he's wearing the back brace - so he asked me to help him find someone in our group who might be able to put him up someplace during that time. He's not asking to be taken care of, just for a place to crash where he can stand up straight and lay out flat while he wears the brace. He's also hoping that wherever he stays, there's something he can do to keep himself physically occupied.

Please consider if you have any space available for him to spend his nights over the next six weeks. His accident has put him in a tough situation, without medical insurance, without any family or friends here aside from our flying community. He's going to need all the help we can give him. I have a couch available in my living room, but I'm out of town on business from March 1-14. If someone else can find space for him until at least the 14th, I might be able to take him after that. Give Berndt a call at 538-9011, room 562, or call me at 223-0144. I know he would also appreciate it if any of us could stop by while he's at Queens over this next week.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think the flying community has Berndt covered. I'll be cleaning out the guest room at my place and Reaper and 1-I have also expressed availability. That way Berndt won't get to tired of any of us.


bob

sandy said...

I have some space, and can join the parade of homes -- but my place is a very active renovation/war zone these days. I'm living in my guest room, so all else is subject to dust and paint fumes, so Berndt may have to shuffle from room to room as work progresses. Heck, he may even have to pick up a paint brush. NOT!

Hang in there Berndt! We're pulling for you. Get well soon!

Gravity said...

I have my spare room in Reaper's Hostel available after the 13th?

But, Sandy funny you mentioned the work part. Thats exactly what he said to me the other day; that he wanted to stay somewhere where he could do some physical labor!

He's not going to be very mobile for a few weeks...

Nick said...

Jiah mentioned that she has a "shower chair" for "broke-back" people from the days when she too had a broke back. She says that Berndt is welcome to have it.

Berndt - aka Puka Wai said...

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to all the members of the flying community here for your support, help and concern during this not-so-fun time for me. Thank you to One-Eye Jim for allowing me to stay at his place during the first 6 weeks of my recovery, Thank you to Reaper Pete, Bob of the Year, and Sandy for offering me a place to stay during this time as well, though fortunately my body was not broken to the point that I could stay at more than one place at a time. Thank you to the many many fellow pilots who came to visit me in the hospital to wish me well as well as those who did so by phone. Thank you to Reaper Pete for keeping my "stuff" at his place. And, Thank you to the unnamed person who managed to sneak a get well message on a photo of me in better times into the April issue of the Paragliding magazine. I retrieved that magazine from my PO Box the same day the neurosurgeon released me from my incarceration in body armor and inactivity a couple of days ago, so that was an especially good day!
I am now back on my boat working through the somewhat painful process of healing and rebuilding all the back muscles that were sliced up during the operation and left to lie unused for almost two months, but it feels great to be moving about in the real world again. I'm also continuing working on little bit of computer work I got from UH and started a couple of weeks ago and am able to do remotely. This is great because torpidity of the brain is as hard on me as inactivity of the body.
This still continuing adventure, like all adventures, is comprised of great parts as well as unpleasant parts: A memorable flight at Tantalus that day, a beautiful flight at MPU, then the horrible ending to that flight, a painful ride to the hospital, a surgery that I wasn't around for, etc. But, a few years from now, some of those things as well as the weeks, maybe months of soreness to come, the years it will take to save up the money this has cost will be forgotten or relegated to murky depths of the mind where we keep stuff that serves no purpose. What will remain forever though, will be the memory of how the flying community that truly knows the meaning of aloha rallied around this foolish pilot.