Happy Birthday Dad!

Today is my dad’s 71st birthday.

In two weeks it will be two years since the fateful day that changed his life forever…the day he had a stroke.

The last two years have been quite the roller coaster for my family. Last year my parents went back to Thailand to be closer to family. Plus, caring for my dad was starting to wear out my mom. Not to mention the cost and quality of care in Thailand is waaaaaay better than here in the states.

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My dad is now well looked after at a rehabilitation hospital in Bangkok. When my mom came back stateside to check on their house and attend to other matters, my dad’s nursing assistant would FaceTime my mom so he could “see” and talk to her while she was away. Pretty impressive if you ask me.

14068434_10103259171805375_8984336499637315241_oHow is he doing? Well, the stroke impaired a lot of his fine motor skills and balance. Everyday tasks like eating, dressing, bathing, walking – he needs complete hands on assistance. Earlier this year he came down with pneumonia, which is common in stroke patients (due to being sedentary and impaired ability to swallow). Now he has a feeding tube which delivers calories to his stomach to avoid the potential of food particles and liquids entering his respiratory tract. I say calories because what he is given I wouldn’t consider food (Ensure-like protein drink). That’s just so he can try to keep weight on.

Is he going to get “better”? Most likely no. At this point his care involves occasional physical therapy, managing the occasional illness (cold, flu, etc.), and keeping him comfortable so what quality of life he has left doesn’t deteriorate at a rapid rate. Definitely not ideal, but it’s the hand he was dealt.

Last night (this morning in Thailand), my mom was at the hospital visiting my dad and I took the opportunity to FaceTime her and sing Happy Birthday to him.

Happy Birthday Daddy. Hope today brings you many moments of joy to carry you through your next trip around the sun. See you in December. Miss you and love you tons.
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3 thoughts on “Happy Birthday Dad!

  1. I know you don’t know me from adam but I first met your father in 1998 when I started working at Cessna and was assigned to work with him. What an amazing man he taught me allot about working on the Aircraft we were assigned and getting along in the civilian world. Which was hard for a guy who had spent 25yrs. in the USAF. I sorta lost track of your dad and things when I was reassigned and then untimely laid off in 2009 with 8000 others and then decided to sell my house leave Wichita and move back home to my native state of Nebraska. Being away for 40+ years sure took allot of adjustments as well. Back to your father I was so shocked and surprised to see on FB your posts about his stroke etc. and makes me sad as he was so full of life and energetic last time I’d seen him. I’m truly sorry for you your families trials and his wife as well and pray he’s doing as well as can be expected being back home around family and friends in Thailand. I remember his telling me about going there to visit and the pics. and stories he would share was real proud to be from that country. Sadly my mother died from a stroke while visiting me in Wichita on Sept. of 2009 so appreciate every day you have with you father and mother as life is over way to soon and it sounds like you are. God Bless your father on his Birthday and pray alls well with your family. Sincerely Don Williams

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    1. Don, thank you for your kind words. He is doing well at the long term care facility in Thailand and surrounded by family and friends. While the stroke did affect him drastically, his personality and sense of humor is still strong as ever.

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      1. I’m sorry I told you wrong the date for my moms untimely death it was in Sept. of 2006 I kept her house here in Nebraska and that’s where the wife and I and two dogs live now since 2010. Anyway I’m glad you responded and let me know how you dad is doing as I hadn’t heard anything from him since maybe a year or two before his stroke. So was really shocked to see your posts about him. You sound like your fathers daughter for sure and I mean that as great complement. I pray he know everybody in your immediate family etc. and you keep livin how he would want you to live and that will make him proudest as i remember him telling me about you kids with great pride. I think it’s cool you tried to climb Mount Everest that’s pretty impressive just be careful sad to hear somebody died this year again after making the Summit. Anyhow keep me posted about your father as he was one of those men one doesn’t easily forget in this life. I worked with and under him for like 4 years at Cessna and seen him around some after that till 09 and I wish him all the best even as he is but I will remember how he was in better times. Don Wms

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