Years Running: 2
Marathons Completed: First Time
In September, 2007, my father, Dr. William Smedley, suffered a ventricular fibrillation with secondary brain anoxia. Following release from the hospital facilities, he became a patient in the Brain Trauma Unit, where the nursing staff was so keenly aware of their patients that they noticed a slight change in his symptoms, and ended up saving him from a devastating bought of sepsis. For the next five years, he was an intermittent patient in the Senior Care Facility, where the nursing staff became like family. Each time we returned, it was like a homecoming, and each time my dad was released home, our “see you later’s” were met with big hugs, and even a few tears.
In December, 2010, my younger brother, Anthony, was in a catastrophic accident. A recently licensed Florida lawyer, he was walking across the street in Jacksonville, Florida, when he was hit by a Jeep and flew seventy feet into the air. He broke his lower vertebrae, femur, tibia, fibula, ankle, and nose, shattered his right hip, and suffered a concussion as he landed on his head. He was able to return home to Northeastern Pennsylvania a few weeks after the accident, and immediately became a member of the outpatient physical therapy department. Anthony’s therapists at Heinz were exceptional, as they took him from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane, to nothing at all. A few months later, Anthony returned to Heinz for therapy for his torn rotator cuff, another result of the accident.
Despite these tragedies, I have two “Miracles in Rehab.” Five years later, my dad is still gracing us with great smiles and hugs. Sixteen months after his accident, my brother and I crossed the finish line at the Lehigh Valley Half Marathon. Two weeks after that, Anthony ran the Broad Street 10 Mile Run.
I’m running this marathon for every daughter whose parent has been a patient at Allied, and for every sister whose sibling has been a patient at Allied, because each day, I’m reminded of those “miracles” that happen.