My Uncle Alex was supposed to fly to Philadelphia today to visit his daughter, Chris, and to meet her second son, Adam, who is less than two months old. This would have been the first time he's seen his grandson in person. The trip, however, has been postponed.
Yesterday after class I was working on some revisions. I didn't bother to check my cell phone and pretty much forgot about its existence altogether. Around six-thirty I heard a buzzing coming from my coat that was draped over the second chair in the office. There was a voicemail message. My older sister, Val, had called an hour before to tell me that Uncle Alex had brain surgery because of an aneurysm. The doctors had done an angioplasty, but could not find the ruptured artery. They are certain, however, that he did have a brain aneurysm. What makes them so certain? No one seems to know. To relieve the pressure and pain, a shunt was placed in his skull to drain the excess fluid. He'll have to spend the next two weeks in the hospital, and his condition is critical.
My mom told me over the phone that she was able to visit him last night. He was on morphine, but she said that he was coherent and didn't sound as if he was on drugs. She said it was difficult to see her brother with a tube sticking out of his head. He was able to use a phone later on and even called my mom at home to ask if she'd send e-mails to update or inform those who didn't know the situation. The situation is not good. It's not that the doctors think that he's doomed, they just wanted the family to know that this is a serious problem. The chances of him pulling through are as good as his chances of not making it.
My cousin, David (Alex's son), is in the Navy. He joined for two reasons: 1. there aren't many career options for professional trumpeters that pay well, and 2. he and his new wife--a type one diabetic and fellow musician--were in dire need of medical insurance. David finished basic and has been stationed in Norfolk, VA at the Navy School of Music for the past few months. His dad just visited him there two weeks ago. I don't know what type of computer and phone access they have there, but I'm sure he knows the situation. I'm also pretty sure that he can't leave. He's stuck there just like Chris is stuck in Philly with her newborn. I hope he pulls through. He should get the chance to meet his grandson.