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MESSAGES RECEIVED FROM AROUND THE WORLD
BEFORE AND AFTER BILL'S PASSING - Page 2
My heart and prayers are with you. May God hold you in the palm of his hand
and give you both his strength. --Love, Christina
The following words of Psalm 23 always comfort me. Whatever your
beliefs, I hope they comfort you and support Bill.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
he leadeth me beside still waters.
He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the paths
for his names sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil: for thou art with me;
thy rod and they staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest me a table before me
in the presence of mine
thou annointest my head head with oil; my cup runneth
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.
We are back in St. Louis after driving in an ambulance for 15 hours at 75
mph through seven lightning storms and arriving at midnight at Barnes Hospital.
The next day Bill's heart rate for most of the day was over 185 beats per
minute. It's a wonder to me that his dear heart didn't break! The Drs.
finally got that under control before they had to give him a very dangerous
med to try to stop it from atrifillibrating.
He got so many blood tests it seems he can't have much blood left. They
still cannot discover why the platelets are being destroyed inside his
body. He's getting red cell transfusions too. They are even testing him
for HIV because of all the other transfusions he has had in the past five
They took a CT scan and have found three new nodules on his lung and a mass
on his left and only remaining kidney. The pulmonologist says that this is
"worrisome." We have not been told exactly what it is they have found.
They cannot even chance a biopsy because of the fear of hemorrhaging due to
such low platelets.
I have told all the Drs., numbering now about 35, about my sense that this
all stems from the ileus he had about 2 1/2 months ago. they are listening
to me and testing for every fungi, virus, and bacteria culture.
Eventually the body will reject all new platelets introduced, I'm told.
The hematologist team of seven Drs. have concocted a "cocktail" of meds
designed to suppress the immune system so the body won't destroy the
platelets. All last night he had a drip of about one liter of fluid into
his IV, which took about 8 hours. Then they gave him another pack of
platelets. And then early this morning his body was so filled w/ excess
fluid that he went into heart failure again and we almost lost him... again.
He's now in ICU, getting 12 liters of oxygen, and now we go reverse and
they are pulling out fluid like crazy to clear the lungs. It's a seesaw.
Also they found he now has too much potassium = having given him some w/
each lasix (water) injection. So he had to drink some concoction to pull
out the excess potassium (as a laxative). I tell you this so you can join
me in hysterical laughter because in the next 15 minutes they gave him an
iron pill - which binds!!!
I am grateful he's not in any pain other then being a pin cushion and his
veins won't give blood anymore.
It's a very disconcerting time in our lives, dear ones. In ICU I was able
to be of some help to a woman who is facing the reality of losing her
husband. At the moment I was strong and was able to hold her and give her
some strength. I'm grateful for that.
My Bill is now in God's Hands because I am fighting as hard as I can but
not getting much results so I am ever watchful but know that this is our
Life now and we will live it with courage and with grace.
I love you and appreciate with all my heart your prayers and positive energy.
This is the first time I've been home since I came back to St. Louis. I've
have been living at the hospital and doing round the clock nursing except
for the needle stuff. :0
Like everywhere else, they are understaffed and overworked so I do all I can
to make their jobs easier.
Please hold Bill in your prayers and ask for the best result in this most
recent health challenge. I miss you so much.
Dear Joan -- Just read the latest report on Bill. My heart aches for
both of you. What a time you have had. You know you are in my
thoughts and prayers -- hopefully, with so many people on your side
-- your Bill will come through this one, too.
No need to answer this -- I just wanted you to know I've been
following your trials and thinking of you.
I don't ask for the meaning of the song of a bird or the
rising of the sun on a misty morning. There they are,
and they are beautiful.
-- Pete Hamill
By Bill Walker
It wasn't noon yet, but the temperature was already
approaching ninety-five degrees on the morning I started my
flight training at Fort Wolters. It was warm for May, even
for Texas, and since the base was intended to be a training
ground for Vietnam, the heat just made the experience all
the more authentic. We knew that the lucky few who made it
through the grueling nine-month warrant officer flight-
training course would soon be off to a destination even
hotter than Texas.
As nearly two hundred of us stood at attention, we
were flushed with excitement. On this day, we would finally
begin the "hands on" portion of flight school. We had been
through nine tough weeks of basic training in Louisiana and
four weeks of continuous harassment from our tactical
officers while we began the ground school portion of our
classes. The purpose of the harassment, we knew, was to
shake out anyone from the program who couldn't handle the
pressure of intimidation and confusion. The ability to
remain focused during combat is critical to survival.
That morning, however, no amount of harassment could
have taken away from the excitement of climbing into the
cockpit of the TH-55 training helicopter to actually begin
learning to fly. Although it was common knowledge that only
a portion of those who began flight school would actually
end up with wings, each of us was convinced that we would
soon fly "above the best." Lunch, and our tactical
officers, were all that stood between us and our first
flight. We knew from experience that the tac officers could
be brutal, so we wondered, uneasily, what they would throw
at us during this portion of our training.
As we stood rigidly facing the tac officer, waiting
for instructions, a tiny robin hopped out in front of our
formation. It seemed confused and a little frightened.
Suddenly, its mother flew a low swoop across the lawn, as
if encouraging her youngster to take to the air. Despite
our efforts to remain focused on the men in command in
front of us, everyone's eyes followed the birds. Even our
officers turned to watch, mesmerized by the scene.
Over and over, the tiny bird ran as fast as its little
legs could move, taking off after its mom. But despite its
best efforts, gravity kept it tethered to the earth. Again
and again, the little ball of feathers raced across the
grass, flapping its wings, only to hop up on a stone at the
end of its long run.
Completely ignoring the crowd of staring bystanders,
the mother robin swooped down after her baby's attempts to
fly, cajoling and chiding it. "Like this," she seemed to be
saying. "Try again." All two hundred of us watched
breathlessly, silently praying for the little bird to
succeed. Each time it flapped and hopped its way across the
lawn in front of us, we'd groan at its failure.
Finally, after we had stood at attention for what
seemed like hours just watching, those tiny wings took hold
of the air, and the baby bird became airborne for a few
feet. You could almost see the little bird swell with
pride. Then, on one last run across the front of our
formation, the gray piece of fluff rose into the air. Two
hundred would-be warrant officers burst into wild cheers.
We watched, ecstatic, as the little bird followed its
mother to the horizon. Our tac officers turned back to us,
smiling. What could they add? It had been the ultimate
We were gone for a short while and were quite shocked when I got to the
E-mail to get the report on Bill.
We are holding you both up in prayer. Have given your names to every
prayer warrior we know. That is considerable, so know that you are being
covered. May you feel them working and see them healing in Bill.
We love you and remember "Who's Report Do We Believe"? "We Believe the
Report of the Lord". God Bless and Keep You.
Love, Shirley & Bill
MESSAGES RECEIVED FROM AROUND THE WORLD
BEFORE AND AFTER BILL'S PASSING