Friday, November 7, 2008

Time to stop my b!tching, comment on a REAL hero

The man above is John Bul Dau, originally of Sudan, but now a resident of the United States. He's one of my true heroes in this world and I was about shoulder to kneecap with him the other day in the hospital.

Yes, dad's still a patient but hopefully coming home tomorrow. They did a second heart catherization last night, which normally takes about 30 minutes, and this latest one took two hours. That's an indication of the damage we're talking about.

The bad news is that of the three grafts from his triple bypass 15 years ago, one had been closed and two were "gunked up with crud" during the first heart cath in the hospital. As of last night's second cath, a second graft had closed in the past twenty-four hours. I spoke with dad today and he said he is scheduled for a third heart cath and some surgery in about a month.

He's not really a viable option to survive serious open heart surgery so that presents itself as a bit of a conundrum. I'll talk to my mother about all of this later on today when she's away from him.

But back to John Bul Dau...

This man is a true hero and to see him up close, to the point where I could reach out and touch his shirt just about made me foam at the mouth and hyperventilate. John is one of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan, if you know anything about their story. The lost boys and girls left Sudan during the civil war to find safety in Ethiopia where they stayed in refugee camps until forced back into Sudan at gun-point, crossing a river infested with crocodiles. He stayed in Sudan until they were forced out again to a refugee camp in Kenya. He lived at that camp for several years until he was chosen to come to America.

Here's a man who has overcome numerous difficulties in his life, most of them as a child. He's lived through starvation, civil war, mass murder, and so many other things that I couldn't list them all and I don't want to because the atrocities are horrendous.

But, there he was working in the hospital where my dad is a patient, not as a nurse or doctor, but someone who cleans or does what we might consider a more menial position. That's just John. One minute he's working two jobs to support his family here in the US and on another day he might be travelling to talk to famous people or large groups to tell his story and raise money for his foundation.

To learn more about John's foundation, click below:

His foundation raises money for health clinics he's having built back in Sudan. This is a man forced to leave his homeland as a child who is willing to turn around and extend a helping hand back to that same place. His story is written eloquently in his memoir "God Grew Tired of Us" and there is also a DVD (available through Netflix even!) of the same name which shows what this man lived through. I urge you to read and view and then put it all back in to perspective.

Regardless, this is a man who is a giant both physically, about 7 feet tall, and in my eyes. I wish I had been brave enough to go speak to him. He is a friend on my Facebook page and there is more information about him available on Facebook under causes, if you're a F-booker. (That sounded really dirty, didn't it?)

Seeing him gave me pause to think that yes, even though there is a lot of rough stuff in the water right now I have a boat, some oars, and a compass. Sometimes I have to remember that it's not all about me.


Denver Refashionista said...

You're right. Stepping back from our personal dramas is good now and then. We have a pretty luxurious life here when it gets down to it. Someone like that makes you want to be involved in meaningful healing and change.

Weeble Girl said...

I tell you, once you've watched a DVD like his, not fiction but real-life stuff it makes everything else seem like the small stuff.

Hope things are getting better for you, N.