News Releases

Monday, March 16, 2015

Why family is so important in times of crisis

My mom and dad with Governor Mike Huckabee in Israel
I was reminded once again why family is so important especially in times of sickness. My parents recently went on a trip of a lifetime to the Holy Lands in Jerusalem. It was something my mom has wanted to do for most of her life. They finally did it with a group led by former Governor Mike Huckabee and his wife Janet. 
My mom with Janet Huckabee in Israel

Their trip was phenomenal until my dad slipped on mud at the Dead Sea. He broke his ankle, knee and tore his rotator cuff. He ended up going to a hospital in Tel Aviv where doctors put a cast on his leg. Luckily the Huckabee’s had an orthopedic surgeon who was travelling with them. The surgeon was a godsend. He helped my dad and watched over him after he got hurt. My dad wasn’t the only one to break a bone. Two others also broke bones. A lady broke her arm and a Pastor broke his leg.
Even though my dad had just fallen, he
still managed to get himself down
to the Dead Sea

After the fall, my dad was out of commission and couldn’t do the rest of the tour. His fall happened on the sixth day of their ten day tour, so my parents ended up flying out of Israel a day early with the help of Janet Huckabee who found a flight for them. A special thank you also to the orthopedic surgeon who knew to cut my dad's cast before he got on that long flight.

When they arrived back in Seminole not only was my dad in pain, but my mom was also not doing so well. She was so sick she ended up in the hospital. She tested positive for the flu. She was also tested for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). MERS is a new viral respiratory illness new to humans being closely monitored by the Centers for Disease Control. My mom had all the signs of MERS, which are very similar to the flu including she has a low immune system because of her rheumatoid arthritis and she had ridden a camel in Israel.
My mom and dad riding a
camel in Israel

Because of this the infectious disease doctors wanted to test her for MERS. The test takes several days to get results, so she was put in isolation at the hospital and monitored for four days receiving lots of intravenous fluids. Everyone who entered her room had to put on a mask, gown and gloves. The nurses had to wear protective eye gear.

Me in the hospital with
all the gear.


Luckily the tests came back negative for MERS. While she was in one hospital, my dad had to have foot surgery at another hospital. It was suppose to be outpatient surgery, but he was so worried about my mom his blood pressure sky rocketed and he had to stay the night.

It was a crazy few days. Thank goodness my whole family lives close by. I have a brother and two sisters and we were all on alert taking care of both parents around the clock. While my mom was in the hospital, my one sister and I took turns staying with her. My youngest sister and brother took turns staying with my dad since he couldn’t move to well because of his broken leg.
My dad in the hospital in
Tel Aviv

If you’ve ever had any experience at hospitals, you know it’s important to be there if you can when a loved one is in because they need an advocate. I know it was crucial that we were with my mom, especially since she was on isolation. We made sure she got the medicine she needed and were able to talk to the doctor about her condition.


I don’t know how people do it when their parents get older and things like this happen and they stay months in the hospital or need round the clock care. As a mom of two little girls, a wife and working it can be exhausting. I don’t know what I would have done without the help of my husband to take care of our girls and my siblings and their spouses who all pitched in to help. My mother-in-law also helped watch our daughters. It’s times like these when you know how important family is and how a crisis can make your family even stronger. 

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