In 2002, Al had a massive heart attack. It was so bad that they had to leave his chest wall open for several days because every time they closed it, his heart would stop. Our children, Sreejit and Chaitanya came from California and India respectively, to be with him and to take care of him. I recently found out that the doctor said he had never had a patient with that level of heart attack survive. The doctor credited his survival to the care Sreejit and Chaitanya gave him in the hospital and at home.
At the time of the heart attack, Al had a stent put in. In 2009, he had more surgery. This time six stents were inserted. Since then he had three cardioversions for atrial fibrillation.
His endurance was tested again last year, in a completely different way. In December 2013, my children and I were in India when we received a phone call from Al, saying that he had been mugged and beaten at 5:30 in the afternoon as he was going into his apartment building in the International District. He was 73 years old at that time and has M.S. in addition to his heart condition. Because of the M.S., he is very unstable on his feet, but he decided he wasn’t going to take it and fought back. As a result, all he lost was his phone.
He was very happy that he had stood up for himself. He also felt very grateful. Al has one eye that has been pretty much destroyed by glaucoma. If the mugger had beaten Al’s good eye, he would have been blinded; but since he beat the damaged one, Al still has good vision. I could understand Al’s sense of gratitude but was amazed at his ability to maintain a positive attitude in that situation.
I think by now, you can understand why I think Al is a very good example of the quality “Endurance!”
Written for the Weekly Photo Challenge: Endurance