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Beneath the tide

When you’re 19 years old, the world is at your fingertips, and a vacation to the beach with friends can be the time of your life!

I can just picture the road trip…windows down, wind in your hair, tunes blasting, yelling over each other in excitement, lots of laughing.

The sea awaits you with all its elements of fun and opportunity, colorful surf-boards, co-ed volleyball games, breathtaking sunsets, beach fires and building of sandcastles.

No one usually thinks…you just don’t think … but the sea is indeed a vast and powerful entity that in one second – in one turn of the head, in one tragic dive – can take us down beneath the tumultuous tide and leave us horrifically changed.

Being moms, we always do everything we can to protect our babies, but as they grow older to times of independence our stronghold on them diminishes, and we have to begin let go and allow our children to grow on their own.

My heart goes out to my friend, my once wonderful neighbors who have met with such a tragedy and loss.

It happened to them. Their son, John (Johnny), in July while vacationing with friends at Misquamicut Beach, R.I., dove under a wave too shallow and hit his head on the ocean floor fracturing the C5 and C6 vertebrae in his neck.

I shudder to think of the intense fear in his eyes when one second he dives and the next he’s unable to move a muscle in his body. I’ve seen that fear before and it’s gut-wrenching.

He was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital in Providence for immediate treatment and evaluation. In the first couple of days he had no feeling in his arms and legs and wore Halo traction.

Within days a beam of hope came when I received the message from my neighbors that he began to have feeling in his toes and fingertips.

Today John can move his arms but has no dexterity in his hands and is still paralyzed below his waist. He has been transferred to the no. 5-ranked (in the 2012 U.S. News and World Report) Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston where remarkable recoveries happen every day and I wish him peace and light and to be well.

When you look into his eyes you find a quiet sincerity, kindness and a giving, fun-loving nature.

Why do these things happen to such good people? Such people of faith? I wish I could answer that question. I remember a friend of my mom’s who lost her son to a devastating motorcycle accident said, “God can’t always say yes; sometimes he has to say no.”

For her it was her answer to why she lost her son. Perhaps we can find answers to the questions if we look. We can find ways to cope if we believe or have a sense of faith or spirituality, and sometimes the answers never come until the day we arrive in the clouds.

John is a good young man with lots of people who love him and want to see him just come home. I have faith, but I know he has an indefinite journey ahead of him to endure.

The costs of medical care can’t all be covered by insurance today, and his family’s need to be with him in the expensive city of Boston will quickly drain their pockets.

So please, if you can, give, keep your faith, send out your positive thoughts and pray. After all the power of prayer can bring healing, and shouldn’t we all receive that gift?

If you wish to learn more and help to support John Serridge and his family, please go online to the Medical Fundraiser for John Serridge and Family at

-God Bless and Ciao Bella

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Posted by on August 30, 2012. Filed under Columns,Girl-2-Girl,Opinion. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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