Friday, March 1, 2013

The Story of Thomas James (Tommy's Story)

NOTE:  Everyone is different. Each person’s body will react differently to certain things. It can be a heart transplant, liver transplant, lung transplant, cancer, diabetes, medications, blood transfusions, and yes, even metals. You can have one person on a certain medication and give his/her brother or sister the same medication. One may react just fine and the other may find they have a bad reaction to it. The same goes for implants and other foreign objects.  One person’s body may react just fine, while another may have an allergic reaction.  There are no two people built the same. My point is, if you haven’t had any reaction to implants used in your body that is great news, but please keep the list of symptoms I have provided on this site for future reference. People don’t always have an instant reaction to these things. My daughter has titanium in her ankle; she fell the week before Tommy. Once a month she has major headaches and dizzy spells. Also, you may want to have your doctor start doing random blood testing every 3-6 months to make sure that the shavings from the metals haven’t gotten into your blood stream or to just do a blood count and make sure your numbers are normal.   If they are and you are still having symptoms, I would also check to see if you are having an allergic reaction to your metals.  Those reactions can occur at any time; right away or years down the road.  Example: Metals in your mouth may be fine or they may start causing headaches a few years later.  Please, just be safe. Don't over look anything when it comes to your health.  More needs to be done when they put these foreign objects into our bodies. They do testing every few months when you have cancer, heart transplants, and diseases of all kinds. Why not for something this major?  The family should be made aware and told what symptoms to watch for. No more shoving it under the rug. Let these people know the real stories of what can possibly happen, so they will know what to watch for.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER.

 To all:
This is the story of my Tommy.   I wanted to get this out there to all of you so that it may answer some of the questions you may have.  I have been trying to write this for the past few weeks now.  I don’t want to leave anything important out.  (Released on the 4th of January 2013 – Tommy’s Birthday)

Tommy loved life more than most.  He came into my life on June 5th, soo5.  He was the most wonderful man that I had ever known (aside from my dad).  Being with me, he also took on my three teenage daughters.  You ask, “Who in their right mind would do that?”  Tommy would.  Even though they tried to scare him off, he didn’t budge, which made them love him all the more.  For those of you that didn’t know (and many do), I am just a tad bit older than Tommy was.  When I found this out, I broke it off with him instantly.  Well, he wasn’t having that either.  He pulled that, “Age is just a number card” and I quickly fell for it.  Needless to say, that breaking if off only lasted about two hours.  Thank God!!! 

Okay, here goes… 

In 2009 Tommy had an accident at work.  He had fallen from a ladder and shattered his femur bone, also the bone leading from the femur into his hip and six breaks in his wrist.  When the rescue squad got out to the location to pick him up to transport him to the hospital he was still leaning against the ladder he had fallen from.  The female paramedic kicked the ladder out from him not realizing that he had actually propped himself up on that ladder to wait for them to get there.  She apologized and they loaded him on to the gurney to take him to the hospital.  Once he arrived we did a lot of talking about what had taken place.  He said he couldn’t remember if he had hit his head, but he had blood around his mouth and on his lips.  He also had a small bump on the front of his head and had broken his glasses.  He said he didn’t think it knocked him out but that he wasn’t 100% sure.  The doctors would need to do surgery on two separate occasions.  One to fix his femur right away and the next would be a few days later to fix his wrist.  His hospital stay lasted nine days and the doctors told him it could be up to 18 months before he would be back to a somewhat normal life.  Well, Tommy being a strong soul wasn’t going to let those words determine his future.

One day while I was sitting up there at the hospital he was complaining about the pain he was having around his lower abdomen, genital area and down through the top part of his legs.  He told me he wanted me to look at something, so I walked over to him and lifted up the sheets.  At that point I realized his skin was turning a black color.  He was so bruised from having the catheter in and that was causing him all that pain.  I called his nurse in to show her and I asked her if it was supposed to look like that and she assured me it was not.  She had to call the doctor to make sure it was alright to remove the catheter.  She came back within about 10 to 15 minutes and took it out.  She said she didn’t realize his skin had turned black like that.  I’m not sure anyone had even checked on him and the catheter.  They then gave him a urinal to use because he still couldn’t get up from the bed.  It took almost four weeks for the bruising to go away.

On the day I went to the hospital to take him home I noticed he was a greenish color.  I told the nurse there was no way in the world I would take him home looking like that.  He could barely move.  She ordered some blood work and found that he was not only very anemic but had been even when he was first admitted.  She said that she was shocked that it was overlooked and that he had even made it through two separate surgeries without them giving him a blood transfusion.

At that point they ordered him some blood and kept him long enough to administer it.  His color got back to normal (actually better than I had ever seen his color).  He told his brother Larry that even though he was going to be in a wheelchair for a while, he had more energy than he has had in a very long time.  He said he felt as if he could go outside and leap over cars.

When they released Tommy from the hospital we took him downstairs and got him in the car, we drove about five blocks away before noticing that he still had the IV stuff hanging from his arm under his sleeve.  I was like, “Oh shit”…  I called up to the hospital at the same time I was turning the car around.  The nurse came down to the car and took the IV out right there in the car.  She apologized and told me that she had been on night for the past 10 years and that Tommy was her first releasable patient.  We both told her not to worry about it and went on our way.

I had to administer shots into Tommy’s stomach for a couple of weeks so that he wouldn’t get any blood clots from the surgeries.  The doctors sent home pain pills for Tommy to take for the pain.  He only took them a few times.  I still have them all.  He didn’t believe in prescriptive medications.  He said he would only take it if the pain got bad enough that he couldn’t tolerate it on his own.  We had to go back for several follow up appointments after he was released.  I remember on one visit his color had gotten greenish again.  It was the follow up appointment where they were going to remove his stitches.  He told the nurses that he felt like he was going to faint.  They told him even the biggest and toughest guys get weak when it comes to taking out little stitches.  He just looked over at me like these gals were nuts.  They had to sit him back in a chair and keep him there for about a half hour and give him water and crackers so that he wouldn’t faint.  Not once even at that follow up visit did they mention they might want to test his blood levels for any metal poisoning or any of the things he had been flagged for from the beginning.  They had his charts right at their fingertips and not one word was mentioned that his blood levels had been flagged when he was first admitted the day of his fall.

Tommy couldn’t move from the couch for the first month except with help.  He couldn’t get into the bathroom because our door wasn’t wide enough.  He was determined to show those doctors that he was going to get back on his feet sooner than they thought.  At that point the most important thing to him was not letting his bosses down.  There were so many people who told him to milk the Workmen’s Comp and stay down.  That wasn’t how Tommy rolled.  He always said, “There is someone out there that has it was worse.”  He felt as if being away from work was not fair to the guys he worked with.  I had never met anyone like that.  He was so honorable.  In all honesty, he would have made more money being on Workmen’s Comp than he did working, but to him that was stealing and Tommy was not a thief.  He believed if you had the ability to work, then you should be working.  So, I watched him work his ass off every single day, learning to walk all over again and strengthening his hand.  He would use that walker to go up and down the hallway over and over the entire day while I’d be at work.  He showed me what it meant to be able, when disabled.  I was so proud of him.  

Tommy was released to go back to working half days exactly four months from the date of his accident, December 7, 2009.  He was so excited to get back to a somewhat normal life.  All of those that had been around him knew that this was a big accomplishment.  Once again, he proved he was the strongest man I had ever met.  I watched him struggle every single day for four months straight and never heard him complain about it, ever.  He knew what he had to do to get where he needed to be and that is exactly what he did.

About two years after his fall (September 2011) he started to experience some very excruciating pain in his hip area.  It was bad enough to drop him to his knees.  This went on for a while before he asked me to make him an appointment with the doctor that had performed the surgery on his leg.  We got that appointment and spoke with the doctor.  He did some x-rays and told us all the metals and bolts were in place and all was just fine.    He suggested that Tommy go through another six weeks of physical therapy again to see if that would help.  Again, no one mentioned any allergic reactions to metals or bothered to offer to test his blood levels for any metal poisoning or any of the things he had been flagged for from the beginning.  He just simply told him that he didn’t have enough fatty tissue around the area and that might be causing the pain.  Two years later and this is what he comes up with.  I remember telling Tommy on the way out of that visit that none of that made sense to me at all. 

Tommy went through the therapy and it helped a little.  On his follow up visit they talked a little about removal of the metals down the road if it got bad enough.  When we left from that appointment Tommy said, “Well, I guess this is just the pain I will have to learn to live with.”
Around the same time, Tommy started complaining about forgetting things.  “Simple things”, he called them.  We went to Walmart and purchased some over the counter Ginkgo Biloba.  He had tried this a few years before (he took if for about a week back then but didn’t seem to think there was any results) but thought he would give it a try again.  He was told it was good for memory loss.  We thought because it was all natural it wasn’t harmful.  This time he took it for a few weeks and decided the same thing.  Tommy’s was a believer in taking pills of any kind, prescriptive or over the counter, unless they were vitamins or all natural, because he said he always felt like too many doctors pushed too many pills on people. 

Every single night when we sat on the couch after work Tommy would do his leg stretches and use his hand weight to flex his wrist.  He never missed a night unless we had to go somewhere that kept us out too late.  Mind you, we didn’t drink, so it wasn’t too often that we weren’t home.  Tommy worked really hard on trying to keep himself healthy.  He even encouraged me on doing the same thing all the time. 

Throughout the winter of 2011 to 2012 the weather was pretty nice.  We went for a lot of walks just to get the exercise for his leg.  We rode our Harley’s on the weekends and sometimes he would even ride to work.  Around late May, early June 2012, he started complaining about dizzy spells.  He wasn’t able to sleep at night; therefore, he was always tired.  We thought that maybe if we got a new bed that would help, even though the bed we had was barely two years old.  He thought maybe it was too soft and we needed something a bit firmer.  So we went out and bought a new bed.  It didn’t fix the problem even a little.  Within a few weeks, I’d say around late June, Tommy started telling me he was forgetting things again.  Easy things like why he walked into a room or what he had just read.  I told him it was all about age.  I said he was catching up to me.  I mean that’s what we are told from the time we are children.  As the weeks went on it started to get worse.  He would sit up in bed and just be sitting there.  I would wake up and ask him what was wrong and he would just say he didn’t know.  A few times he had gotten up to let the dos out and he would have to sit right back down because he would get so dizzy that he would almost pass out.  Looking back now I remember his color changing.  He had a gray tint to his skin color.  His hair line started receding back really far also.  He said he felt like he was aging quickly.  We just let it go. 

On July 15th we went swimming at his mom’s house.  All the kids were there and it was Ashley’s birthday.  He stood on the edge of the slide and did a flip into the water for all the kids (show-off).  They all thought this was pretty cool and kept yelling for him to do it again.  I got upset and reminded them of the accident Uncle Tommy had had a few years before and told them how we didn’t want him to get hurt again.  They all agreed and he got down.  Within about 20 minutes he said, “I really shouldn’t have done that, I feel kind of sick.”  Everyone that knows Tommy also knows that he had motion sickness ever since he was a child (which leads me to believe maybe it was always more than motion sickness).  So at that time, we chalked it up to that.  He was sick for two days straight from that flip.

For the next few months there were more symptoms added to the list, but we thought it was all those small things that people overlooked and go through with age.  There were a few times that he had gotten really bad chest pains.  He started taking aspirin daily, and then only a few days here and there when the pain would come on again.  The dizziness never did stop.  In August 2012 he told me his hands had been going numb once in a while.  This is something he knew I could relate to from a car accident I had been in a few years before I net him.  Mine was the right hand and he said his started to become both and not just the one he injured.   We had a long talk and decided we were going to sell the bikes.  He was really worried that if we were riding and his hands went numb he would wipe us both out.   He said those bikes weren’t worth our lives.  Then he added we couldn’t put a baby seat on the back of them (we had just found out we were going to be grandparents).  He said he was going to be called G-Pa.  He even posted it on our Brittney’s post on her Facebook page.  He was thrilled about this.  He said he could teach this child baseball because he was damn good at it.  He said we could invest in an older car that wouldn’t take too much to fix up and then when we would get to the red lights, we wouldn’t have to scream so loud to hear each other like we did on the bikes. 

Looking back now, so many things were missed.  I had to go to Virginia the last week of September for work.  He called me and told me he had finally gotten called up for a new position with the Union.  It would be with Baxter.  He said he felt bad for the way he had to leave CEI without a two weeks’ notice after being there for 10 years, but he knew he was doing what was best for our family.  I will not get into all the different things that had been happening at CEI; it is not my place to do so on this blogspot or the website.   One day while I was still in Virginia after an all-day meeting I tried to call Tommy; he didn’t answer.  I tried about 10 times.  I was extremely worried because this wasn’t like him at all.  We always talked every half hour or on a daily basis.  It’s just how we were.  I got so worried that I called the girls.  Finally I tried one more time and he answered.  He told me that he was sorry he didn’t answer and that he wasn’t feeling the best and must have fallen asleep.  Tommy was the lightest sleeper I had ever known.  So this wasn’t normal.  So for me to have to call him over and over I was concerned and started asking him simple questions, like isn’t he hear the phone ringing and was he feeling better.  He just said, “I’m so sorry babe, I feel so out of it”.  It was only 4 in the afternoon.  I told him to go back to sleep and call me when he woke up.  I still hadn’t heard from him and it was almost 7 P.M. so I called him back again.  He said he had just been sitting on the couch doing nothing.  I found it so odd that he hadn’t called me back.  He always called back.  Not once in all the years we had been together had he done something like this.  I asked him if he was alright and he said yes.  It wasn’t until after his passing that Ashley told me that the night I had been trying to call him, she had come home from work at 7:30 that night and was going to go out but she saw him curled up in the corner of the couch and she had never seen him like that so she decided to stay home with him and they just sat around and watch television.   She said looking back it had really scared her and she didn’t understand what was wrong with him.

I came home on Thursday night, September 27, 2012.  My flight had been delayed in Chicago.  I called him and told him so he wouldn’t have to be sitting at the airport waiting for me.  He told me that he had nothing better to do and just wanted me home, so waiting wasn’t a problem.  He was always like that.  Then we even sent text messages as I was landing and pulling up to the gate.    His text message said, “I see you.  Well, not you but your plane.  I’m so glad you’re home.”  When I walked up to him he seemed a bit out of it but I figured he was just tired.  Again I asked if he was alright.  He said yes and that he was just a bit tired.  We went home and stayed up chatting for a few hours even though it was already late.  I had taken the next day off to hang out with him since he was going to work a night shift for the new company.  We hung out the whole entire day doing a whole lot of nothing.  We loved those days.  He went to work Friday night and again on Saturday.

On Sunday I was walking into the living room and he asked me to sit down for a minute.  As I started to sit he said, “Babe, I want to tell you something but I don’t want you to freak out.”  As a wife and this being my very best friend, as soon as those words came from his lips, I freaked out, not even knowing what he was about to say.  This wasn’t something that he had ever said to me before, so I knew it wasn’t going to be good.  This was on September 30, 2012.  Same day as my father passed away on 1998.  Not a day I personally cared for to begin with.

Tommy sat me down and explained to me that while I had been out of town for work he had suffered from a delusion of some sort.  At that point I didn’t know what that really meant.  The only thing I knew what it meant you saw things on the walls and stuff like that.  I was 100% wrong.   At any rate I was freaked out.  He told me it had happened the day I was trying to call him over and over.  He said he didn’t hear the phone and he wasn’t sure what had happened in that few hours.  He said he had no memory of it.  It was like he was seeing things and then he was out of it and couldn’t move.  He then asked me if I would call our doctor on Monday and make him an appointment.  He specifically said, “I am NOT DEPRESSED babe.  I can’t sleep and I keep getting dizzy.  There is something really wrong with me.  I don’t want pills, I want answers.”  He was worried because our last family doctor believed in pills cures all.  Everyone must be depressed and let’s give everyone a prescription.  I reminded him that was the reason we changed doctors.   He said to make sure they do a test on his head.  He was genuinely scared and I had never seen him that way, so it scared the heck out of me too.  When you are married to a man that refuses to go to the doctor for things and then he asks you to please make him an appointment, you know something must be wrong.

I called our insurance company on Monday to find out that our insurance had expired the day before on the 30th, 2012.  We would have to wait for the Cobra to kick in since he hadn’t been with the Union long enough.  We could still get in but we would have to pay and then get reimbursed once we signed up for the Cobra Act.  We figured if it got worse we would just go to the ER.  The papers came on Tuesday or Wednesday so we were good to go.  However, before the papers came I had called Brittney and told her what was going on with Tommy and she said she would meet me at the house right after work.  This was on Monday, October the 1st, 2012.  Brittney and Derrick showed up at the house around 5:15 P.M.  We all sat down and started going over all the symptoms that he had been having for months.  We literally were trying to remember and list each one that he or I could remember.  Below is a list of most of them.

1) Fatigue

2) Dizziness

3) Fainting Spells

4) Shortness of Breath

5) Chest Pains

6) Heart Palpitations

7) Little or No Appetite

8) Numbness in Hands or Feet

9) Delusions

10) Hallucinations

11) Loss of Weight

12) Pail Skin Color

13) Aging Rapidly

14) Difficulty in Concentrating

15) Memory Loss

16) Laps in Time or Even Days

17) Weakness

18) Itching and Rashes

19) Irritability 

We had decided that since we weren’t sure what was all going on we were going to have him stop drinking soda (he drank a lot of soda) and start drinking even more water and Gatorade.  As we were all sitting there he made a few calls to the guys he used to work with.  One was to his old boss.  When he came back in from talking to Gary (one of his old bosses), he just sort of stood there like he was in some sort of daze or trance, lost in space.  I called out to him like 4 or 5 times and then he looked like he was looking right through me.  This freaked me and the kids out.  I told him to come over and sit down.   The kids had never seen him like this.  I had been seeing it a lot over the past few weeks only never put it with something being wrong with his health.

Later that night we had gone and got him bottles of water, Gatorade, fruits, more healthy foods.  We even picked up a new bottle of that Ginkgo Biloba for the memory loss, in hopes that it would work this time around.  We also got him his first laptop.  He was really excited about that.  This way he could track everything and chat with me on Facebook.  So along with his daily Men’s Vitamin, a Vitamin C, the aspirin and the Ginkgo pill, we really thought we had everything covered that would matter until he could get to his doctor appointment.

Tuesday he went to work and wasn’t feeling well.  The lady he was working for hadn’t given the mandatory 15 minute breaks the Union requires or even let them take a lunch break.  He was not happy about this at all.  I told him to leave and go back to the hall and get back on the list and hope to get on over at the Google job.  He left there and came to my work.  I didn’t know until after he passed away that one of the gal’s I work with said that while Tommy was there that day, she had said hello to him and he walked right by her as if he hadn’t heard her at all.  Tommy wasn’t like this.  He always went out of his way to say hi to everyone and people knew that about him.  He was very well liked by everyone that ever met him.   Even now looking back on that same day, he sat down in the chairs by the window and I thought he was reading a book and just waiting for me, but when I asked him what he was reading he didn’t answer me.  I asked him 5 times.  I walked over there and he said he must not have heard me.  I was only 20 feet away from him.  This was all abnormal looking back now.   We went home and just hung out all night.  It was a good night.  He had Wednesday off.   We chatted back and forth on Facebook all afternoon.  He had dinner ready when I got home and we talked about what he should do until he got called back up off the bench.  He decided to go to work with his brother temporarily.

The next morning (Thursday the 4th day of October 2012) we woke up and he told me that he hadn’t slept well at all and was so tired.  I was lying on the couch with my legs on his lap.  We talked until it was time for me to shower and get ready for work.  I left about 6:30ish.  We were used to leaving at the same time together every day.  We had done that for all the years we had been together.  He walked me to the door and gave me my kiss.  He said he had better get in gear before brother Brian got there to pick him up.  He asked me if I wanted him to start dinner or just go set gas for the lawn mower if he got home before I did.  I told him it was completely up to him.

Here was a man that had so many things going for him.  He loved his family.  He had his house the way he wanted it.  We had just gotten the windows and doors, the house painted and the new walk done.  He loved his truck and ha loved his life.  He was so excited to be back in the Union.  That meant everything to him.  He was so proud of that.  I was so proud of him as well.  It was a decision we had talked about for months.  He knew he wasn’t going anywhere with his old company and this was going to be good for him.

On Thursday morning, October 4, 2012 I had my happy go lucky husband and within a few hours of me leaving for work he was gone.  Some people said maybe he had been depressed and to this I only need to say he wasn’t.  If you had even been around him for any amount of time you would have known how happy he was.  So I no longer feel the need to explain that.  Perhaps it will be a section in the book.  But as for here, I knew him better than anyone.  Depressed was the last thing Tommy was. 

I can understand it though.  When I tragedy like this happens the first thing we are taught as children even is that someone must have been depressed.  They don’t think it could have been an allergic reaction to the titanium metals put in his body that were supposed to make his life better,  They never told us what to watch for.  Since this has happened I have learned more than anyone person should have to know.  This is something the doctors should tell people while they are shoving these foreign objects in to people.  While they are making billions of dollars a year to do so.  I have lost family members to depression.  I have lost many friends the same way.  I would have stopped a long time ago had I thought for even one second that depression was what killed my husband Tommy Harvey.  I know differently.

The sad part is, we saw all of these symptoms for months and never thought for a second that it could have anything to do with the metals they used to cure his breaks.  Had I known anything I would have had my very best friend at the ER as soon as the first symptom hit.  It wasn’t until know that I have had so many others come to me with the same symptoms and the same problems that I now know the cause of my husband’s death is due to the lack of care from his doctors and all those involved in his care or lack of.

My main concern now is to help others.  To bring awareness to these things that are going on and have been for so many years.  The doctors have known about these symptoms and have been shoving them under the rug for years.  Too many years to let it continue.  Laws need to be changed.

Tommy Harvey was that guy that always said, “There is always tomorrow.” Or “Someone always has it way worse.”  Even a few weeks before this happened we went on the Suicide Prevention Walk.  Suicide was something Tommy didn’t believe in.  We talked about it openly.   I will never call his death a suicide.  I believe he couldn’t have been in his right state of mind when this happened.   I believe he had to have gone into a hallucination state of mind at the time.  He was dressed and ready for work.  He had the house all locked up, alarm set and the couches coved.  He was ready and excited to be going to work with Brian. 

The police that were here at the time promised they would check his blood levels in the autopsy for anything out of the ordinary.  We had told them all of what had been going on with Tommy.  This was said in front of a house full of family members.  They said they would make sure this happened.  It did not.  Family members even called down to the place where the autopsy was going to take place and they also said they would take care of it.  They did nothing.  The only things they tested my husband’s blood for was drugs, tobacco and alcohol.  The three things Tommy Harvey did not use.   The lead detective was on vacation a few weeks after Tommy’s death when I kept trying to call him.  I think he may have been getting married.  So his Sargent told me that they had 7 suicides that month and were very busy, but that they saved me a sample of his blood.  They were kind enough to give it to me 7 weeks post death.  All the companies I called to have it tested told me that if the coroner’s office wasn’t going to do what we asked as a family then they should have had that sample to us within 10 days of his death.  They knew this and just didn’t care because when I called the coroner’s office the day before Thanksgiving to ask why they didn’t do what we asked, the guy on the phone just kept saying the death was obvious.  No matter what I would say after that, he just kept saying, “Yea and”, over and over until I hung up on him.

I just want them to be responsible.  I want blood tests made mandatory for people with implants of any kind.  Not everyone will have an allergic reaction, but some will.  Tommy did.  They make enough money off of this; they need to take it more seriously.  Human lives are valuable.  Our loved ones matter.
Blood work should be done every 6 to 12 months to check for corrosion and or shavings of the metals into the blood stream.   They check every 6 months for cancer patients.  These people should be considered just as important.  This is traumatic injuries that require these implants.  It needs to be taken more seriously.   I have found in so many cases that these implants cause major headaches, dizziness, discoloration of the skin and so many other problems.  Once removed, the symptoms are going away, all of them.

So if there is anyone out there that is going through anything like this, please keep a list of the symptoms with you.  Make a chart and keep it on your Fridge.  Put a check mark next to whatever symptom you may be having and always mark the date.  This way you have something to refer back to when you go to your doctor.  If your doctor tells you there is no way that it could be related to the metals, please get a second or even third opinion.  I have looked into so many sites and chatted with so many hundreds of people that have been through this and their symptoms were shoved under the rug until now.  Please check out the different sites I have added to Tommy’s Blog and Website.  Please don’t give up and know that even though you may feel you are dying or the pain is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life, it just is NOT true.  I am here is you need me as well.  Always.

I know I didn’t owe any of you an explanation about Tommy, but I felt I needed to speak for him since he was my best friend.  I also did it for all of you that truly loved him.  I wanted you all to know that Tommy wouldn’t have left all of us if he had the choice.  He loved life and all the people in it.  So when you’re reading this blog or website today, just know that Tommy was sick and didn’t even know it.  Please take the information I have given you and try to help another person that may have the same symptoms.   There is one thing I am certain of and that is, I will never give up on him.  I knew him and how he felt about life.  We were so open with each other on every topic that could come to your mind. 
Some have asked me if I think it’s possible to have a reaction to the titanium after 3 years, my answer to that is YES.  100% yes.  I personally think Tommy had a reaction every time his blood counts were off.   So we didn’t know what the cause of each symptom was.  I think they should have tested him within a few months of his surgery and every few months after that.  I also that when we went back in 2011, complaining of being in so much pain they should have done more for him than a few x-rays and a few weeks of therapy.  They had his charts, they knew what those blood levels were from the very beginning & they knew people all over the world had been complaining of these same symptoms.  I have paper work dating back so far it would shock you.  It still shocks me.   If we had been told about his blood levels from the beginning, we certainly wouldn’t have been giving him aspirin for chest pains and the Ginkgo Biloba for the memory loss.  Instead we would have been tracking his blood levels and we would have known how serious all of these symptoms really were.  We would have also known that people that have anemia or other blood disorders and take these medications on top if it can and have caused hallucinations and suicidal tendencies.      

You can contact me on here or in a personal email that is set up to accept emails for Tommy's Story. Below is the address:

Laura - Tommy's wife

I want to thank all of you that have taken the time to read this and to those that have shared it with others. Between this Blog and the Website, there were over 35,000 hits. It has made it to 64 different countries. There has been so much response. We need to keep getting it out there. We need to make a difference. Together we can do it. I believe the good Lord is working through all of us. Someone has to make a difference. These innocent people need to be taken care of and not just pushed to the sidelines after surgeries like this and others. Those that have blood disorders of any type need to be told about them so they can do follow up testing that might just save their lives.  Again, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time from your day to either read & or re-post.

Update below on 5/17/2013:
When people ask me how I can post Tommy’s Story every single day, my answer is pretty simple; because I have to.  If posting can save just one life that will mean that Tommy’s being taken so soon wasn’t for absolutely no reason at all.  Tommy would have wanted to help others.  I would have preferred a different way.  If me getting this information out to another family who might not have known before Tommy’s Story was written (just like we didn’t), then all of my efforts and the efforts of Team Tommy will have been worth every letter typed, every post that was posted, every shirt made, every bumper sticker stuck, every endless sleepless night, every tweet ever tweeted, every email received and every one sent with information back in return. 

When I said I do on June 17th, 2006 to my best friend, I meant I DO FOREVER!

For better or worse – this has been the worst and I still must push forward and share what happened to him.

In sickness and in health – he got sick.  I must tell how that happened in order to stop it from happening to someone else.

Until death do us part – he has gone home by no choice of his own, but I am still here.  Only now it is for the both of us and I will honor that and carry on until I meet up with him once again on the day that I take my last breath.  So death doesn’t really part us at all.  It’s just a temporary delay until our eternity together.   Please know I do what I do because it is who I am.  I hope all of you have a wonderful day. 


Here is the link to Christa David's story about her mom:

Visit Tommy's Memorial Page at:

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