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Community helps with healing process

Dear Friends:

I wanted to take this opportunity to update the community about my health and recovery from my recent illness that began at the finance committee meeting of Ironton City Council on Sept. 26.

Apparently, soon after the meeting began, I lost consciousness due to an irregular heartbeat that basically caused my heart to stop. My doctors call the condition “sudden death syndrome.”

Without the immediate and appropriate action of fellow council members Ms. Beth Rist and Mr. Aaron Bollinger, I would not be here today. They, I have been told, began CPR techniques on me while the emergency division of the Ironton Fire Department was on its way. An enormous thank you goes out to those two council members.

Also, an enormous thank you goes out to the Ironton Fire Department, in particular, Zack Kriebel, Chief Tom Runyon and Mark Misner. Without the defibrillator used properly and quickly by them, there would have been no reason to take me to King’s Daughter Medical Center. Thank you so much to the firemen who did such a great job to assist in saving my life!

Once at KDMC, their trauma team began their work. Apparently, I was placed into a medically controlled coma while the doctors and staff there worked to get my body temperature to 90 degrees. This allowed my body functions to continue while my brain caught up slowly with my organs after the trauma and heart problems had occurred.

I was in an unconscious state from Thursday evening, Sept. 26, to Saturday, Sept. 28. I’d like to thank the staff of doctors and nurses in the Heart Trauma Unit at KDMC not only for their care while in the unit, but I believe every one of them came to my regular room to check on me, and two nurses came to see me even though they were off work. The care I received while at KDMC was simply excellent throughout the entire ordeal!

I then remained in a regular room at KDMC fighting pneumonia and the heart issues for almost a week, being allowed to return home on Friday, Oct. 4, after having a defibrillator/pacemaker installed on Oct. 3.

The defibrillator work was done by Dr. John VanDeren. He simply is an expert that our community is so fortunate to have. I also was seen by my heart doctor, Michelle Friday, who also is a wonderful doctor, and I am so thankful for her expertise and care.

The staff of doctors and all nurse personnel at KDMC could not have been more helpful and professional. Their combined efforts saved my life.

Throughout the 10-day ordeal, my wife, Alyce, never left my side, along with my three girls, Taylor, Jenna and Haley. My girls and my stepsons, Bryson and Dru, were all very concerned and helpful and have all been so loving and caring throughout.

I could never thank Alyce, my children, or my stepsons enough for all they have done or the outpouring of love, care and concern they have shown me.

Lastly, the outpouring of concern, care and love, which has come to me from the community of Ironton and the surrounding areas, has been simply remarkable. If I tried to list the friends, family and professional acquaintances who have either sent food, cards, letters, calls and/or support, the list could not fit in this letter.

The entities that I would like to mention would be the wonderful friends I have at Central Christian Church, from Pastor Phil LeMaster to the individual Sunday School classes who have sent cards, letters and calls.

Secondly, the St. Joseph Church community has been so helpful, caring and supportive. Father Huffman came to see me many times as did Phil LeMaster.

On each occasion, both offered prayers, which honestly, the Lord God is the ultimate healer and these wonderful men of God and many other friends and family members who prayed for me incessantly is what got me through this entire ordeal.

The reason for this letter is somewhat unclear even to me but I have so much gratefulness in my heart to so many people, I thought this was appropriate.

Further, lots of people in our community have negative thoughts and comments about Ironton or living in a small town, in general. One thing I know, I wouldn’t trade where I was raised and where I remain for anything. Had my medical problems occurred anywhere else, I would not have made it.

Thank you so much for the outpouring of support, love and concern from Aaron Bollinger, Beth Rist, Ironton Fire Department, first responders, the entire staff at KDMC, my brother, Jimmy, his wife, Lori, my sister, Sharry, her husband, Greg, my wife, Alyce, my girls, Taylor and her husband, T.J, Jenna, Haley, my stepsons, Bryson and Dru, my grandkids, Tara and Mason and my wonderful secretary, Pam Rowe and her family.

This wonderful community contains so many caring and supportive people, all of which, I am, and will be forever grateful. Thank you!



Kevin J. Waldo