Friends facing challenges

Since returning from the Netherlands, I’ve been spending time with two friends who are experiencing significant physical challenges.

Suzanne, who at one time was a student of mine and who has since become a colleague in the writing world–and who, God bless her, jumped onboard to help transport The Alabama Project photos to Philly and back last month–suffered a brain aneurysm a little more than a week ago.

I’ve visited Suzanne a couple of times since her surgery, first in the NICU and then at home. While I’m extremely grateful that Suzanne survived, she’s seemed very different than the person I’ve come to know during the past several years. She’s somehow detached.

Today, I received a text from her daughter informing me that Suzanne was found unresponsive in her apartment last night. She’s experienced a prolonged seizure and is now back in the ICU under sedation.

At the same time Suzanne is facing a difficult situation, Edwina has been preparing to undergo surgery later this week. She’s suffered a couple of TIAs (mini-strokes) and doctors are planning to address some clogged arteries. Edwina has long had problems with blood clots, and doctors suspect she’s had a minor heart attack during the past couple of weeks as well.

I’ll meet Edwina at Princeton Hospital at 6 a.m. on Wednesday and stay with her until she’s back in recovery.

Sometimes, all a friend can do is show up and pray for the best.

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