Dear Family and Friends,
Wonderful news! Joe is cleared to leave for the Shepherd Center in Atlanta tomorrow (Wed) at 9:00! At our request, Ginny and I were awakened at 3:30 am by one of our many awesome ICU waiting room staff members to learn that the trauma doc on call had cleared him to go. We were so pumped up by the news that it was difficult falling back to sleep (but we managed!). Today we're organizing, shopping and packing for the trip. Ginny will be able to ride in the ambulence with Joe and an EMT to Atlanta, and Mom and Dad Leahy will follow. Friends are still planning to get Joe's van to Atlanta, and Ed, Gin's bro, will stay with Keith and Stephen until my folks return from seeing Joe at Shepherds and closing up the Florida condo. The rest of us are returning to our homes, Gin's folks and sister to Ohio and me to Omaha. (I can't wait to see you Mark, Eric, Phil, Jillian and all my friends and colleagues at U. of NE-Omaha!)
Many have asked how long Joe will be at Shepherds, and we simply don't know right now. I know Ginny wants the boys to visit for a few days during Steve and Keith's spring break and on the weekends when they can. Keith decided to go to Mississippi State today to check out of his dorm but he should be back tonight. Again, we'll get the address to Shepherd's to you very soon, but Ginny is taking her laptop and will be able to respond to email there as well. Ginny will continue to give us updates regarding Joe's progress, which Mark or I will relay to all of you via this blog site, but the posts may not be every day.
I wish I could express how grateful we are and how blessed we feel to have the love and support of so many wonderful family and friends, both here in Huntsville-Madison area as well as throughout the country (and a few countries). It truly is a miracle that Joe survived. We know it is the power of all of your prayers and those of our loved ones in heaven that pulled us through this horror.
I know I speak for all of the family from out of town when I say that 18 days ago we never expected to make so many friends in Huntsville and Madison. You are all phenomenal people, and we will sorely miss you. But....we promise we will return for a huge celebration for Joe with all of our families!
God Bless All of You!
Love and Blessings,