Thank you letter from Steve & Sue Bickford

Published by Sharon Santos on

June 12, 2024
Dear Union Brother and Sisters
When Chris and Kyle asked to stop by at the beginning of this week, we didn’t think anything other than checking in now that Steve was home from the hospital. After some small talk and checking in, we were moved to tears. To think and hear about the outreach of support, concern and well wishes was simply overwhelming and for that we will be eternally grateful. I know that many of you have kept asking, so here is my attempt at a quick summary.
Steve’s recollection of that event started with his assessment of the job being a mid-span attachment, line of trees running the property edge ending with a concerned homeowner (Al as we came to know later), who went out to feed his horses, saw the van and drove down to see how much longer before his power was restored. When Steve came into contact with the primary, it knocked him out of service. Al pulled up behind the van to see the back door open and Steve laying down on his back and he joked “what are you doing taking a nap?”. Steve then explained that he wasn’t feeling well and his right arm hurt while attempting to sit up and move to the platform of his van. Al offered to call 911 then put his arm around Steve’s shoulders to steady him and exclaimed “Holy Shit man, I think you have been electrocuted”.
From that day, March 28th through to discharging from the hospital on May 23rd, he has undergone 12 separate operations split evenly between his back and right arm/wrist. He has endured having his hand stitched to his groin from April 23rd through May 13th, bedridden for the first week, then allowed to move but really what can you do with a hand sewn to your groin? During this time, had the pleasure of meeting the infectious disease team since a swab of his wrist showed he had a staph infection. May 13th, finally the hand was freed, only to have the flap (graft for the wrist) start filling with blood, but the circulation wasn’t a full loop yet and it couldn’t get out. Enter a bedside procedure cutting off a window of the flap and heparin gauze soaks getting changed every two hours until they could ship the leaches from New York to start blood letting with leaches. This process landed him back into COR wing of R3 with very small nurse to patient ratios due to his regimented needs. May 17th was his last back surgery where they took skin from his lower back and grafted it to his wound area and a final hand surgery on May 20th to thin out the flap and remove all the necrotic tissue from the blood flow problem.
Arriving home has been amazing and horrifying all at once with its own set of challenges. The road ahead to recovery we have been warned will be long, winding, even unpaved at times and without a clear knowledge of what/where the final destination will be. But knowing that we have such and amazing group of people thinking of us, saying prayers, sending healing thoughts and even some crude jokes and ribbing (we need to keep it real of course) makes this journey seem less daunting.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your support and solidarity,
Steve and Susan Bickford