Those who attended the 2019 “Early Conference” probably remember seeing me. It was a difficult trip, due to a disk in my back (L4-L5) that had completely ruptured and was causing serious pressure on my nerves. I was actually under orders from my surgeon to notify him immediately if certain symptoms appeared, because only surgery within 48 hours would have avoided permanent injury. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Sitting was difficult, but walking or standing was usually out of the question, so I was in a wheelchair most of the time. I want to give a special thanks to all of those who prayed for me and offered kind words.
Unfortunately, I remember very few of those kind words. The day after I returned to Georgia, I reported for what was supposed to be a relatively minor outpatient back surgery. It turned into four surgeries and almost two weeks in hospital. After having general anesthesia four times and countless narcotics, March, April, May and some of June are just a haze. But the kindness and compassion of all my EASA friends is something that I will never forget.
Ray Paden, Executive Secretary-Treasurer