TISSUE ALERT! This letter was sent to us by a family that we have been helping since August 2014. Now a little disclaimer, the family asked us to share this! This letter reiterates the importance of why the NSUJL is here. We support fallen and injured line-workers and their families well beyond the first 30 days. We are here for the long haul.
This is where your donation, sponsorship and membership goes, this is what it does.
On August 18, 2014 I had just picked my daughter up from her 1st ½ day of school and my son had not started he didn’t start til August 20, 2014 so after picking up my daughter we were going to go finish school shopping and go have lunch. At 11:40am I was just pulling into Lawrence Kansas and my phone rang it was a call from my husband (which I thought it was) so I had answered it and when I heard the voice on the other end and it wasn’t my husband I didn’t think too much right off the bat because we all know how linemen like to joke around but when the other voice said Jana, this is Shawn, Tom’s foreman, I am calling you to let you know Tom was in an accident and my heart just dropped I never wanted to get that phone call. Shawn said Tom is ok. They are taking him to KU. I freaked out and Tom heard me hell, so Tom was in the back ground saying I am ok. Then asked for Shawn to hold the phone up to him so he could talk to me, Shawn held the phone up to his ear and Tom said babe I am ok, I was burnt but doing ok? Just take care of our babies and meet me at the hospital we hung up the phone and not only did I break down in tears but our children heard it all so they are crying worried about their daddy because they know how dangerous his job was so I tried to be as calm as I could be. The hour it took for me to meet my mom on the way to KU Med and to get there seemed to be the longest drive of my life I didn’t know what to expect had no clue where he was burnt. When I got to KU I went to the ER and they had said he was already moved to the burn unit so then my mind started racing thinking this is going to be bad all I could do it pray that he is going to be Ok. When I arrived in the burn unit with my sister and Tom’s mother at my side we walked in to Tom’s room seeing him trying to be strong and not show the pain he was in. I looked at him and seen his was burnt on his left hand and wrist, and right hand, wrist, and forearm they were just finishing doing all his test they let me spend a few minutes at his side and then I had to leave the room so they could start the cleaning process to his burns to know that they were going to scrub him just made me sick to my stomach but at that time all I could do is thank god he was still here on earth with me and our family.
Why the nurses and Doctors scrubbed and did all they had to do I went out to the waiting room where I was met by Tom’s general foreman and superintendent they asked how he was doing and all I could say is he is doing as good as he can be and I asked them if they could tell me what happened and they said they ha d no idea what had happened at that time but they would start the investigation but for me not to worry just take care of Tom and they would be there for us if we needed anything at all. After the scrubbing the Doctors and nurses talked to us said Tom was tough and doing good but he had 3rd and 4th degree burns and by all the test they could tell us that he was electrocuted so they would be monitoring him close the first 72 hours are the worst and with his burns they will burn from the inside out up to 72 hours after being burned.
The nurses scrubbed the burns everyday on Thursday August 21st 2014 Tom was taken into surgery to have skin graphs done. They took skin from his left thigh to put on all his burns after an hour and ½ he has back in his room and doing amazing he was a trooper and didn’t let anything get him down. On Sunday August 24th 2014 they took all the bandages off to check to see if his skin graphs were taking and they said it looked great and they thought his body was going to except the graphing so they wrapped him back up til Tuesday August 26th 2014 and then they took our all the staples and everything was looking great and they told him if he kept doing good that as long as he had help at home that they would let him go home on Wednesday August 27th 2014.
During the 10 days at Ku Med Burn unit we had great family and friend support, as a lot of our friends and family know that Tom was our sole support of our family they knew this was going to be a heavy weight on our shoulders to provide for our family, So a union brother contacted me on facebook and asked if he could give my information to National Sisterhood United of Journeyman linemen I told him that would be great not really know what we would really be up against and for how long. The next day I had a message from Anna Marie from NSUJL so I called her back and man was she a great person she listened to me she was a ear to let me vent in. As we talked it really helped know I had someone to listen to me and not judge. She sent me all the paperwork to fill out to get the help we needed. I didn’t fill it out right away because I wasn’t sure how the work comp worked out and was just trying to focus on my husband and our family.
Well on Friday August 29th we had a letter to sign for well we opened that letter and got the worst news ever and that was that Tom was fired from his job and work comp was denied we felt lost didn’t know what to do what to think here we are just got home from the hospital trying to take care of things, trying to keep food on our table a roof over our family’s head we were just lost of words. So I sat down and filled out the papers for the help from NSUJL sent them back to them and in just a few days they had a check to us to help our family. After getting the 1st check I had another number to a new great friend and that was Rae Johnson. From September 2014 and on she has been a great friend there to listen and there with a helping hand.
As I set here January 21st 2015 and write this letter, we are still fighting work comp so our family has no income. We fill out the paper work for NSUJL assistance every month and send in all the paper work they need to help us out. They make sure we have food to eat, our bills are paid, and must of all we don’t lose our place we call home. We wouldn’t be where we are right now if it wasn’t for NSUJL we would have lost our home, our vehicles, and our kids would not have had the Christmas that they had because of the NSUJL’s family.
So if you are reading this just know the last 5 months I couldn’t tell you where or how we would of made it if it wasn’t for NSUJL. If you are looking for a great organizations and a good tax write off please donate to NSUJL because you never know when you maybe in the place our family is and you may need that help believe me I never thought we would ever have to but this has opened up my eyes any thing can happen in just the blink of a eye because we all know LINEMEN TRULY DO PUT THEIR LIFES ON THE LINE EVERYDAY!! God bless everyone that is willing to lend a helping hand!
I want to say a special thanks to all the NSUJL board members for everything you have done for our family and god bless you all and a really BIG special thanks and appreciation to Rae Johnson for her hard work and dedication she has done to make NSUJL what they are but if it wasn’t for all the donors it wouldn’t be where it is today!!
Thanks Truly From The Anderson Family
Helping Families in need when they need us Most!