Doc Fitzgerald

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Doc Fitzgerald

Postby bongson » Sat Jul 18, 2015 7:05 pm

Does anyone have a phone # for Doc Fitzgerald? The number I have 540-948-41**is disconnected. I have been trying to get in touch with him. If you have a number please call me @ 510-685-7140
Thank you

Jack Noble
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby pcfrmr » Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:53 am

:( I just talked to James' lady, Coren. He is in UVA hospital on a breathing tube being prepped for a lung biopsy. The phone # is 434-906-1132. Coren said they would appreciate calls. James saved my life over 47 years ago. Wish I could save his.
GOMF, Bob Wuestenberg
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby harley hawkins » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:23 pm

So sorry to hear about your medical problems right now Jim. Hang in there buddy and we will say a few prayers for you wishing you a speedy recovery.


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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Jim Sheppard » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:45 am

Received the following note from Dick Guthrie that explains this a bit more:

"Fellows:
I just got a call from Robert Melendez concerning Doc Fitzgerald.
Apparently, the swelling on his neck at the reunion turned out to be malignant. He is now
in the University of Virginia Hospital, and is no longer able to talk. His girl Corrin is
with him, and she put the phone on speaker so I could express our support for him. He had
just been through a procedure and couldn't respond much.

She is with him most of the time at the hospital, and said she feels he would like to
hear from others. Her cell phone there is (434) 906-1132. Her e-mail is nerok1live@hotmail.com

James truly is one of our heroes, and I know each of you shares my concern for his
welfare.

If Corrin agrees, I'll post a summary of this information on the message board. I or
one of you could also post updates.

Grip hands, men. One of ours is in trouble, and we all need to pull together for him.

Dick Guthrie"
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Jim Sheppard » Tue Jul 21, 2015 11:58 am

Followup from John Topper:

"Thanks Dick.

I just got off the phone with Koren (rhymes with Loren) and James is in
radiology. The cancer has metastasized and they are trying to ease his breathing by
reducing the size of the nodules in his lung. She indicated that it has been in his neck
for some time and that VA missed it, allowing it to spread. She seems to be holding up
well and is resigned to whatever the future brings; but I got the impression the
situation is far from optimal. She will know more later today and will keep us posted.
She is obviously tired, but determined to be with James as much as she possibly can.

John"
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Jim Sheppard » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:00 pm

Followup from Chuck McAleer:

"I just got off the phone with Koren. James is still in Radiology and wouldn't be back in ICU until later this morning. Koren also shared with me that she has health issues herself (LUPUS) and would out on a medical appointment today and would not be back to the hospital until this evening. Trying to reach her by phone, unless she answers, is not possible at this time because her mailbox is full. At her suggestion, she asked that I call back this evening.


If you would like to send Doc a message that can be hand delivered to him log into the UVA Health System website then go to Patient Services and you will be able to send him an ecard. As I mentioned, there is an option for you to request the message be hand delivered. I am still working out the flower delivery because ICU won't accept flowers. Plan B is to have them delivered to Koren and she can take a picture of them and show them to Doc. Considering what she is going through I think she would appreciate this alternative. She appeared exhausted and deeply concerned, perhaps a few prayers in her direction would be in order as well.

Will keep you posted if there are any further developments.

Chuck"
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Jim Sheppard » Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:46 pm

July 21, 2015

I join with countless others from our association when I say that James Fitzgerald has been an inspiration to all who have come to know him over the years. Even now, while he fights another battle…most likely started when LZ Uplift was sprayed with Agent Orange in 1968…that brings him, once again, to dire straits.

It is difficult to write this and not have it sound like an obituary…since our friend and comrade-in-arms is still living…but make no mistake, his prognosis is very guarded at this hour…and today I just stopped all that is happening in my life right now...and needed to tell him how he has touched my life and motivated me to press on with all my research and work…not only for our living membership, but for those we lost many years ago…but who live on in our memories and hearts.

To James: (As I believe he prefers being called, although I have always called him “Jim” or, “Doc”)

“Thank you” for that phone call on June 20, 2000. Yes…I still have those notes. I had only been the Association Historian for about 9 months when called that summer evening…but the Battle of An Bao had been the “thesis” that had given me a background in study at the National Archives…and qualification for subsequent election to my now beloved association duties. You know my good friend Bruce Backes had died in that battle…and I like to think that his death was the seed that eventually grew into the memorial efforts that I have produced for over 200 men killed in action. You, my friend, were the fertilizer that pushed that seed to grow…as my file on that battle expanded.

I knew as we spoke back then that you had been severely affected by your experiences. We all became familiar with your struggles with those “battle demons” as the years came and went. We learned that at your first reunion (In 2003?), you could not work up the courage to leave your room…but by 2015, you had evolved into a state that allowed you to obviously enjoy life and the healing comradery of our gatherings.

Watching how you rolled with the punches of life…and maneuver the VA health system without much complaint was truly inspirational. We all marveled at your improvements over the years…and I now look forward to seeing you each time our next reunion approaches.

I fondly recall finding those orders for that Army Commendation Medal…and how the men of the board of the association insisted we obtain a ribbon and certificate and make the presentation of the award you never knew you had received. Having a man there for our concocted ceremony whose life you had saved (Bob Wuestenberg) added a fitting “exclamation point” to a moment I will never forget.

Now I am wishing we had followed through on all those plans to go fishing! Some lucky catfish still lives because we have not consummated those plans. Rest assured that I have thought of those fishing trips we never took, and always hoped we would... “some day”. We may still!

Hang in there Jim. We are all praying for you.

I am going to both post this on our message board and e-mail a copy to Koren. I hope you will be able to read this and know what an inspiration you have been to me for the past 15+ years!

You are and will always be... my hero!

Sincerely,

Jim Sheppard
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Jim Sheppard » Fri Jul 24, 2015 10:43 pm

This tonight from Gary Quint...does not look good:

"Just talked to Koren... Doc's time is short and she is despondent as is to be
expected. He is currently in an induced coma and an attempt to bring him around will be
made in the morning. The doctors have advised that the prognosis is poor at best."
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Fitzgeralds eldest daughter » Thu Jul 30, 2015 8:08 pm

My name is Karen Riehle. I am James "Doc" Fitzgerald's oldest daughter. I came here to try to find the right words for Daddy's obituary, trying to honor him in the way he would appreciate. I don't know if I'm up to that task but I do know I have been very touched by all the wonderful things I have read today about my Daddy and the bonds so many of you have had with him over the years. I know you all meant a great deal to him and the posts that have been written about him/for him would have meant a great deal to him. Thank you for being such wonderful friends and a strong support system for Daddy over the years. This is a very difficult time and very emotional. I can't tell you what a comfort it has been reading all these posts. I know Daddy will live on in many hearts and will not be forgotten. Thank you so very much.
Sincerely,
Karen Riehle
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Re: Doc Fitzgerald

Postby Kenedy » Tue Jan 19, 2016 3:29 am

I am So sorry to hear about your medical problems.I wish you a very good health.
Graduated from Soran University with First Class Degree with Honours in Computer Science.
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