The Charlie Bravo Story

The next step

Dad here; facts are like swimsuits, as what they reveal is interesting but what they hide is vital. Every time I see the story and pictures of our first meeting with Charlie resurface somewhere new on the Web, I’m struck by the realization that the whole world is seeing a picture of me wearing a colostomy bag and doesn’t even know it. Thankfully, the procedure was able to be reversed after the loooongest four months of my life. Sonetimes these things can’t be “taken down”; I’ll never forget waking up after the second surgery and not being able to make myself look under the sheet to see if my parasitic plastic buddy still had his adhesive lips affixed to my abdomen. Thankfully, all went well, so to speak, but the experience has given me a great appreciation for those that deal with any type of physical or mental adversity; you are true champions.

Last week, Charlie and I reached out to the ranger and other first responders that were involved in initially saving my bacon; I haven’t found everyone yet, and I thought that I had exhausted all of my resources when from out of the blue, I received a call from the paramedic that commanded the scene. It is his hand and leg that appear in the picture of me on the ground at the extraction point; file that bit of info away for just a minute.

Out of respect for his privacy, I won’t post his name here, but I expect he might when he sees this post; that’s his prerogative. We talked for much longer than either of us probably should have; when I mentioned the circumstances behind our discovery of Charlie, the colostomy bag, etc. He told me that he had personally a lost a leg when, as a three year old child he had stepped into a hole that happened to be home to a rhumba of rattlesnakes and was struck repeatedly before he could pull himself clear; one of the bites was over 1.5″ across, and that was just one of many. I can’t begin to imagine his anguish or that of his parents, dealing with a child losing a limb, especially in rural Arkansas at that particular time. As a result, he is on his 37th consecutive prosthesis with all the accompanying issues.

Now when I see that picture of my angels gathered around me on the ground, will I see a one-legged man? No, I see a man that overcame incredible adversity and went on with his life, ultimately saving mine.

So I’m not going to waste it; many decisions must be made, and soon, which will affect the direction of Charlie’s story. I am fully aware that we have all been given an incredible opportunity to make a difference; I know the “who”, the “why”, and even a bit of the “where”, but the big question for now is how? And when?

The horizon is limitless; who wants to go for a ride?

Join the discussion

  1. Luke Sherwood

    Look at where you are now and what you get up to with the Charlie. Your part of something amazing.
    Have a pawsome Xmas at the casa, probably a nutty one with all the 4 pawed variety around lol.

  2. Carol Tedford

    This story reminds me to Chark Diem!! We all have stuff thrown at us, it is all in the way we handle it that is the difference!! Merry Christmas to everyone at the Casa!!

  3. Pam Miles

    You’ve come a long way since then thank you God! So glad you came out on the other side in one piece! I know it can be a struggle. I look like the (Bionic Woman) when I go out now. I’m a Veteran and they have me strapped up with a brace on both knees, and a brace for my back, Oh and one for my left wrist! I also have my trusty 4-wheel scooter in bright red. I look pretty goofy riding down the sidewalk. I’m just trying to come out on the other side, and it’s not easy but I keep trying. I do love your and Charlie girl’s stories, vèry up lifting and they make me laugh – Thanks

  4. Kathy Moody

    Great way to start my day. Makes my problems seem tiny. You were started on this path for a reason. Glad we are along for the ride. Chark on.

  5. Sarah Reynolds Adair

    “Complained the man who had no shoes, until he met the man who had no feet”…..I sure learn a lot, and think a lot reading your posts….most times it’s better than church…but this comes from someone more spiritual than religious…thanks…

  6. Medusa Habanera

    So glad you came out alright. My prayers for you were answered.

  7. Sam Howard

    My Stars, I’m so very glad you found your medic, such a story it gave me the chills. You have a way of finding hero’s all the time.

  8. Stephanie Karabaic

    I love the way you write, you bring out such emotion from your words….so glad you saved each other and continue to save others with your stories…

  9. Candi Hedgpeth Schriefer

    Bret Winingar, as I was reading this post the line, “Your mission,should you decide to accept it is……….” (Are you even old enough to remember that show?!) So thankful you did decide to accept your mission.

  10. Jannie Maxwell

    You were most definitely blessed with angels. Just as you were Charlie’s angel! Such a simple thing to say: there are angels among us. It’s so very much true, sometimes, most times, with every breath we take. Ready for the ride!!!

  11. Becky Casper Wiltsee

    I have loved the ride you have taken us all on and I’m looking forward to many more miles together!

  12. Debbie Carr Holley

    Thank you! Your posts always have something to say to me just when I need to hear it. All my best to you and the family this Christmas season.

  13. Mark Moore

    I agree with all who have already posted. Your stories either bring memories back of my own, or give me that little lift just when I need it. Glad you brought us all along for the ride, and hope it’s a long one! Merry Christmas to everyone at the Casa!

  14. Dee Soulier

    Always read to go riding with Ms Charlie and you and the rest of the inmates

  15. Kim Griffin

    I so enjoy reading your posts. I pray you find the “how” for your mission because you and Charlie have a wonderful message to share. I pray you and your family have a very Merry Christmas.

  16. Diana O'Connell

    Heroes show up and save us passing on their special brand of love, which tends to rub off turning us into Heroes <3 too.

  17. Jennifer Sorrell

    Great things work out for a reason you have mad some great friends and a beautiful dog God bless you merry Christmas my frind

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