My Hero

Filed in Living by on November 3, 2016 0 Comments

hero, def.: an ordinary individual who finds the strength to persevere and endure in spite of overwhelming obstacles or difficulty

188723_188402501202171_5638893_nI’ve been fortunate to have met a lot of impressive people in my life. When I was in college and grad school, many of my professors were brilliant people. In business, I occasionally met what were considered the titans of industry. However, I have never considered any of these people my hero.

My hero is a sweet girl named Erika, pictured above with her loving husband, David.

Erika reads my blog, and I can guarantee you she will be mortified by this article! She never seeks the limelight and would probably even disagree with my basic premise. I’m going to publish it anyway, for the benefit of the rest of my readers, and I’ll just incur her wrath later.

Erika was born with a congenital defect called chiari malformation, which causes the brain to slip into the spinal canal. She has had six surgeries, which have at most given her only temporary relief from her suffering. Most recently she had a fever and headaches that persisted for an entire year, as her body rejected a mesh appliance that was surgically inserted in an attempt to prevent further slippage of her brain. About a month ago her surgeon removed the mesh, but the recovery has been extremely difficult, and the prognosis is uncertain. As I write this, she is back in the hospital, on a ventilator.

My wife, daughter and I recently visited Erika in the hospital. I relayed to her how much I look up to her for how she handles her terrible condition so bravely. “Erika, I just saw you at a birthday party, and not only did you not mention any of your problems, you were the most delightful person I met that day. How do you do it? How do you maintain such a positive outlook and stay so cheery in spite of your condition?”

Erika looked down, a bit forlorn, and replied, “Well, to be honest, it’s very hard. I have bad days, and often worse days. I do it for one reason: so my children can have as normal a life as possible, and so they don’t worry about me. I do it for them.”

Erika wouldn’t want you to pity her, it’s not her style. However, she is a deeply spiritual person, so can you please keep her in your prayers?

If you can tell me who your heroes are, I can tell a lot about you as a person. It’s really important to have the right heroes.

Warren Buffet



About the Author ()

TIM MCINTYRE retired in 2004 from his position as president of Applied Systems after facilitating a successful sale of the company. At only forty-six years old, he made the unusual decision to fully retire to pursue other interests and simply enjoy free time. As a hard-driving Type A personality, this turned out to be a significant challenge for the Notre Dame and University of Chicago-educated MBA, CPA, and Certified Cash Manager.

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