Our guest this week on the Dad to Dad Podcast is Tony Gayle, an Army and Marine veteran whose son has special needs. He’s got an amazing story to tell and we’ll hear it in two parts. This week, we’ll hear how Tony almost lost his son when he was born, only to lose his wife from complications of that delivery. It’s an incredibly moving story from an incredibly powerful story teller. And it’s all in this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad podcast.
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Tom Couch: The special father’s network is thrilled to be sponsored by Ruben law. A multi-generational law firm dedicated, exclusively to serving families, raising children with special needs. It’s not one thing they do. It’s the only thing they do. To find out more, go to Rubin law.com R U B I N. law.com or call 8 4 7 2 7 9 7 9 9 9 and mentioned the special father’s network for a free consultation.
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Tony Gayle: The baby has to go this way to the NICU and I’m looking at, and they have a curtain, but you know, for those of us who have seen our wife, That doesn’t really cover much. I can see everything. And I see my child who just brought back into life and she says, go with our son.
Yes. Ma’am like that’s. Yes, ma’am. And I’m going. And I just go off with my son to the NICU unit and they commenced to sew her up. I’m not, I have no regrets, no regrets. I just know that, you know, sometimes I think about, could I have spent more time with her during that time having known that I’m not going to see her again.
Tom Couch: that’s our guest this week, Tony Gale, Tony’s an army and Marine veteran and a father of a son with special needs. He’s got an amazing story to tell, and we’ll hear it in two parts this week. We’ll hear how Tony almost lost his son when he was born. Only to find out a little later that his wife. Died from complications of that delivery.
It’s an incredible story from an incredibly powerful storyteller. And it’s all in this special father’s network, dad to dad podcast. Here’s your host, David Hirsch. Hi, and
David Hirsch: thanks for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs. Presented by the special father’s
Tom Couch: network.
This special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation. It’s a great way for dads to support them. To find out more, go to 21st century dads.org.
And if your
David Hirsch: dad looking for help or would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to
Tom Couch: dad. And now let’s listen to this incredible interview between David Hirsch and Tony Gale.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Tony Gallup, Orlando, Florida, who is an army and Marine veteran solo parent and father of a son who has special needs.
Tony, thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the special father’s network. Thank you. Thank you for having me. You and your late wife can Nashi who passed away two days after giving birth were married for three years. And the proud parents of Hezekiah six, who was diagnosed with developmental delays.
Let’s start with some background. Where did you grow up? Tell me something about your family.
Tony Gayle: Okay. Um, born in Panama on a military base. Ironically, that base was known as the jungle warfare base for most of the existence of our military, that base would later moved to Japan and that irony we’ll see later on how that all connects.
So, um, I can’t make up the fact that, um, I’m the son of a Marine and my. Early childhood memories are of me having a blanket, covering myself up and watching Marine sided drill team and Marines do drill and just the fascination with seeing drill and Marines and army Rangers and all the jungle warfare people from around the world at my backyard.
You know, literally that was how I grew up. I didn’t have little green men. I had real green men. I can’t make, you know, I’m the luckiest kid in the world. When you talk about walking out of your, your little nursery preschool with a, with a blanket and everywhere you look, you see people with painted faces.
And that’s real for you. This is a normal thing and tanks and heal copters and that’s everyday life. So I was born into the military, I’d say, and I knew my path. I thought in that sense, I’m grateful. I knew exactly what I was going to do. And I just couldn’t wait for my turn though. Fulfill my path. And
David Hirsch: so, uh, you were born in Panama?
Tony Gayle: Yes.
David Hirsch: Your dad wasn’t reign.
Tony Gayle: Yes.
David Hirsch: And your mom from the U S or was she from Panama
Tony Gayle: originally from Panama and the us later on became just a new home for her, or she called it her second home. And the rest of the family actually had already established themselves in New York city. So I would say my mother would probably be the last of the, the, you know, the Klan to come over and learn what New York and America is about.
And. No reasons. She just loved the Caribbean. She loved the life. She loved working on the base as a nurse, so she didn’t come home until she felt she had to. And having a kid. Changes everything.
David Hirsch: So how old were you when that took place, that you moved to New York city?
Tony Gayle: I was
six, which, you know, happens to me in age, on my son, right down as I read the lines, how ironic six is in the years, but I was six years old and I landed.
That LaGuardia airport. And I walk out and I see snow for the first time in my life. And I’m in shorts. I’m in sandals, I’m in a t-shirt and I am running around the slow risking pneumonia and everything. I just had to jump into snow. So that was my first introduction to New York city. And Lyrica is snow.
David Hirsch: Got it. Thank you. So let’s talk about your dad who was a Marine? Yes. Where did his career take him? Was he a career Marine career
Tony Gayle: Marine? His legacy? I had no idea had no idea what it is to be born into a name and what that means, but I come from, I am the knife of my name. I just don’t know why we can’t get original and give them the boys.
They’re different names, but I am the manager. I don’t even claim junior. I don’t have any numbers behind my name at the nights. You’re like a cousin. It just there, but you’re that’s great. Grandpa was a general in the United States Marine Corps. Uh, ironically my name’s sake, he, God bless him was a comment up at one time of delivery or so I am the only of nine of our name that happens to have my color 10 let’s just say, and that makes me the only one in our family who.
So I am the only Sergeant Anthony Livingston, Gale. Everyone else is either retired as an officer and, or the highest rank in our family is a general. That’s awesome.
David Hirsch: Yes. How would you describe your relationship with your biological father?
Tony Gayle: Biological dad and Panama? Um, visited me. I want to say that thing that you, you wish you were a kid and you wish.
Parents will come and have lunch with you at school. Yeah, that was him. And I didn’t understand that. I didn’t understand like other dads, the income to have lunch with their kid at school. Luckily for me, the school was on base. So he didn’t have to leave work. It was work and he had, you know, military, I’m not sure new people don’t realize we get some pretty nice lunches.
We get about two hours on average and it’s kinda like a siesta and overseas. So he took that two hour time period. He fit me in all the time. So yes, I can honestly say my entire. What three, four, however much schooling to get at that age. My dad had lunch with me almost every day. Um, it was almost like as if he didn’t show up.
I know he was busy. But the school got used to him walking in and they knew who, which kid he was going to visit. And no one questioned that even though he’s Caucasian and I’m not the one question that everyone knew whose child I was and it was beautiful. So I had a very involved dad and I’m grateful for gave me that foundation.
So, how did your relationship with your biological dad change when your mom and you moved to New York city?
It became one of these situations where he knew that I was going to be surrounded by family and he was fine. But his career was not going to allow him to just leave south America because he was getting command.
So while he stayed in command and continued on with his career, they pretty much had a kind of amicable separation from each other. They just said, you go your way. I go mine, but give him the best. And if he needs me that me know, and he stayed in contact through my career. Without me even knowing. So like said I’m grateful for the foundation you gave me.
And I’m grateful that he let, he loved me enough and loved her enough to say, I love you, but go ahead to somewhere better.
David Hirsch: So is your dad still alive? Your biological dads? Yes, he is. And are you still in contact with them or not?
Tony Gayle: We don’t really talk as much as you would expect father and son to converse.
It’s more and more of those. He checks in on me every now and then, and his command met him to a very unique position. And because of the position he has, he just can’t. Let anybody know who he is. And I respect that. Um, once I got my general government clearance, I totally understood why I didn’t hear from him so much.
David Hirsch: Okay. Well, thank you for sharing it. Must’ve been a little bit confusing though, as a young guy. Yes. Moving to New York without both your parents and some of the uncertainty that might’ve been involved with that. Yes. So you moved to New York city, you’re with your mom. And, uh, from what I remember. Things sorta come on tangled or come loose.
How would you characterize that? And how did that transfer?
Tony Gayle: New York is a, it’s overwhelming for a lot of people. Um, just in general, it just really is, um, so many languages, so many cultures and so many freedoms, and that’s just what happens. It’s, you know, it’s kind of like the kid gets to be an adult for the first time between 18 and 21 and they lose their mind, that kind of thing.
But no, um, I’m grateful that I got to meet. I’m grateful that I had a great foundation. My biological mother put me into a private school. I am so grateful now that I know what private school tuition cost, and she did whatever she had to do to make sure that I stayed there. So regardless of how things went there got me the foundation I needed.
And I would just say, The Lord and the universe just took over after that amazed me from there.
David Hirsch: So from what I remember, um, your mom got remarried. Yes. Not a positive situation. You were raised mostly by aunts and an uncle. Yes. And, um, uh, you were still really young, uh, when your mom moved yes. Moved to Jamaica or where did she move
Tony Gayle: to?
She wants to Jamaica. She wanted to be where love was. You do the things which are hurting, you know, your heart and your mind through different communicating the license there. So she moved there a different culture, and that’s what it is just a different culture. But my aunts and my uncles are military.
They’re almost all retired. And they gave me, they just continued with my dad already started. They continued respect, discipline. I was asked Bailey, what am I going to do with my life? What plans do I have for the future? I can’t remember a day passing where that wasn’t a conversation. So I, I always thank my biological mother for always finding the right place to put me so that I could continue growing regardless of what she was going through.
She always brought that out and I, I love her for that. I really do. And those who helped raise me. I’m grateful.
David Hirsch: So how old were you when your mom left and went to
Tony Gayle: Jamaica? Everything started there. I was in America from age six. My birthday came seven and she was. So I was in America home of almost two years before I had to realize I’m on my own.
As far as the hugging and all that other stuff, my uncles and aunts all work. I was a latchkey kid. I had to cook my own meals from the time I left to go to school. The time that they would come home from work around, uh, six with seven with traffic. I was on my own the whole year, year after year after year.
So you become very independent at that as a kid in that sense.
David Hirsch: So did you go into the foster care program? Is that what I remember or not?
Tony Gayle: I basically, I, I kinda was putting a whole day. Um, I was an orphanage. And I wasn’t homeless. That was in our holding pattern where kids go with like a shelter where kids go and then while they’re there, they’re people who.
Um, I think they call them group homes or something like that. And then there’s a bunch of kids and we all just sleep in the same room and where this is a little place you’ll be at before you move on to the big orphanages. But in my case, uh, the Lord stepped in and I never had to go to the big orphanage.
I went from there to a wonderful family who said, we’ll take them. And I’m just like, I have no words for how amazing that feeling is to know that I got saved from going to the orphanage where most children that lost around that age. I’m not a baby. I’m not the cute little baby that anybody wants. I’m eight years old.
They don’t want to be about eight year olds. They want babies. So if I knew, if I had gone to the orphanage, as I was told, I would probably. Become an adult there. So I’m grateful to my adopted mother and father for stepping in. Well,
David Hirsch: that’s a pretty amazing story. Uh, at age eight being adopted. And from what I remember, your adoptive father and mother are Michael and Lenore.
Um, moron chick. Yes. And, uh, they were both librarians. Yes. Adoptive father, uh, it was a law librarian and your mom was a librarian as well. And you lived in flushing, New York? Yes.
Tony Gayle: To the children’s librarian. She was actually in the kind of my librarian that would ride a truck, the book truck, and she would go into impoverished neighborhoods as a four 11, you know, Jewish born.
Caucasian woman. God bless her. I don’t, I don’t know if I’m that brave, you know, to go in there and just hurt another librarian, both ladies and they would drive this bus out there and read the kids, give books out. Duly really circles. They were basically the book ice cream man, and they didn’t care where they had to go to, they were going to make sure kids had books and that kids will learn how to read and nothing that stopped them.
And I just, I love that. I love that drive that my mother had, you know, carrying electronic cure illiteracy the best she could.
David Hirsch: So did you have any, so Lynn’s growing up or were you an only child to them?
Tony Gayle: There are other kids that I know they sponsored and help out and looked after as time passed as I learnt.
But as far as from that young, all the way up, I, it I’m so grateful. So
David Hirsch: they were your parents right during your formative years. And my recollection was they paid for school and karate and sports. And also I think had. I knew from a religious perspective as well.
Tony Gayle: Yeah. Yes. Everything you said. And then some, I, if I start looking at the bill, I, I, oh my mother and father are easily a billion dollars.
I don’t even know how to make sense of what they did. To make sure that I can go to one of the best schools at the time. My mother and father even got me an apartment, a block from the school. I mean, people don’t understand the level. Some parents are willing to go to for education. They showed me and I had had to show the landlord who acted and moved my mother many times.
I’m father my report card, homework, what projects I’m working on. The landlord would check on me because Atlanta was a friend of theirs. It was just one of these things. And, um, it was basically, I got a chance to find out what boarding school was like, what, you know, what, leave the school, walk a block in your home.
But you’re not with your parents. You’re in your own space and you have work, you have to do. And I knew what I had to do and I did it.
David Hirsch: So, um, you finished your schooling and when was it that you enlisted? In the Marines.
Tony Gayle: I finished my schooling and I asked if I can go to the Marine Corps since I was 13.
Keep that in mind. But finally, when I, when I had piece of paper that said I’ve graduated high school, I’m 17. And my mother is shaking her head like this. But my father is like, you promised him. We promised him he could have this, if he gave us that you can’t change our mind now. So she reluctantly signed the papers that I got to go into the Marine Corps and becoming team in bootcamp.
Wow. So I was, I’m so grateful. I’m grateful to let me do that.
David Hirsch: So you go into the Marines and, um, how did your, um, career. Translate from there
Tony Gayle: first shocking reality is that more is not what you see on TV, because as I went in, if you remember, what’s count going on in the nineties, um, I was, my unit was centered.
Um, everyone thought it was over, it wasn’t over yet. We still had medical staff there. We still had other, uh, aspects of the U N and the military in general that were there. And as long as they’re there, we have to protect them. So I became a member of the UN under that banner and we did whatever we were ordered to do.
And then some. And I got my first shocking experience to realize I haven’t turned 21 yet at this point. And I’ve been to war. I, not words can describe that. So I had to learn Serbian and curation very fast. And then you learn when just as an America, when you’re in a position where someone is telling you to stop.
As you know, many people will hear the words freeze. You, you assume when someone’s holding a gun facing the dirt, going to do just that. The problem in Serbia and Croatia area, when you’re speaking that language, those languages, and you’re in Bosnia. I used a storyteller plots, but the other person has a gun too.
And they choose not to. Now, you’re now you have a decision to make, and it’s a decision you make and a millisecond that if I’m still here talking to you, bless the Lord. You know, what decision I had to make and that stopped. That’s the harshness of it all is I had to say storyteller put so much, I would wake up saying, I’d wake up with nightmares of saying that years later, and anyone that was near me would ask, what are you saying?
And I didn’t realize I’m speaking what I was taught while I was there and remembering. So what I’m grateful on
David Hirsch: you went from a Bosnia and then where did your, uh, military career take you from there?
Tony Gayle: So the last, before the Marine Corps, part of my life translates to the airborne army side of my life.
I had a chance to go to one time. So why do I bring this up to you? Remember? I said, I, I couldn’t get to speak to my bad too often. I land in Guantanamo bay right after Bosnia. Now, while I’m at Guantanamo bay, um, I am greeted by a captain and I salute the captain. The captain looks at my name on my chest and says, oh, you’re the one.
I don’t know what that means. I have no idea what that means. Um, he goes, come to my office following me and I’m. Yes, sir. And I’m running behind him. I have no rank. I’m just wondering why am I being brought to Guantanamo in a helicopter by myself? And when I get through his office, here’s the next thing I hear.
Oh, your dad says, hi. And that’s what I realized. This is why I never heard from my dad for such a long time is one short one Tyler mall you get kind of wrapped into and covered by the umbrella of three of one agency, particularly. And that’s when my dad was working for all that time. So that’s, that’s what the secrecy and all the why I can’t come out and say, Hey, sorry.
How you’re doing, I have to be working. So I started to do, I got transferred from the infantry to the intelligence side of the military without being able to say anything of course. And that’s when my dad and I continued our conversations and our fatherhood and son hood continued on from there. Cause then he said, now I can speak.
Because now you are aware. Now you’re a part of what I am a part of. And that’s what helped P started guiding me and giving me ideas and advice. So he made it clear to me that the military at the time was downsizing and the Marine Corps didn’t have the budget anymore for the things I wanted to do. So he said army Rangers, Fort Bragg has some other people that when you get there, you’ll get a chance to.
And he basically laid the red carpet out for me. And I just said, so you’re telling me to go to Fort Bragg. Right, sir. And he said, I didn’t say that. And I go, yes, sir. I understand. Yes, dad. And that was the next place I ended up and I am, again, I cannot thank him and everybody else who played a part, I can’t thank him enough.
I get to Fort Bragg and I basically get to do. My childhood dream, finally, being a Marine was what I thought it was. I wanted to be a GI Joe. I don’t want it to be the bald head guy on GI Joe. And as you can see, I got to be back and I wanted to carry the big gun and I wanted to do things that only GI Joe does.
And then my dad comes into play and tells me, well, I heard you say you want it to be GI Joe. That’s where they are and he was right. So I got a chance to actually live my wife’s dream. And that’s why I say, once you do that, you’re kind of like, what do I do now?
David Hirsch: So you went from the Marines to the army.
And did you go to
Tony Gayle: Parachute school in Georgia is the first place you go. Once you want to go that path. Once you pass that you get to go to ranger, ranger, initiation. You have to go through that situation. Once you go through that, they call it the ladder. You get a ladder on your shoulder and you start to stacking.
If you are willing to and willing to go through all that, that’s called upon you. Airborne you’re you’re Wayne’s you Rangers claimed Baret green Baret, and then there’s other things that keep going up. And if you’re lucky, you get to see the final one and I’m just grateful. I got a chance to do everything I want to do in the military.
David Hirsch: Well, uh,
it’s remarkable. My recollection was that you spent eight years in uniform
Tony Gayle: contracts, arrest, parent vary, and those contracts count because you’re still under the umbrella. You’re still under the government. So as long as you’re able to connect some of the work you do, and you can still retire.
It’s just not the same. You don’t get the same privileges. I can’t, I don’t walk into the PX on base, for example, to go shop. Now that being said, I’m very grateful with my pension. Then I’m very grateful. They have me that 80% disability and with everything else they’ve tapped into that they’ve made it so that I can provide for my child.
And that’s all I can ever ask of them. So
David Hirsch: let’s not just skate over the 80% disability comment that you just made. What’s the backstory on that.
Tony Gayle: When you parachute there’s something called a cigarette. And I don’t mean smoking. If someone happens to come underneath you, we perish at night. If I hadn’t said that we parachute at night for real training daytime, but for real it’s light time.
If someone comes underneath you. It takes the air from underneath your parachute and your parachute cigarettes and you just fall. Well, that’s exactly what happened to me. And they’d say if you hit water from a certain height, it feels like you’re hitting some. That that’s true, but I don’t remember the fall because we, as the fall happened.
I was knocked out. I was on a concussion. So, uh, maybe sails and Rangers that were nearby swept me out of the water. Two miles current down swift of me and I, I am grateful that I’m still here. I have no idea their hubs still here. I didn’t even know they had. You know, machines to actually shock you portable in the military.
I never even seen one, but they found a way to shock me back and bring you back. Uh, thank God to the coast guards. They don’t get enough respect. Those people are amazing, but I’m here and I’m not supposed to be walking. I’m not supposed to be alive, brother. I’m just not, not after all that. But, um, I opted for acupuncture.
I act, I opted for a lot of more Eastern ways of doing things and all that stuff works. Cause I’m here in front of you.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, it is a miracle at some level and, uh, that sounded like a pretty, a horrific situation. And I’m wondering. How does that compare to the diagnosis that you shared with me previously about being diagnosed with PTSD, from your other experience?
Tony Gayle: I would say I can remember coming out of the plane and I remember coming back, I remember waking I’m on a helicopter and I see all these medical and military painted face people around me. And I didn’t lose memories so much that I didn’t know who they are. They’re my brothers and sisters in arms. I felt safe.
I knew where I was PTSD. I wish I could forget. I wish I could forget Bosley. I wish I could forget. What’s, you know, what ethnic cleansing means. Like I don’t even, I don’t want to know what that means anymore. And for anyone who’s lived through that or has ancestry, I respect every culture who understands and gets that.
And this is where I’m so grateful that my adopted mother was born Jewish because I couldn’t have asked for a better mother when I came back. I remember coming home on leave and everyone wanted to go to the club and wanted to catch up with friends and maybe catch up with an old girlfriend. And from the time that I would get home, I wouldn’t mind you.
My mother is four 11 and I’m just giving you a picture. I’m on my knees. Hugging my arms wrapped around her and I’m crying hysterically and I get three days off to go from North Carolina to New York. And I’m spending that time crying and the arms right. Because she helped so many of her ancestry who survived the Holocaust, she helped and kept involved with helping them and knowing things that she would give me what I needed to hear, to get me to the next leave and the next vacation.
And everybody would, everyone would always say, oh, Why is it? You go and hang out with your mother and for your vacation time. And my mother was my best therapist. She was my therapy. She’s, she’s the reason why I’m able to have gotten through that. And of course, Linda loser, my wife. So God bless her. It’s just, my mom knew what to say, even if she didn’t want to say she faked it very well.
And even if knowing, even if I say anything, it’s just hugging you. She did a good job of that. So she got me through the toughest part. I still deal with it. I still have nightmares and if I need to, I call her, it can be three in the morning I call her and we just talk.
Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. Um, it’s pretty remarkable.
Like you said earlier that you’re still here and that you’re functioning with what I would perceive as some normality. And, uh, you know, God has this plan for you, right? So let’s switch gears from what I remember. You met Connie, she in Houston? Yes. How did you meet and how did your relationship transpire?
I’m the luckiest man in the room? I know I am because I got to actually become friends with my wife before she was my wife and not only friends, but irony such as. I am the chaplain of my lodge and she had happened to have an operation that didn’t go so well in the aftercare. So I would get emails all the time about brothers and sisters, both may Sonic and Eastern star.
And she happened to be an Eastern star who. Dealing with something when they made me the chaplain, Lily, tell me what that actually meant. They just kind of left it up to me to the side. Here’s your book of prayer? Here’s your Bible. They didn’t say this is what a chaplain does, but I read that George Washington had something to do with that.
And George Washington said at some point, our first president that a chaplain is a very important position, a position that you should make sure you have in your lot. So knowing that it’s something that. Or then by that man who I respect so much, I’m going to go in. So every time I saw her name, I visited that person hospital house clinic, a Ronald McDonald home.
If they’re in, if they’re passing, I, I don’t even know how many hands I’ve held, how many prayers I’ve said as someone passes. I just kept doing it and it just became a normal thing for me. So when I’m sitting before her and my future, mother-in-law not knowing that years later, we’re going to be married.
She happened to be one of the sisters who I went to visit and I’m praying and I’m talking, I’m praying. So into her healing, that staff in the hospital, or coming into the room just to put their hands on them. So, this is not, this is a weird, because they have a chaplain, they have a mills, a Methodist hospital.
They have a Methodist chaplain in the hospital and no one has ever come into rooms to join into prayer because I didn’t know, I was praying for my future. I didn’t know. I just, whenever I build it, I just came to my own.
David Hirsch: Yeah, well, that’s a pretty amazing story. How God brought the two of you together. Yes.
You get married and, um, your, uh, dreams respiration, or within a few years to have a family and a life takes a pretty abrupt, uh, turn, if you can recount what, uh, the situation was.
Tony Gayle: Yes, Hezekiah. I was like, hi Holly. O’Shea Gale is actually the third heaven attempt. We had two miscarriages. She was, she felt that we had to have a child.
Of our own. She had one prior to our encounter as far as a husband and wife, but they weren’t married. And she just kept saying, I want to give you a child you’re 37 years old and you’ve never had a child and you’ve done so much for me. And I just said, okay, I’m not going to argue with a woman. We all know how that works, not worth doing.
So I went ahead and get into my wife as always, and I just said, okay, we’ll do this. So third attempt. She had low iron all the way through, but we kept going and on our seventh month check, the doctor said that there’s no pulse, there’s no heartbeat. So we rush over to the hospital and my wife has to go into emergency C-section and I watch my child.
Our child get pulled out of her and he’s completely colored blue. Purple. He’s not breathing. We don’t know how long he’s been dead. We don’t know, but we’re thinking that they’re going to put him on her and that’s going to be the end of the story. Give her a chance to console us, just crying more. And, and then that’s going to be the end of it.
And a nurse practitioner who was there, cause this is all happening in Texas at the time. And the NICU units right next to where we are. I don’t know if who she kicked punch push, but she got from where she was through the crowd grabs the baby goes back to a table and begin CPR. I don’t need a nurse practitioner with her team.
I mean, just the nurse practitioner who happens to be in charge of the NICU. And before we know it, there’s a baby crying. So obviously baby’s crying. Doctors had already thought baby has passed. She’s crying now because she realizes that our child has moved. My mind is blown because I just watched someone get a wife as if it was Jesus himself bringing, you know, Lazarus back.
I can’t process all this, but I know I have to do something. And they’re like, the baby has to go this way to the NICU and I’m looking at, and they have a curtain, but you know, for those of us who have seen our wife, That curtain doesn’t really cover much. So I, I, unfortunately now I have a glance of my wife completely cut open.
I can see everything. And I see my child who just black brought back into life and she says, go with our son.
Okay. Yes. Ma’am like that’s. Yes, ma’am. And I’m going. And I just go off with my son to the NICU unit and they commenced to sew her up. And, um, I’m not, I have no regrets. I have no regrets. I just know that, you know, sometime I think about class, could I have spent more time with her during that time having known that I’m not going to see her again.
You know, ever. So go off with my son. I’m there with him and they’re suing her up and all kinds of complications are happening, but I didn’t see any of them. I didn’t, I’m being told after the fact. So, whatever the complications were, they were able to handle it for us at enough time, where she was able to be brought upstairs.
Everything seemed fine. I don’t, I didn’t see the complications. All I’m reporting to her is our son is doing okay. He’s in the NICU una. They did bring her down so she can see him and hold him. And then because of whatever reason they brought her right back upstairs. And within hours, they knew without telling me that I don’t have much time, I guess, can they throw them at me?
They told me I would over, I dunno, I would panic. I don’t know. And when an hours of all this happening, she passes,
David Hirsch: that’s really heavy Tony. So I
Tony Gayle: don’t, yeah,
David Hirsch: I can’t even imagine.
What was it that, uh, transpired that took her life?
Tony Gayle: The report said blood clots left her lower extremity and went to her lungs and collapsed her lungs, no matter how much they did CPR, which was for about an hour. I was there the whole time. They, uh, her lungs were full of blood because as if the blood just, this is if she drowned in her own blood and.
No explanation. They don’t know what happened. They made it the best they could. And keep in mind, in my mind, I’m realizing they gave us a couple more hours. Um, that nurse practitioner brought my son back from the dead. I mean, yeah. Other people would get a lawyer and other people would try to fight this and try to, I got a couple of hours on my wife and I have a son who’s running around the house and I’m just thinking to myself, Be grateful for what you have.
Don’t try to fight the medical system and tell them how wrong they, they make mistakes all the time. It’s life. It’s a job. They make mistakes, but my wife wanted us to have a child and we do, and I’m just going to do the best I can to continue on our mission.
Tom Couch: Be grateful for what you have wise words from our dad to dad podcast, guest, Tony Gale.
Listen, next time when Tony tells David Hersh about his life after the birth and hear how he’s kept an amazingly positive. It’s very powerful and it’s in our next installment of the special father’s network. Dad to dad podcast. The special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers, go to 21st century dads.org. That’s 21 century dads.org.
David Hirsch: And if you’re a dad looking for help or we’d like to offer help, we would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad also, please be sure to register for the special father’s network.
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