My Father's Name is|
Posted June 28, 2007
My name is Michael Rodgers. My father's name is
Jimmie Rodgers. Some of you might remember him from his musical career that
has now spanned fifty years.
In 1957 he recorded a song called "Honeycomb," and followed it up with
a string of hit records totaling 25 top ten singles,
eighty million records sold worldwide and concert appearances throughout the world.
In 1967, when he was 33 years old, my father was injured in what is now
known as a road rage incident with an off duty Los Angeles police
officer. He suffered severe head injuries and underwent three brain
surgeries. During one of those surgeries he lost 28 square inches of
his skull on the right side of his head.
Since 1968 he has carried what is considered to be the
largest steel plate ever implanted in someone's head. For 39 years
the entire right side of his head has been entirely made of steel.
It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last surgery in 1968 as
he had to learn to walk, speak and regain his motor skills. He was not
supposed to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body
as the body continually tries to reject these kinds of implants.
As he has gotten older, the skin on his scalp hasgotten thinner (as it
does with everyone) and the steel has began to try to regain it's
original shape and the edges of the plate that overlaps the remaining
bone have become sharp and they continually cut his scalp open making
the plate stick through the top of his head. When this
happens his brain is exposed to air and possible infection, he has
terrible mood swings and if left this way this situation will eventually
lead to his death.
During the last 15 years, he has had the plate filed,
snipped, cut, and reshaped. He has had more than 60 different skin
graphs and other surgeries to try to keep his head from opening up. The
head the size of a half-dollar, and it has been this
way since February, 2007.
There is not enough healthy skin left on his scalp to
cover it over.
My dad is tough. He is the definition of the word. He
has avoided what
is about to take place and tried everything imaginable
to live with the
constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a
decision that will
define what will be the rest of his life.
On Thursday June 28, 2007, a team of brain surgeons in
Arkansas will remove the steel plate that he has
carried with him for
years. They plan to remove the outer layer of skin and
lift the plate
away from the position it has held covering the outer
layer of his
brain. If successful they will replace the plate with
a new material
that has been developed that will recreate the skull
bone and will not
be rejected by the body. They also plan to recreate
new skin on his
using his own stem cells in a paste form so that no
more skin graphs
will be needed.
If this surgery works he will no longer have the worry
that his head
will open up and his brain will become exposed
anymore. If this surgery
works he will have the chance to live what is left of
his life without
pain and the ever present knowledge that at any time
his head will open
If this surgery works there is also a very real chance
that he might
never recover from the intense trauma that he is about
to go through.
33 years of age it took him 15 years to recover. At 73
years of age who
knows what the outcome might be. What we do know is
that he cannot live
with this in his body anymore and it needs to come out
if he is going
have any chance to live whatsoever.
Dad has made the decision. The Doctors feel confident
that all will be
fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the
right course of
All of us are connected in this life in some way. I
believe there is
power in prayer and power in positive thought.
I believe and claim that my father will completely
recover from this
surgery and that his body will be restored.
I believe that together all of us through prayer and
thinking can help that to happen.
My family and I thank you. And my father thanks you
and will be most
appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers.
UPDATE - Posted Sunday, July 01, 2007
Below was written by Michael Rodgers, the son of Jimmie Rodgers.
Miracles do happen and one happened this morning.
The surgery began this morning with a group prayer with the Dr's and family.
About four minutes after beginning, the Dr's pulled back the scalp to reveal the plate.
When they did that the plate literally jumped up away from his head.
The Dr's, five in all a Neuro Surgeon, Two Plastic Surgeons, Two Stem Cell
Specialists and the rest of the team began to clean the plate and lift it
away from the head. It released itself and came away clean.
On the video we could hear the Neuro Surgeon say Oh my God look at that.
How did that get there? Under the plate was revealed a complete and intact skull
bone where three months ago there was none.
The entire hole in the bone which was an eight inch by six inch oval had grown completely
closed with a new skull bone which was smooth and shaped to match the existing skull.
It was perfect in every way and was the same thickness as the other bone.
The Dr's said that in 35 years of surgery they had never seen anything like it.
They did not need to recreate a new skull bone at all. Dad was completely healed
and made whole again after 40 years. The stem cell Dr's sprayed a stem paste made
from Dads blood over the skull bone and onto the skin flap and the Plastic
Surgeons closed him up. The stem paste will keep him from swelling and will
encourage skin growth onto the bone.
The entire procedure took about 28 minutes
and after one hour in recovery Dad walked out of the room on his own.
He is coming home tomorrow. It was an amazing day.
Prayer is so powerful.
Much Love to you all, Michael
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