A special gift for Mike from Shawn

March 1, 2011
Over the past three years, I have often asked you to pray for our son Mike's wife, Shawn, during her battle with ovarian cancer.

by Joe Blaes

Over the past three years, I have often asked you to pray for our son Mike's wife, Shawn, during her battle with ovarian cancer. This is the final update on Shawn: Dear friends, our darling Shawn died Wednesday morning, January 12. As you can imagine, we are heartbroken, but we know Shawn is now at peace. We somehow feel the healing or miracle we were praying for may come through Shawn's intercession for someone she knows and loves.

My wife, Sue, was privileged to be with Shawn during the night before and early Wednesday morning when she died. Mike and Sue had just finished saying the rosary when our son John called and Mike left the room to talk to him. I had just arrived to visit and take Sue home. As we were standing there with Shawn, she softly stopped breathing. We called for Mike and when he came back into the room, we looked down and there was a sweet smile on Shawn's face. We are sure that was a special gift for Mike.

Shawn told us a long time ago that Mike was her "rock" as he tenderly cared for her through her long illness, and especially during these last weeks when he gave her so much love and attention. He was determined to keep Shawn at home until the very end, and he kept his promise! It was beautiful seeing their love flourish as her health failed. What a blessing seeing what true love really is!

It is going to be very difficult for Mike and the twins, Alex and Kyle, so please keep them in your prayers.

Shawn's Memorial Mass was held at noon Saturday, January 15 at Our Holy Redeemer Church in Webster Groves. She had a wonderful send-off with a full church followed by a true Irish Wake.

Many thanks to all of you for your loving support and many prayers. Shawn always said that she felt the "power of your prayers." We all did.

God bless!

Now, on to another important message. Let's say it is 6:15 p.m. and you are driving home (alone, of course) after an unusually hard day at the office. You are really tired and frustrated. You are stressed and upset. Suddenly, you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to radiate into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately, you don't know if you will be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but nobody told you how to perform it on yourself!

You must act quickly to survive a heart attack when you are alone. This situation could easily happen to any one of us. The person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint has only about 10 seconds before losing consciousness. What to do?

Answer: Do not panic, but start coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without letting-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.

Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and the coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm.

In this way, heart attack victims can hopefully help themselves until they can get to a hospital. Tell as many people as possible about this. It could save their lives! Don't ever think that you are not prone to a heart attack even if you are younger than age 25 or 30. Nowadays, due to our fast-paced lifestyles, a heart attack can happen to someone in any age group.

My first trip of the year was to the Yankee Dental Meeting in Boston. We were treated to a blizzard the first night, and woke up to about a foot of snow the next morning. Bostonians, though, sure know how to handle snow! I started my lecture only about 30 minutes late because some people were delayed. The Yankee is always a great meeting with many great speakers and exhibitors.

I look forward to seeing you at a meeting this year!

Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor – e-mail: [email protected]
Toll-free phone number: (866) 274-4500

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