“A BRIEF STINT IN MEXICO”

The following is an article from the Kokomo Perspective about PDK brother Jeff Haworth of Beta Nu.  It was submitted by National President Bruce Smith.

Spring break started off on the right foot for the local president of AFSCME and his wife as they left for a “bucket list” vacation that began in Las Vegas and was supposed to end with a cruise in the Pacific Ocean.

But when Jeff Haworth suffered a heart attack partway through the vacation, new plans were created for him and Sheila, which included a multi-day stay in an intensive care unit in a hospital in Mexico. “I was scared. I was very scared. I didn’t know if that was the end or what kind of treatment I was going to get,” said Haworth, 55.

The couple began their dream vacation in Las Vegas, visiting with longtime friends, before flying to Long Beach, Calif., to visit with family. From there, they left on a cruise, and everything was going well until two days in. Haworth began feeling ill and was vomiting heavily, but the pair had a catamaran excursion planned that they previously had booked through the tour company Pronatours. Sheila suggested Haworth stay with the ship and skip the excursion, but he wanted to go.

The excursion took the group to an island where Haworth continued vomiting. He began having slight chest pain, he said, but he and Sheila considered that it could be from all the retching. Regardless, Sheila checked with a woman from Pronatours, Lety Gomez, and asked if Haworth could leave with one of the other tour groups that was coming and going, as he wasn’t feeling well, and Sheila would finish out the excursion Another woman with the tour company, Lety Osuna, assured Sheila that they would get him back to the ship. “It never entered my mind that he was having a heart attack,” said Sheila.

On the way back, Haworth told the woman he was with that he thought he was having a heart attack, so she radioed ahead to a harbor doctor in Mazatlán, Mexico, and took him there instead of to the ship. When they arrived, the doctor was waiting on Haworth. He did an EKG and determined that Haworth was, in fact, having a heart attack. He administered nitro and told Haworth that he had to call an ambulance.

Haworth wanted to wait for Sheila, but the doctor told him that if he waited he would die. There were three hospitals in Mazatlán, a city of 750,000 people, and the Haworths said they were fortunate that the closest hospital had the city’s only cardiologists. And it was a state-of-the-art hospital that was only three years old, Hospital Marina Mazatlán.

Around the time Haworth arrived at the hospital, Sheila’s excursion was cut short. She said the tour guides claimed the water was changing and that they needed to head back to the ship. When she arrived back on land, Osuna was waiting for her. She told Sheila that her husband had a heart attack, and they needed to go to the hospital immediately. “I’m bawling. I’m scared to death,” Sheila said.

At the hospital, Sheila found Haworth lying in a hospital bed and described him as looking completely gray. The doctors told her not to talk to him, as they didn’t want him trying to talk back. They explained that Haworth’s main artery was clogged, and he needed a stint. They also needed his insurance card, which was back on the ship.“I’m going, ‘This is crazy.’ I don’t have the insurance card. We didn’t have passports. You don’t need them when you leave and come back through the U.S., so that’s going through my head. I’m saying, ‘Oh my god, how are we going to get out of here?’” she said. However, Osuna arranged for Sheila to get back to the ship to get her belongings and insurance card and assured her that everything would be fine.

When she returned to the hospital, Sheila asked how the procedure went, and she was told the doctors hadn’t done it yet because they needed proof of insurance. The hospital employees told her they could expedite the insurance, but it still would be the next day before they could do the procedure. Sheila, who had a heart attack three years ago, waited 24 hours before she had her procedure, she said, so she said she told herself that everything would be fine if they could do it for her husband the next day. Still, Sheila was panicked, as she wasn’t sure the insurance would be accepted.

Osuna, who still was with Sheila, called her boss, according to Haworth, and Pronatours guaranteed the company would cover the cost of the procedure if the insurance didn’t go through. “I kept saying, ‘You are my angels,’” she said about Osuna and Gomez. The insurance did go through, and Haworth had a stint put in the next day, reopening his main artery. The doctors showed Sheila images of the reopened artery, and she said it went from looking like a toothpick to a straw. “Then I knew he was going to be OK,” she said.

Still, doctors required Haworth to spend two days in the intensive care unit and two days in a regular room, and he had to wait 10 days until they would clear him to fly back home. Hospital officials let Sheila sleep in one of the hospital rooms until the hospital got too busy, and then they moved her to the waiting room. Osuna, one step ahead of Sheila, arranged for a room for her at one of the all-inclusive El Cid resort properties, which the company comped, so she wouldn’t have to sleep in the waiting room, and moved her there.

Once Haworth was released from the hospital, he spent the remaining days at theluxury resort with Sheila, where they said they were treated better than they could have imagined, both at the resort and at the hospital. “The harbor doctor, the ER doctor, the head of the hospital, the cardiologists, from the time he got there until he got his procedure, none of them left. They stayed right there. It was unbelievable the treatment he got and the treatment I got,” she said.

Along the way, Osuna made sure Sheila got everywhere she needed to go and helped her secure the documents she needed to get back home, including passports. A consulate official even went to the hospital to take Haworth’s photo while he was lying in his hospital bed so the passports could be secured quickly. Sheila said she eventually asked Osuna why she was going above and beyond to care for her, and she said she was told, “Because that’s what we do, and it’s part of my job. And I love my job”. “We got to be really close because she took me to do everything,” she said. Sheila said if they hadn’t booked with Pronatours and had the assistance of Osuna and Gomez, they didn’t know what they would have done.

The last few days at the resort, when Haworth was feeling better, they were able to continue out their bucket list vacation as tourists, and Osuna and Gomez were happy to play their parts. They took the pair on a tour through the old city of Mazatlán, and Sheila said she fell in love with it. The couple said they also were grateful to their friends and family back in the states, who arranged for their return flight. Haworth had three pieces of wisdom for those traveling overseas: always take a passport, consider international insurance, and, for those over age 40, have a heart scan.

“I feel like I’m one of the luckiest men on earth that I’m still here. A higher power was looking over me because I’m not finished. I’m blessed. Scary turned into fun because it was scary. It was fun, scary, fun. And that’s how it ended,” Haworth said.

The Haworths already are planning a trip to return to Mazatlán next spring.

Here Comes The Fun!

Hello Brothers and Sweethearts! It sure was a fun time down in Florida at Seralago.   President Chris Lawrence and his FL Alpha Lambda brothers made sure everyone and everything was well taken care of. There was plenty of delicious food and beverages to keep us all wet and well fed. The best part is still the fun of sitting around listening and talking to so many different brothers. One thing a Phi Delta Kappa brother can do is tell a story that can keep you captivated.

The Saturday morning meeting had 51 brothers in attendance! Wow that is absolutely fantastic! It was a great meeting, fun and informative. Thank you for letting us Yanks attend this great weekend event. Brother Chris Lawrence told that this weekend used to be called the “Yankee Retreat” I will say to get out the cold Indiana winter, even if just for a long weekend, is a true blessing! The love, fun and most of all the brotherhood is what make PDK so special.

At one point late in the afternoon on Saturday Brother Pat Martucci turned the music down and got everyone’s attention. He said something along the lines of “Hey look around! Nobody has their nose buried in the cellphone! Just groups of people sitting around talking and laughing!”   By God he was right! Granted this was not a small crowd of people either. This type of fun is why I love PDK!

Early in the morning on February 9th Sarah and I along with Brian and Chiquita Blunt took off in Brian’s van and headed South and East to Winchester for “The best all you can eat breakfast in America.” We were not disappointed one bit. This was a twofold visit. Later in the evening Beta Eta was hosting their annual Sweetheart Dinner and Dance.   After breakfast we dropped our dress clothes off at Scott and Diana Dull’s “And the Horse You Rode In on Ranch”.

We then took off exploring East Central Indiana. We had fun chatting, jamming to some music and ended up in Muncie at a pawn shop. We did get back in time to rest and then attend the evening event. As they always do Beta Eta hit it out of the park with the evening festivities. The prime rib dinner prepared by PNP/Emir Scott Dull and his crew was delicious!   The party was in honor of our National Sweetheart, Beta Eta’s own, Brenda Woolf!

The after dinner program began by introducing all of the dignitaries in house. This included all of the past Chapter Sweethearts at Beta Eta. Heck even their past princes were also introduced. Congrats to all! After the program the Sean Lamb Band had everyone up dancing.   It was another fun and fantastic night of PDK love and brotherhood. I am so blessed to have PDK be such an important part of my life.

Sarah and I love the fun we get out of traveling to different cities and different Chapters. We always have a good time with our brothers and their sweethearts. If you get a chance please get out to another Chapter for one of their events. I bet you will have FUN too!

Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!

Is It Spring Yet?

Hello Brothers and Sweethearts! Boy we sure got a blast of nasty cold weather at the end of January. e air was so cold you could take a co ee cup full of hot water and throw it into the outside air and watch it turn to a mist and not even one drop would hit the ground. My truck actually went into reduced engine power at lunchtime on Wednesday. I know of several people at work that had the same phe- nomenon. I guess the idea is that it protects your engine from the frigid temperatures. e bottom line is that we all survived it and in less than three days it was 50 degrees outside. Indiana can sure have some crazy weather. I know it got cold in Mis- sissippi and northern Florida too, well at least on their scale. LOL! I wouldn’t wish this type of cold weather on anyone.

I hope things are going well at each and every Chap- ter House in the Fraternity. I haven’t heard of any major issues so I am sure all is going well. VP Todd Gullet, Auditor Butch Rhonemus and I traveled up to Delta Nu in Plymouth on January 14th for a special occasion. Brother Edwin “Pete” Martin was presented his 50 year PDK pin. I had the pleasure and honor of pinning it on his shirt. Pete and my dad have been friends for over 50 years. It was nice to see Brothers Buck Rodman and John Lehrner at the meeting. Don Terruso and Buck (well actually PNS Louise) fed us very well. ank you brothers!

is reminds me of my rst Phi Delta Kappa experi- ence. It was at the old Delta Nu building in down- town Plymouth. Pete’s son, Tony, and I were good friends and we were hanging out watching our dads play slow pitch so ball. We were not old enough to drive yet but we were old enough to be le alone and not do anything too stupid, well maybe. Af- ter the game we all went up to the Chapter House. Our dads and their teammates sat at the bar having a couple of cold ones.

Tony knew the lay of the land so my younger brother and I followed him everywhere he went. At one point we must have gotten bored. One of us grabbed a re extinguisher o the wall and shot it at the other two. e next thing you know we each had an extinguisher in our hands and the room slowly lled with a thick white cloud. Ron Gantz walked into the room and, rightly, was not too happy with us. I can remem- ber dad and Pete briskly walking into the room in a fever pitch. e three of us frozen in our tracks like three deer in headlights. We knew what was coming!

Our dads took care of warming our rear ends up with their belts. We spent the next several hours cleaning up our few minutes of fun. We even had to dig the white powder out of the gaps in the hardwood oors with tooth- picks. I have stayed away from activities like since that day. See, PDK even taught me at a young age the proper respect you use when a place is not yours.

Sarah and I are really looking forward to heading down to the Smokey Mountains for the Spring SEC meeting. I think Todd is still working on getting the rooms lled up. Come join us for a weekend of Phi Delta Kappa fun. Once we split the cost out with everyone it should be cheaper than staying in a motel. Last year was so much fun we are doing it again this year!

20/20 tickets are still up for sale all the way to the day of the drawing. All of the tickets are assigned numbers by Brother Doug Leach. It is better to get your tickets now because you get more chances to win $$$$. A er your number is drawn it goes right back in with the rest of those that did not win. You can win multiple times with the same number(s).

Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved.

Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!

Bruce Smith
PDK National PresidenT 2018-19

Happy New Year Brothers and Sweethearts

Hello and Happy New Year, brothers and sweethearts.

Sarah and I had a fantastic trip to Mississippi Alpha, The Hospitality Chapter. We left on Thursday afternoon after I got off of work. We drove and got south of Nashville, TN and then found a descent hotel to sleep for the night. Friday was a day I was looking forward to on this trip. Most of you that have talked to me understand my love of music.

The side trip was to Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The 3614 Jackson Highway Muscle Shoals Sound Studios was our destination. This was/is the home studio of The Swampers. These guys recorded some of the best music ever recorded. We had a tour of the facility and the recording studio. It is Rock and Roll Heaven, Man. I was surprised at how small the studio actually is. Ask me details when we meet and I can fill you in. Google The Swampers and you will understand my obsession with checking this place out.

After this side trip we journeyed on to Meridian for their Chili Cook Off. Friday night was spent at the Chapter House catching up with old friends and making some new ones. Beta Eta, Winchester sent a good group of brothers and sisters down to Meridian too. Dang that was a fun night! Saturday was the cook off. It had been raining in Meridian for several days. The back yard was kind of a muddy mess. All of us Indiana folks had to get some boots or cheap shoes to slop around in the mud. The tickets allowed us a chance to sample every different chili there. There were some interesting flavors made by the chefs. I liked all of them. Outer Guard Nate Moore and his wife Hannah won the completion based on votes by all of those who sampled the chili. Congratulations, Brother! White Trash Chili was the ruler of the day. There was a band playing some Southern Rock, country and straight up rock and roll. It was a fantastic afternoon. We stayed at the Chapter House until late in the evening. Thank you so much to all of the brothers and sweethearts at Mississippi Alpha for such a wonderful time. You deserve the title of The Hospitality Chapter. It was bittersweet not seeing PNP Greg Trombly’s smiling face at his Chapter House. R.I.P. brother Greg, we really do miss you.

The following weekend we had our first Northern Brotherhood Meeting in years. Kokomo, Beta Nu hosted the meeting. I wanted to get this meeting back up and running. The attendance was about what I expected because of the less than one month notice. I think everyone enjoyed the meeting and the brotherhood. The discussions were worthwhile and the time was well spent. We will keep this going! Thank you Beta Eta for all of the brothers that traveled to Kokomo.

I waited until our We Care Weekend was finished in Kokomo to write this. This year our collection total was a bit off from last year. The total collected was $11,600.00! Of that $1,892 was in change, yep, quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. Thank you to PNP and Emir Jim Myers for all of the planning and get the brotherhood involved. I sure wish more Beta Nu brothers would do their part and help out.

We lost brother Don Hicks to a fast acting cancer. Don was a great brother at our Chapter and was also a brother of PNP Otis Hicks. Don was such an upbeat and cheerful man. He will be missed by all of us. Beta Nu did the funeral ritual at Don’s funeral. This is such a moving ritual to see and hear. My Beta Nu brothers did a very beautiful and heartfelt reading for Brother Don. You did a great job, brothers.

I hope everyone out there had a blessed Christmas and the start of a Happy New Year! God Bless you all and your families. And God Bless PDK! Until next time remember to tell your loved ones every day that you love them. Hug a brother and get involved. Proud to be a Phi Delta Kappa!