By Lois Frischling
Our son, David, is a founding member of Philadelphia Independence Network (PIN). He has now lived in Narberth for seven years, and has continued to thrive. He lives very independently, loves his work, has a busy, healthy social life, shops for himself, makes his own doctor’s appointments and handles his own meds.
This seemed like a good time for his parents to treat themselves to a few days in New York. Last fall, we took the long-planned trip. We rode the train in on Thursday, checked into our hotel, and proceeded to enjoy ourselves. It was fun: a walk on the High Line, several interesting museums, good food.
Then, around 8:00 am Saturday morning, the phone rang. It was David, saying he had been up since around 3:00 am with excruciating abdominal pains. He hadn’t called earlier, because he didn’t want to disturb us on our trip. But, he had called the program director, Jill, and she was at his apartment. We discussed the situation with her, and decided they should go directly to the ER. We decided not to take the train back immediately, just in case it was a false alarm. Instead, we packed, had breakfast and paced a lot, waiting for Jill to call. When the call came, David was being admitted. We rushed to the train station, with a quick detour to try and sell our Hamilton tickets (a happy stranger named John from Cincinnati got the deal of his life!), and went straight to Bryn Mawr Hospital.
Jill had stayed with David in the ER and through the admissions process. She had, of course, asked all the right questions and made sure David knew what was going on. She kept us updated on what was happening, and did not leave him until the afternoon when all tests were completed, he was settled in his room, and David’s brother had come to stay with him. He is fine now, though he did spend 3 nights in the hospital.
PIN makes it possible for people to live rich, full lives, to take some risks knowing there is support and back-up, to know that there are people to help when things go wrong. PIN: it’s also the Parents’ Independence Network.