Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub tap on and off with your toes.
I was saddened today to read of the senseless death of Benjamin McGivor, an assistant coach at Mesa Community College.
I barely knew him, but we had talked on more than one occasion. He was in a fight outside a Phoenix bar, fell and injured his head severely enough to end his life. He left behind his wife and three children.
Everyone, please show restraint, particularly when drinking is involved. It is better to turn the other cheek than waste a young father, husband and a good man.
Jeff Lewis, Friday, August 4, 2017
Carol and I attended the memorial service for Dr. Tom Bajo (pronounced Bay-joe) yesterday morning and his celebration of life that evening. I had the honor of meeting his best friend from Chicago. Even though we had never met, he approached me, called me by name and recited in detail about my stay at Good Samaritan Hospital 12 year ago. I was surprised and flattered that he knew so much and that Dr. Tom had shared my story. He had to catch a plane, so we quickly exchanged contact information.
At the celebration, Carol and I reconnected with many friends from my days spent in intensive care and rehab. Reconnecting with Angie Phillips was the most touching. Angie at that time was a young teen with a failing liver. Daily, our hearts saddened as we watched life leaving her body. Carol and her mother prayed daily in the chapel that God would save her life and mine.
A day I will never forget is when Dr. Bajo found her a liver. If you recall the song "Tie a Yellow Ribbon..." and the whole bus cheers when they saw not one ribbon, but 100, then you know how we felt when the whole damn ward was cheering when her life saving liver arrived.
But Angie's crisis was not over. She had weakened to the point where her body might not survive a liver transplant. SURVIVE SHE DID! She became a nurse and worked closely with Dr. Bajo. Carol and I, Angie and her mother wept openly as we embraced knowing that God sent us a miracle -- Dr. Thomas Michael Bajo.
People who know me know that I rarely show emotion. I was deeply saddened today to learn of the loss of my friend, Dr. Tom Bajo, this past Monday. He was in charge of intensive care while I was on life support. After interviewing my family and friends, he ok'd the amputations of my hands and feet. By doing so, he saved my life.
During my four month stay in the hospital, he became my friend, often sharing his coffee break or lunch with me as we talked about -- stuff. He asked me to visit other patients to try and lift their spirits which I did.
The day I checked out to go home, he came to my room to visit one last time. He placed his hand on my shoulder, gave me a hug, and as he stood, I could see he was too emotional to speak. Instead, he slapped my bare belly and whisked out leaving me with a "pink belly" that lasted a week.
We stayed in touch these last twelve years since my amputations. I will never forget what he did for me and my wife, Carol.
Dr. Tom, the world will miss you. Thank you for saving my life.
My wife Carol had this to say:
I am very sad today. Our friend Dr. Thomas Bajo died in a kayaking accident on Monday. Without Dr. Bajo my husband Jeff would probably not be with us.
He was my rock when Jeff was in a coma for three weeks. I saw him nearly every day for the four months Jeff was hospitalized. I will never forget all that he did for Jeff and for me.
Come to my dinner show “Jeff Lewis & Friends,” Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017 at Rochester’s Sunland Village, 721 S. Rochester, Mesa AZ 85206. First show 3:30 p.m. with dinner at 5:30 p.m. Dinner for second show served at 4 p.m. followed by 5:30 show. $20 tickets from Rochester’s or Jeff & Carol Lewis, mathman.lewis@gmail
Proceeds benefit Fisher House Foundation providing housing for military and veterans’ families while a loved is receiving treatment.
I recently spoke at the HOSA Flex Conference held at the Phoenix Convention Center in November. HOSA is an international student organization for future health professionals providing opportunities for knowledge, skill and leadership development to meet the needs of the health care community. HOSA is composed of middle school, secondary, and postsecondary/collegiate students, along with professional, alumni, and honorary members. It is the largest student organization which prepares students to enter the healthcare field.
After my presentation, I received a thank-you email from one of the students who wrote: “Thank you for telling us your story. I’m sure many of my classmates appreciated it very much. You are a very inspiration, happy and bright man. May God bless you for the rest of eternity and grant you the ultimate reward one day. If I had less than half of your faith and happiness, I would be the most over joyous and blessed person ever. It was an honor to speak with you on a more emotional level.”
I wrote back to the student: I taught math for 38 years. If I had more students like you, I would still be teaching. You will change a lot of lives before you leave this world, I know, because you have already changed mine. May you always be blessed.
Thank heaven for North Carolina. They had the guts to step up and ban clown outfits for Halloween. Our children will be saved from being subjected to oversized shoes, baggy clothes, curly red hair, large red noses and that annoying horn.
Finally, we can go back to the good old days of bloody zombies, vampires, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers and best of all, past presidents. Now, where did I put my Richard Nixon mask?
--Jeff Lewis, Mesa
Very few times do I agree with Arizona Republic columnist E.J. Montini, but in his Sept. 18 editorial, he was spot on. Central Michigan should do the classy thing and voluntarily forfeit their win against Oklahoma State because the refs wrongly allowed them an extra play which allowed their “Hail Mary” win.
But E.J., why stop there…
It is not too late for Nebraska to forfeit their win against Missouri because they were allowed a fifth down? Also, in the 1972 Olympic basketball game, we all know the last three seconds would be played over and over until the USSR won. Russia, do the right thing, forfeit. What about Charles White’s phantom touchdown against Michigan in the 1979 Rose Bowl? Replays show he was down outside the 1 yard line. Come on USC, give up your national championship trophy for that year – be a sport.
But the best act of good sportsmanship would have been in the 1985 World Series. A third out should have been called in a play that replays show was not even close. Game 6 over, St Louis wins the series. But that blown call gave Kansas City the win and blew the Cardinals out in game 7. Kansas City, it’s not too late, be a good sport and give that trophy to the Cardinals.
And thank you, E.J.
I encourage everyone to read the whole story of Francis Scott Key and how our National Anthem came to be. We all know how African Americans were abused in this country, and I have no idea how human beings could treat one another that way. We also know, regardless of race or career, there are bad apples and that everyone has the right to peaceful protest.
My father served on the USS Oklahoma as Pearl Harbor was being bombed. He was one of the lucky ones who swam to safety. Survivors were left behind waiting up to 48 hours for someone to torch through the hull. All this to preserve our freedom. If we had lost WWII, what would have happened if someone did not stand for Hitler’s anthem.
Go ahead, protest all you want. But choosing to degrade the people who gave you that freedom is the wrong way!
Not the way to create change
My high school history teacher had a cat-o-nine-tails on his wall and beneath it a plaque which read, "The floggings will continue until morale improves." I am reminded of this as I think of the racial tension in the United States.
Non-whites feel that they are treated worse than whites during routine police matters, even harmed or killed for no reason and insist on immediate punishment before any facts are out and the legal process begins.
Many feel they need to vandalize businesses, disrupt political rallies, taunt and shout vulgarities at police while holding their iPhone hoping they can push one or two past their breaking point and lately, ambushing and murdering the very police who are protecting what is supposed to be a peaceful assembly.
Why? I suppose some believe that by behaving this way they will earn the love and respect they deserve. In other words, "The floggings will continue..."
Jeff Lewis, Mesa AZ
I am a quadruple amputee with a sense of humor and a passion for life. I like to tell stories.