Monday, September 24, 2007

Still walking, despite injuries

On Day 1 of our March from San Diego to Sacramento one of our soldiers for justice went down for the cause. At about mile 7, on the north side of the San Diego River bike path, 71 year-old Tony Brown (Photo: pictured 2nd from the left) stumbled and hit his head on the asphalt.

At this point there were five marchers, including Tony, and the other four of us had some anxious moments while he lay there, not responding to the simple question "What are the five main reasons you oppose the death penalty in order of importance?"

Not really. We actually kept repeating, "Tony, can you hear me?" About 1½ -2 minutes later, he responded, began to stir, and we helped him to a sitting position, leaving a prominent little pool of blood on the path. He sported a fine goose egg on his forehead with a 2-½ inch gash diagonally across it. Mike Peddecord whipped out some large bandages from his fanny pack. We mopped away enough blood so that Mike could get two band-aids to stick.

We then determined that Tony didn't require an ambulance and decided to drive Tony to his health care provider, Sharp Memorial Hospital. Jeff Ghelardi’s son Mat was waiting in the lead car about five minutes drive ahead. We called him; he came immediately and packed Tony away to the emergency room.

There, the receiving nurse checked Tony over, cleaned the wound, re-bandaged it, and sent him, with Mat in tow, to the "fast track" waiting room to be seen ASAP. Five hours later, the doctor collected Tony, sent him for an EEG (results were fine), stitched up the wound, and sent Tony and Mat on their way.

Early the next day, Sunday the 16th, Tony, who is a cantankerous old dude, insisted on rejoining the March. The lead marchers, Richard Carlburg and Jeff, quickly put the kibosh on that idea, thanked Tony for his loyal service, got back on the road, praying for a dull, uneventful Day 2.

Note: Tony Brown is a veteran of several integrated Civil Rights Marches through the South in the early 1960s. Participants were routinely harassed, jailed and brutalized.

by Jeff Ghelardi

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