Tulsa Patients Reach Out To Others At Walter Reed

Thursday, December 18th 2008, 10:35 pm
By: News On 6

By Jennifer Loren, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Folks at a Tulsa medical clinic are working to brighten the holidays for wounded heroes spending Christmas in the hospital.  They're sending Christmas cards filled with encouragement to injured and disabled troops at Walter Reed Hospital.      

From one patient to another they hope their messages are warmly received.

Jerome Williams writes a personal message to troops at Walter Reed, offering encouragement to stay strong.

"Letting them know they're not in this by themselves. And, you know, just keep up the fight. Don't give up," said Jerome Williams.

Williams knows a thing or two himself about fighting the fight.  He's fighting for his life right now.  So is Chareciea McGee.  Their kidneys won't function and they have to stay on dialysis just to live.

"Truthfully, it's not fun and I get tired. A lot of times I just don't want to come. But, I know I have to do this to stay alive," said Chareciea McGee.

"Their life consists of three to four days a week here in the clinic with us, ranging from three hours to five hours a day," said technician Sergio Juarez.

Sergio Juarez is one of the technicians at Fresenius Medical Care.  He's also an Afghanistan and Iraq War veteran. Juarez himself was injured overseas.  He knows firsthand it's no fun spending holidays in the infirmary and hopes the cards they're sending make a difference.

"From an aspect of actually being there in that room, in that bed, it's very warming to me. I mean I wish I would have had that when I was there, cause it can get very depressing," said technician Sergio Juarez.

As their holiday wishes are mailed out to troops, the patients feel a special connection.  Their stories may be different and their lives miles apart, but they're fighting the same battle.  And, they plan to win.

"With God all things are possible. I'm believing in God for my healing and they should also," said Chareciea McGee.

Fresenius Medical Care has already sent out 140 cards.  They'll send about 25 more on Friday.