From Ross Altman: Greygoosemusic@...
Dear Friends of John,
At about 3:30 PM yesterday afternoon John was finally discharged from Valley Presbyterian and given a short ride in a long ambulance up Sepulveda to Windsor Terrace Healthcare Center at 7447 Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91405. Their phone number is (818) 787-3400. John is in room 336 A, the first bed as you enter his room. Windsor Terrace is about a mile north of Sherman Way.
He will be evaluated tomorrow morning for Physical Therapy and a plan developed for his post-surgery rehabilitation. I arrived this evening shortly after his friend Marr Nealon left, and Fumi Hararda also came to visit this afternoon as John was being prepared for the trip.
We watched Rachel Maddow together and John told me he was not in any pain that Tylenol couldn’t handle. I also noticed that the nurse at Valley Pres had neatly covered up his chest scar with a long bandage. It was wonderful to finally see John with no tubes extending from any orifices, the beginnings of what we all hope is a complete recovery.
I have entertained in a lot of such facilities and there is a complete activities calendar posted on the board in the hall. According to John’s cardiac specialist he is expected to be there approximately one week, though I am sure they will have a better estimate after a day or so. There is a small sign on John’s arm that alerts the staff: “Fall Risk;” a firm reminder that he is at the beginning of the next phase in his recovery.
That’s pretty much what I know at the present. I’ll send out another progress report when I have a better sense of where things stand. In the meantime, I was cheered this evening to receive a get-well note for John from Art Kunkin, his esteemed fellow editor and publisher of the legendary Los Angeles Free Press, or Freep as we affectionately called it. I know John will be cheered too when he sees it.
John, Frank and I also received a lovely note from his friend Maureen; thank you for the kind words!
Michael Novick of Anti-Racist Action (his own great newspaper he personally hands out at so many rallies and demonstrations) wrote a heartfelt note to John; Nicole Lee of Revolution Books/Libros Revolucion sent a thoughtful tribute on behalf of their entire staff; and historian Lisa Lubow wrote a beautiful reflection on John and the birth of Change-Links. Thank you one and all for caring and sharing.
Looking back, John had his heart surgery last Monday, so it has been exactly one week since that life-changing experience took him from the ICU to the Operating Room to ICU to transitional care to discharge. Both John’s innate sweetness of spirit and resilience of character have been evident throughout. I have been so fortunate to see how his social optimism and political idealism for a world without oppression is grounded in a deep sense of personal decency towards others—most especially his caregivers at the hospital. He never met a nurse he didn’t like, or surgeon either—and that respect was reciprocated.
It has been a memorable experience to become better friends with the man behind Change-Links—L.A progressives could not have found a more worthy torchbearer.
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