Letters to the Editor: January 15

Dear Editor,
It’s been more than a year since Sawyer’s motorcycle accident and we just wanted to say thank you again to the churches, businesses, schools, friends and family who helped our family get through a most difficult time. We are so grateful to you for pulling together everything we needed and couldn’t do for ourselves at that time. We wanted also to send out a very special thank you to the Masons of Meeker, El Jebel Shrine and Masons and Shriners everywhere.
When we returned home from Sawyer’s initial surgery in Glenwood we were told that he must have surgery within the next five days or so. Our surgeon in Glenwood, as talented as he is, could not fix Sawyer’s feet and he was having no luck finding a surgeon who could. We had just about lost hope when a knock at the door brought a man from the Masonic Lodge in Meeker. Once the Masons found out Sawyer needed surgery immediately, they called Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake to expedite an appointment and evaluation. At first, the head of orthopedics at Shriners said he didn’t think they could help Sawyer as the injuries were too severe. However, he said we should keep the appointment anyway. We arrived at the hospital in Salt Lake the next day to find that everyone already knew Sawyer by name but they called him “The boy who flew on the motorcycle.” We were greeted by several Shriners Hospital doctors and were told they had already decided to accept him. They knew that Sawyer would lose his feet if they didn’t try to piece them together. Dr. Roach told us he would bring in a trauma specialist from the University Hospital (at their own expense) in Salt Lake to help them. Dr. Roach said Sawyer would be admitted immediately and he wanted Sawyer to be relaxed and without stress until the surgery four days later. What Dr. Roach told us next almost broke us down, he said, “Your son will receive the best medical care we can provide and you will not worry about money, just about your son’s recovery.” He said, “There is no charge for what we do here.” Just guessing, Sawyer’s medical costs up to now are beyond imaginable. The only costs we incur now are travel, food, prescriptions and lodging. For over a year we were making a trip either to Denver or Salt Lake twice a month, every month, then every other month. If a family needed help with these expenses the Masons or Shriners would find a way to help. The Shriners facility in Salt Lake is small but they have parental living quarters and a school for long-term patients. The hospital has all kinds of wonderful fun things for these kids to do. Even for someone as old as Sawyer they still try to find things he likes to do. They have thought of everything!
We want everyone to understand about Shriners Hospital because they saved our son’s feet and everyone should know what they are doing for us! We pray your son/daughter will never need this hospital but if they should please keep this in mind. The Shriners Hospital does not accept payment for children’s care. Of course there are donation facilities if you wish to make a donation. They will not accept insurance if you have it. They are 100 percent committed to your child without worrying about their bottom line or what an insurance company might try to dictate. They will take care of your child until he/she reaches the age of 18 and I think there have been exceptions to that age. The only criterion for Shriners Hospital to accept your child is if they can help them. If they can help, then your child will receive the finest medical care any parent could ever pray for. These surgeons are the best in the world. The orthopedic hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, is the finest medical facility we will ever know. They treat everyone as if they are family. They are committed entirely to children! These doctors, nurses, volunteers and staff are there because they love kids. They love your kid! No matter how much money you have or do not have, they love your kid! You feel this presence of love the moment you step through the door. Everything they do is in the name of love for your kid. They take pretty good care of the families of these kids too. Please remember that the Shriners also have the burn centers.
The Shriners are Masons. You cannot be a Shriner unless you are first a Mason. You know who the Masons/Shriners are‚ right‚ the guys in the funny little hats and funny little cars in the parades. We’ve all got such a kick out of them. Little did we know those funny little hat guys would be responsible for saving our son’s feet. The Masons do a whole lot for our communities and for our families. Every time they have to leave their own family to go to a meeting we hope their spouses understand just what their commitment means to us and the rest of the world. They are involved in many humanitarian efforts and they are to be commended for their hard work and beautiful hearts. They volunteer their time to help people like us and we are so thankful to them for being there when we need them. We do not know how Sawyer would have come through this without the Masons and Shriners; we are just so grateful we didn’t have to find out.
As most of you know Sawyer is doing very well and has surpassed his doctors’ expectations. In November, he was given the OK to go snowboarding. What a miracle!
If you are ever in Salt Lake City go visit the Shriners Hospital and see what medical wonders these people are doing. Go see what love and compassion has accomplished!
Thank you Meeker, the Masons and Shriners.
The Bivens Family

Dear Editor,
We would like to thank all those people who gave our mom and us so much service through the last four months as she battled her cancer. We appreciate the kindness,concern,and many prayers that were given in her behalf. Thank you to each of you who reached out in small and big ways — it meant so much.
The Family of Betty J. Tuttle

Dear Editor,
Recently, two stalwarts of the Rangely business community stepped forward to do their parts to support activities in our area. The event was the New Year’s Bash and the people are Marv and Alice Boleng who own the White River Drive Inn and Everett and Robert Vaughn who manage the White River Market.
These people offered their full support of time and large discounts on materials, supplying and preparing the dinner for the function because they recognized it is important to have meaningful activities for the people of the community.
Mrs. Boleng said that in 2008, they had donated extensively to the various schools and organizations in town and rarely receive mention or thanks. They have been in business since 1993 and have always been staunch area boosters.
Everett and Robert Vaughn have been members of the community for a relatively short time, and their presence has been a great asset. Under their guidance, the market has expanded in many different areas to serve the demands of the local customer. They also have donated significant sums back to the community to enrich our quality of life.
It was a shame so few townspeople chose to participate in the event; those that did were treated to great concerts, a sumptuous dinner and a great time dancing afterwards.
John Urbanik

Dear Editor,
A special thank you from the residents of Walbridge Wing to Mountain Valley Bank for its wonderful holiday dinner and visit with Santa. Year after year you are always thinking of us. We loved the gifts, but mainly we loved spending time with your employees and Santa, and Doris would like to thank Santa for not bringing her a lump of coal. Thanks for all you do for us.
Walbridge Wing residents