I've struggled with sharing this story for months. Partly because it still haunts me and partly because I couldn't even put into words the worst thing that's ever happened to my family. Much of my absence from blogging was due to this attack on my dad. All I wanted to do was shout his story to the world, but I couldn't. Now, months later, I'm ready to get the word out. Here it goes.
We are from Texas and my dad travels for work doing pool table recovery, repair, and installation. On the night of October 11th he was outside of his vehicle in Memphis when suddenly a man came up behind him and started brutally assaulting him with a hammer (he was parked RIGHT in front of the pool hall). The man didn't say he wanted anything from my dad, he just began to brutally assault him. My dad, at 63 years old, managed to turn around and fight the guy off, even after sustaining several blows to the head, abdomen, and hand. At some point during my dad's selfdefense, the guy swung his hammer and the claw part of the hammer caught my dad on his right hand in between his pinky and ring finger and nearly ripped my dad's pinky off. After fighting the guy off, my dad was able to miraculously run inside of the pool hall where they called 911 and he was transported to a Memphis hospital.
By the grace of God, my dad thought to call my uncle and aunt on their landline (while he was in the ambulance) because he knew my mom, nor any of us kids, would have heard our cell phones ring, as we usually silence them before bed.
My husband and I got a call just after midnight from my uncle that my dad had been brutally attacked with a hammer and he was being transported by ambulance to a nearby hospital. My heart instantly sank. In the wee hours of the morning, I began googling to try and figure out what hospital they would have brought him to. Thankfully I was able to talk to someone in the emergency room at Saint Francis Hospital who let my dad know that we would like him to call us ASAP.
While all of this is going on, my uncle was booking a plane ticket to leave Austin first thing the next morning and my brother was driving an hour from college to my parent's house to go wake up my mom, as she was not answering her phone.
Finally, I was able to get ahold of my dad who sounded sad, discombobulated, and hurt. This was by far the most hurt I've ever felt. The attacker smashed his glasses, so he was not able to see anything. He was alone and in severe pain hundreds of miles away from his family. To say we were all sick that night is an understatement. There was my big, strong, burley dad sounding so sad and defeated over something he had no control over; over a freak act that the attacker has yet to pay for.
As the hours went on, my dad underwent several tests and it was determined that he did not have a concussion (how?!!), but he would receive several stitches in his head to close the multiple gashes left from the hammer. When I talked to him, he said his hand was hurting him the most and that would be a much bigger issue than a few stitches.
As the night continued, our whole family here in Texas awaited answers. I woke up the next morning and decided to call the hospital, as we had not heard anything for several hours. I talked to a very nice nurse who told me that my dad would have to stay to meet with an orthopedic surgeon to figure out the route to take to repair his hand. Longer story short: the surgery would have to take place in Texas because my dad's self-employment insurance was not going to cover the out of state costs.
The morning of the 12th a detective came by to speak with my dad. They informed my dad that the attacker's phone had fallen out of his pocket and, because of that, they were extremely hopeful that they would catch the guy. They also were able to obtain video evidence, so in our eyes, this would be an easy case.
Throughout the next few days, my dad and uncle drove back from Memphis (my uncle went, instead of my mom, because my dad had his boat with him and my mom can't drive the truck with the boat behind it), my dad visited several doctors in Austin to schedule a surgery to repair his hand, and my whole family prayed that the attacker would be found and justice would be served.
On October 20th my dad had extensive hand surgery to repair a broken hand and several nerves and tendons that were literally ripped apart during the attack. My dad, who's job requires manual labor, was out of work for several weeks with no disability coverage. After the surgery he was informed that he would most likely never have any motion in his right pinky again. To this day, he is still not able to move that finger and the strength in his right hand is about 1/3 of that in his left.
It is the new year and the terrible man who attacked my dad is still roaming the streets. The police know EXACTLY who he is. They have him on video! And they have his phone!
My dad is truly the most kind, generous, giving human and it makes me physically sick thinking that the Memphis Police Department keeps pushing my dad's case to the side like it doesn't matter.
Would you mind praying that this whole situation gets put behind us and that justice is served? The post-traumatic stress on all of us has been unreal and we will all sleep better knowing there is one less criminal out there who could potentially hurt someone else who might not be as lucky as my dad.
Also, if you'd like to give financially, my brother and I have set up a Go Fund Me account here.
My dad has no idea this fund is set up, but my family and I would love to be able to raise funds to help my dad with the medical costs from this attack. My parents have forked over thousands of dollars for the ambulance ride, CT scans, hand surgery, physical therapy, and multiple other procedures and exams my dad has had to have because of this freak accident.
Also, since my dad is self-employed and his job is 100% manual labor, he has not be able to return to work fully. His contract employer has provided him with an assistant to help him on the job, but they are only paying for the assistant until February. My dad's hand is still far from healed, meaning he is going to have to start paying this man to help him out of his own pocket because there is no way he can do the job alone.
If anything, we ask that you say a prayer that they catch the person who did this to my dad. It has truly been a nightmare for my family and we'd love to start the New Year out with the whole ordeal in the past.