Wade Kwon and Sean Kelley

Recorded January 24, 2011 Archived January 24, 2011 41:26 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX007643


Wade Kwon (40) talks with his friend Sean Kelley (37) about a near death experience he had just before starting college.

Subject Log / Time Code

Wade just celebrated his 40th birthday.
Wade tells Sean about contracting bacterial meningitis in the summer between high school and college.
Wade describes what he was like in high school.
Wade explains how his near death experience changed him.
Wade and Sean talk about God and mortality.
Wade tells Sean how his life has been different than he’d expected.
Sean tells W how important he is to him.
Wade is proud of the service work he did on the gulf coast in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. 9/11 inspired Wade to give blood. Now, he does it every 8 weeks.


  • Wade Kwon
  • Sean Kelley

Venue / Recording Kit


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00:04 Hi, my name is Sean Kelley. I am 37 years old. This is January 24th, 2011 or in Birmingham, Alabama, and I'm here with my longtime friend Wade Kwon. I weighed you and I went to high school together. That's how we got to know each other but we didn't really become close friends until we share the same job or at least I took the job and you train me on it and left me in that god-awful place. That's right end known each other for now.

00:36 2525 years I'm 40 years old almost from Birmingham and I'm very excited that you can be here with me today. I know I dragged you into this but I think this is going to be so so why me? Why did we end up picking me out of your close friends. I mean, you know me pretty well part of it is you come from a background to your used to asking questions of people all the time, even if they are uncomfortable questions and one of things I want to do is have someone around it that I could trust but you know also with the understanding that you really need to feel free to ask anything. Right? So one of the things we talked about earlier first the first your 40 this week, happy birthday, thank you. How you feeling? You know, I feel okay. It's it really is just a number because you don't think about it that much and if you somehow don't pay attention to it like I've managed to do it just kind of slides on by normal.

01:36 I think of this is like a milestone birthday. And as you know, it's just been kind of a normal quiet everyday week. We've been distracted by many things and as it goes just kind of comes and goes so do be do be celebrations and so on but feels like a normal birthday, you told me other earlier that you were feeling starting fillable dragged down and maybe you're coming down with something, you know some it was Winter and sometimes you know, if I get worn out from a lot of activity or something and I'll start to feel like something's coming on and you know, it might go away or it might stick around or might get worse and it usually happens around the winter time usually happens about I think it starts to get colder. It's that's why I'm glad we're at Southwest doesn't get as cold as it could get elsewhere, but I'm not a fan of the cold and sometimes I feel vulnerable to cold weather. That's one of a kind of ironic. I'm the the person with the chronic life-threatening disease.

02:36 And in your you have no chronic illness, but you spend more time seems like we're treating to retreating to your house too kind of, you know yourself back to health and and I hardly ever get sick. Yeah. It's no part of it. But you know, I should take better care of myself. And you know, when you cross at Milestone Edge you think about those things that you eat and you think like your sleep and you think about exercising think one of my one of my not doing that I should be doing and when I think about those things that you know, there's always room for improvement. But you know, when I look back, you know, I think I'm okay because you know, I only tend to get sick once a year, but then it just hangs around. It doesn't just come and go, you know in a day or two it just kind of lingering sometimes and that can be kind of challenging because it's like well, I've got enough energy to work. So I'll just keep working but then it doesn't go away.

03:36 Not like it lays me up for for 3 days at a time and them all better you tend to cocoon yourself when you feel bad right now. Yeah, I mean fortunately I work from home most of the time so it's not that hard. So how you treat yourself when you're feeling sick. How much does that has to do with the illness you had between your senior year in high school freshman year in college how you came down with bacterial meningitis. Is that right? That's correct. You know, I'm not sure what the link is. I mean, it's something I never really thought about in terms of having lingering effect when I got out. I was all better and you just assume you're done with it, but I've never really looked to study.

04:20 How does this affect you long term is it have lingering effects, or is it just something that goes away like, you know?

04:28 Any, you know sudden illness or something that might hit you and then you recover from it. This was a big deal. You were 18 and just graduated pretty high in your class rigorous Academic School. You're getting ready to go to Cornell in the fall it working at a grocery store. Right? Right. So, tell me about your life at that point, you know, 18 or dating anyone just hang out with friends. What were you doing that summer special summer, you know as mentioned I'd just makes it high school and you know sometimes in your senior year 10 slack and you don't text my classes. Are you take it easy in my senior year was pretty intense cuz I had a lot of classes and had a senior piano recital and there's a lot going on.

05:14 And so summer was kind of a time to unwind and just need to take it easy for a little bit cuz I've been you know, it's been a challenging for years in high school and I suppose getting ready to go away to to Cornell. You know, it took on summer jobs to earn a little extra money with part times. It was not that big a deal spend some time hanging out with friends and vegged out and I've been working a lot of chance to spend time with friends. Cuz of course they were busy getting ready for college to which which grocery store. Are you how it was food where all did say it was over in Hoover where I grew up and

05:50 Again, nothing special just sat there in a bag groceries most the time or took out the trash or did whatever needed of me see what she had a lot of contact with people that write. Absolutely. I mean, that was really my only contact with people. I mean I'd hang out with friends every once in awhile, but it was just such a fruit for a lot of folks. They were just kind of either getting ready for college were having their last hurrah so I didn't get to see him that much. So what take me through it was a weekend when you when you fell a little over one weekend. I just started to do, you know feel sick and you know, I just had a fever and you know, I was feeling sluggish and you know it by Monday at seem like it's getting serious enough that we need to go at least just get it checked out.

06:44 My mom took me to the doc in the box and I'm if I recall correctly was Jimmy Blake who was the doctor on call who is who is also councilman you're in town and check me out. You know, he said no, it's probably just the flu which is weird for the summer but not completely unheard of and he just said, you know rest fluids and then you'll be fine just went home and and you know sides.

07:12 Now the Preston and take his advice. You're an only child only child. Yeah, so it's just you and your your parents that they had a small store here in town or a big store here in town. So my mom basically had her own retail store for clothing and jewelry and accessories and so on and my dad worked as a professor at the University of Montevallo, but of course it was summer, so we was all so either he was helping my mom or you never leaving her while she you know stayed at home, but the essential that's what they were doing. So so did they stay home one of them stay home with you and the other go to the store or do or did you get enough to stay at home by yourself or well, so, you know we went to the doc in the Box on Monday since we had to wait till they were open. And so essentially one of my mom is already home anyway, but what happened on that Monday was I just started getting rapidly were so my fever started to the Skyrocket.

08:06 And I was starting to feel weak. And yeah, I remember being on the living room floor. I mean I couldn't make the couch I could make it to my bed. The most comfortable place for me was just stay right where I was I was lying down and you know, I had the chills but I had like a hundred and 4 degree fever. I couldn't keep anything down and it got to the point where you know, as I was lying down, you know lifting my head's take a sip of water was just about impossible. So at that point the start realizes this is not just flew what where do they take you until you're going to emergency room ER? Well, what happened was so Tuesday the next day, you know, my favorite really starts by coming they were putting cold compresses and it wasn't doing anything. So we went back to the doc in the box. And the first thing they did was called the ambulance. And so I remember being loaded into the ambulance. I remember, you know, my mom was following the car behind me except that of course, I think she beat us to the hosp.

09:06 The first and only time thank goodness that I've ever been an ambulance never run me with sirens. And so now it's starting to pick up that this might be not the flu.

09:16 What were you thinking about then? And it was the for you I mean were you just consumed by the pain or were you actually thinking about this is serious. This is dangerous. This is it was really a fog at that point and end part of the story just comes from Anna coach from everyone who's around me at that point. You know, they got me to Brookwood hospital and they put me in the yard and I remember a couple of things one was that I was freezing cold and late stuck this big heavy blanket on me, but they didn't they called it and I chords didn't have the strength to unfold it myself and it was a kind of a dark quiet roofs. They had me isolated which turned out to be a good thing. You know. I was still throwing up just couldn't keep anything down.

10:06 Getting dehydrated and at some point during you know that and it could have been could have been 10 minutes. It could have been 3 hours. I'm not entirely certain but during that time. I was in that room. They gave me a spinal tap which even in my semi Delirious date was really really unpleasant. I remember kind of being curled up and on my side and you know being told not to move at all and you know, the thing is I don't remember feeling anything other than my own sickness and weakness, so

10:44 Do you know much about bacterial meningitis know it made me think about it very little well, it's already little basically meningitis is a swelling of the membranes around the spinal column and in the brain and it can be triggered by a couple things that can be configured in your case by bacteria. That's probably the most common and most dangerous. It can be triggered by virus or can even be triggered by a fungus. It is commonly bacterial meningitis is commonly considered a young adult illness test to pass itself around when young adults ring contact in dorms or in colleges or universities in close living quarters children tend to get a pass from it because it's going to be inoculated against it and it's about the point where young adults are shark on her getting together that the inoculations wear off. So that's you know, it's not really actually surprised that you got it at the age.

11:44 Dad, and other than the fact you weren't, you know already in college or living in a dorm or something like that, but it can be a very fatal disease are fatal illness. So it's 1989 and now they should tend to see more about it in terms of prevention or just you know outbreaks on campus Stone. I think my case might have been one in a million given the fact that we never did Trace back where it might have come from. No one around me had it fortunately, but we were never quite certain how I got it other than it worked in a public place and maybe that's where I picked up in passing.

12:28 Ask you to go back for just a little bit and help Sean. He was there he knew you in high school, but help him remember what you were like then describe yourself.

12:38 I was

12:43 Not

12:45 To unlock what I was now we're going way back at this point D progression. Yeah, exactly. I mean thing back and and part of it is before all of this, you know, maybe I was slightly different than after it before, you know, I was right. I was looking ahead to college. I was excited about this new challenge, you know, I I knew I was going to miss my friends because you know, I was only one going to that particular School.

13:22 You know is hardworking and recycle plastic when you write 18, were you shy I think I'm always shy I think she has something going to overcome better and better over the years. But the reason why I felt safe or more outgoing and in our high school with it because it's such a small high school. And I think that's why it's funny that we didn't know each other that well in high school. We knew I mean we knew each other. Well, you're it's far and you are any for me is that you had a kind of basically a social illness and and you are very young a very shy person. I'm I'm I'm nauseous. It's one of those are some things about our friendship is that I'm outgoing. I don't have a problem in a crowd but actually have probably more problems one-on-one then I do in in big groups where you tend to again cocoon yourself a little bit with me around a group of people that you don't know well, so so you spent this week a week in the hospital.

14:20 Yeah, so, you know if they did the spinal tap and

14:25 They at some point they moved me the ICU and this is where the story gets extremely fussy because I was in so much pain that I basically came in and out of Consciousness. And so I only have vague flashes of the first two or three days in ICU. They put a mask on me to prevent, you know, whatever it might be getting out too. Cuz I have no idea what it was at the time and they were pumping me full of IV fluids because I was dehydrated and they were putting in antibiotics into the IV bag but

15:03 I I just remember I was in a hospital bed. I was getting round-the-clock attention.

15:10 And it was just it was excruciating. I mean it was being awake was was way worse than being passed out.

15:21 Tell me about you what your your parents reaction during this. I mean that they were they were they scared. I assume they must have been because they never left my side and of course, you know, unfortunately had no presence of mind to know what really was going on. I mean, yeah, I'm in the hospital, but I'm just so out of it. I just could not be plugged into it. And I think that might have been a good thing but my parents who of course, you know, the doctor tells him.

15:54 We have no idea what it is. We don't know what's going on. He still got a fever. He's got weird bruise marks on his body. You know, he can't move he's severely died dehydrated. And so what are you do you just sit there and you wait and and know my family is not a religious family. So what are you doing that point do you do could you pray anyway or or back or what but I do know that you know, no matter what happened. They were there the whole time and remember that this all happened relatively suddenly so, you know anyone else that I knew probably had zero idea what was going on. So it was so by the end of the week you begin to rally and recovered well recover. I know that eventually they moved me out of ICU and into a

16:49 Now a private room for obvious reasons, and thankfully they are they made everyone else Warehouse cool mess when they came to visit me, which was an odd sight that was better than me wearing it because I was still vomiting all the time and having to get the mask out of the way when you had to throw up was not less and so, you know, I was strapped to about you know, five or six monitors and kind of lying there in my hospital bed kind of trying to sort out everything and by that point, you know, I think my parents are called at least a couple of my friends just to let him know what was going on and off, but I was still, you know, trying to

17:30 Get back to a point where I can think straight and talk to people and respond who who who are your friends that came to the hospital?

17:40 Etsy I if I remember correctly, you know, I think Clark came by Clark's the doctor now right? I know Andrea came by and you know, you know a few people came by and and and Wesson for coming by because I mean realistically they were probably putting themselves it severe redness, I was glad to see him but had I known what was going on I would have probably said just stay the hell away because it ain't worth in the course, you know.

18:13 What makes you think of ET on the minimum space suits and it was like that. I mean, they're always constantly drawing blood from 8th. And the challenge for any skilled nurse is dehydrated. It's just about impossible to hit a vein and we've been pranked, you know 30 times in the last few days. It gets really hard and it's a wonder you give blood every 8 weeks. It's a wonder after that experience. So you let anyone near you with a needle it took 9/11 for me to go get fly, but we'll come back to that. One thing. I remember is when they're changing IV bags and they're drawn blood they're doing it 24 hours a day. So

19:01 At 3 in the morning when I'm hard already having trouble falling asleep because I can't move to the chest monitors are on me. So I'm facing face up or the whole time. And so if someone forgets to turn off the lights, it's really hard to like turn over go to sleep to can't and about that time, you know, a nurse will come in and draw blood. So one of the trainee nurses came in with with a mentor and stuck me about 10 to 15 times trying to find a vein and I think one of them had the presence of mind to stay at some point. Are you going to lot of pain and all I could do was come a nod my head. I'm not typically 122 complain and you know relatively speaking that pain was okay, but eventually the mentor to mercy on me.

19:50 And I drew the blood herself, but they were running a lot of blood tests that the other thing. I remember was this might have been probably the last day of ICU, but at some point the doctor said, you know, you know, you're in pain would you like some more pain? Of course? I nodded my head. Yes, cuz I thought that would be that would be a big help and what happened was.

20:14 I don't know if if you had to deal with morphine for but only recreationally I don't know what happened was they jammed? Probably the biggest needle I've ever seen into the side of my leg and I immediately was no longer in pain all over my body because all I could focus on was the gigantic humongous never before felt pain in the side of my leg and put the rest of my stay in the hospital and never asked for morphine to get out of it just was not worth it. Your parents have medical insurance through your dad. I said, yes and Bill all told was $20,000 which in 1989 for the school. I was going to was a Year's worth of tuition and it end up costing us would ever talked about was wow.

21:02 So, you know, you have a horrible experience in the hospital and drifting in and out of Consciousness. But finally when you're Lucid in your out, how do you find this experience has changed you well.

21:20 I'd never had anything even close to that happened in my life. I mean, I've never been had a broken bone. I've never had anything worse than you know. Chickenpox.

21:33 Yeah, I did intend to to to to to to fall and he's kind of situations and I mean so, you know, we have a near-death experience at 18 and I say that not lightly because they told me as they were taking me out that at the hospital that had they not brought me in. I was probably about 10 hours away from death.

21:58 A lot of teenagers never faced anything

22:02 Like that and I mean, you know when you're when you're out of high school and and got everything before you and all the sudden in a week. It almost goes away by random chance.

22:17 No.

22:19 For me it was I really wanted to make the most of everything beyond that point because you know when you're growing up further away a lot of stuff and you know, even someone like me who have a lot of time studying and hitting the box and no practicing piano and so on I thought well, you know, what am I going to do out there when am I going to

22:44 How am I going to make the world a better place? Because you know, there's no guarantee that the next time it won't take you out completely. And so I learned to appreciate things a little bit more. I think it's very cliche, but

23:00 It is probably one of the best things to ever happen to me because until you go through something like that. You don't really appreciate everything that you have are around you.

23:11 So those are the questions you ask but what what answer is did you start to come up with us as an 18 year old? Well, you know at the time I was still wanting to go into journalism and be a rider.

23:23 And I think I just kind of renewed my my driving and doing that. You know, if you survive something like that, you don't feel like there's a lot that can hold you back at that point and

23:38 You don't worry about you. No embarrassment or risk as much you know, what Sean has has alluded to you know, I'm a private person and I keep to myself and

23:55 It was definitely a wake-up call. I don't know if I can put exactly into words.

24:01 You know how it changed me completely and it took some time to come to realize.

24:07 What have been going on and and and and just how damn lucky I was because you know when they were when they're willing out of the hospital week later.

24:19 That was when they have figured out what was going on. They took so long for the lab tests that they were dancing the whole week and that's how lucky I was was they just guessed it might be meningococcemia, which is what I had and so when they were throwing every antibiotic at me round-the-clock, they just magically hit the bullseye. Let me ask you a question. This is somewhere you and I are also different on I agree up in a Christian family religious. Very religious family. It's natural when you go through an event like that at least in my tradition to thank God you got a couple thousand years ago, but naturally kill one of the Lambs and stuff for up a sacrifice and thanks. What did you do? I what was what did your parents do to was there with her? You know, I'm moment work where you thought about God differently or or considered. The possibility of God was I mean, I just I don't know I mean not

25:19 Thank God when I find my iPod these days, but could you find Drive?

25:29 I'm I know my parents did not have a religious conversion and you know, it's funny when you grow up in the Buckle of the Bible Belt you you are steeped in church and religion and and most of my friends had had attended church regularly has grown up in the tradition for me.

25:47 I'm still wrestling with it. I mean, I wish I had better answers than I had then and even after the tepid exploration that I've done over the years.

25:59 I don't know. I mean, I'm just

26:03 Part of me wants believe part of me that wants to believe in bigger things and the unknown wants to believe it. But same time that the skeptic an event in May which is served. So well in journalism is its terrible in terms of

26:20 Poking holes into everything

26:23 For a for a few years after this you were still close with your parents. Did they ever did you guys talk about that event much?

26:33 Not really and I think the reason why is because it was so self-contained. I had to explain to friends of mine after I got to the hospital but it happened because they were some of them just didn't know, you know, I looked I was perfectly healthy by the time I got to the hospital to walk around there were no signs of it there were no scars and it wasn't like I broke my arm had to wear a cast for the next eight weeks suddenly got sick and went to the hospital. I got out and was fine, but nobody was there to sign your needle marks from the its.

27:11 So, you know, it wasn't something that needed to be talked about because

27:15 It was a one-in-a-million thing like it would never happen again. So there was nothing to do to prevent it other than live in a bubble and

27:24 It just it didn't come up with my parents didn't come up with friends. It just wish one of those like that was weird. I do makes me think of my family were there certain members of my family that obsess over every medical event of their life. No matter how minor they are, but they talk about them publicly ready early either or you're there arthritis is flaring up for their insignificant hangnail has cost them undue hardship and it's funny because it says know that none of these events seem to be life-threatening but every medical event in their lives, this is an opportunity to gather sympathy and disgust morality end in you actually had an experience where mortality was imply and it's a tie means fascinating to me. I have been up. Like I said, I have diabetes have been on insulin for 10 or 11 years. I've been broken some bones, but I've never been in place.

28:24 Where I had to really reflect on my mortality, I have a long-term I have to reflect on it because my father died when he was 59, my grandfather died when he was 57. I'm pulling for 61. I think I'll get up and get an extra couple years. And so, you know, what two young children and a wife I think about. Okay. Well, why do I make it through but but I haven't and I haven't had that incident where you know where we're death. Was there waiting for me and I managed to get by him and I had to reflect no no Club close calls and traffic. No.

29:00 Nope.

29:02 No situation where you thought had had not a split second later. Something else would happen. If you would be you know, I suspect that. I've had quite a few of those moments lately with all the ice and snow. We've had of flit around a few times, but I've never been

29:17 You know, I've never been I've never been in the hospital longer than a couple minutes, you know other than see people so I've never had an emergency that was medically related that that Disturbia. I guess there been a few times in traffic where I've been in very grateful that I managed not to get entangled. But nothing that that comes close to mind that it has altered my life or even impacted it for very long, but you know, it's still kind of a little phobia about hospitals and I think I might have seen the doctor maybe twice during the entire week versus the entire time and they were very thoughtful and and and and took great care of me and

29:57 You know, it was definitely.

30:01 One of the worst weeks of my life, but at the same time I mean

30:04 They did their job and it did exceptionally well because I'm still sitting here talking to you. Are you are you go have a physical every couple years. You're pretty regular about seeking medical attention when you're sick, right? Well, I get a physical every couple of years and I'll go get blood routine lace. I hope you know if there's no surprises there. But if I get sick, I can just blow off the doctor. I think I'll get better. You know, I'll just take it easy or you know, I'll take some aspirin or something, but I only tend to go to the doctor if it gets to be what I think is serious. You don't feel a little bit Invincible after your meningitis experience. Do you absolutely not I mean when the reasons why I try and take care of myself at least, you know in terms of what I eat and try to get some sleep. It's just because you know, I do want to live a long time. I do want to make the most of my life.

31:02 And they're always thinks be doing better, but it's not something where I I don't necessarily obsess over my health.

31:13 Can you tell Sean?

31:15 How your life especially since you just had a birthday how has your life been different so far from what your 18 year old self expected?

31:26 I think I changed a lot in the Years After College.

31:32 And I think of change I mean, I think they've been phases where I just kind of

31:38 I don't know how to put it exactly because I mean I don't want to seem mature.

31:42 Because

31:44 You know the first thing that my freshman-year roommate knows and college was that they thought I was a sophomore because I was so reserved and you know didn't run around crazy like a lot of pressure and Ed.

32:02 It's hard to say, I mean how have I changed? What did you expect to be when you're 18, would you expect to do did you expect to stay in Birmingham? Did you expect to go work for the New York Times Did you lower your expectations? I expected that was going to climb up through the ranks newspapers and it would probably be somewhere other than Birmingham simply because you know in terms of moving up you want to go to bigger and better papers and but it wasn't because I didn't love Birmingham is just because you know, I knew that I might have to go elsewhere to seek different opportunities and you know what I think that's kind of changed around us wishes that newspapers aren't as Earnest Thorne thriving as much as I used to and so as some of those Avenues closed, you know, I'd acted in and started do other things for my career.

32:51 But what up? Personally? I mean did you expect to be married? Absolutely, I kids. I thought I'd be married by 30. I thought it'd be married, you know, maybe even before that and

33:04 That I think it's been very challenging for me because you know, I have these dreams of getting married and having a family and you wonder you know at this point. Well, okay, is that still something that's going to happen and how is it going to happen? And you know, what do I need to do and

33:25 So on and you know

33:28 It's frustrating because I mean most of my friends are married or in long-term relationships and some of them have children in and I'm very been in three or four marriages. Absolutely and I mean, I'm very happy for him. But at the same time I'm a little bit sad for myself.

33:50 With that in mind. Is there anything that you would do differently over the course of the life you live so far?

33:59 I don't think so.

34:01 I mean

34:03 I like who I am now, and I know that who I am now is a product of everything that I've been through could for good or for bad. It's

34:14 It's not healthy and it's not it's not productive to to look back and think where you would have taken different paths, you know, I have to own my mistakes.

34:26 And learn from his best I can what?

34:32 Argument we talked about a number different topics before we got here to have this conversation about you kept coming back to this one topic. You looked interesting life is going to be hundreds of people here. It's pretty damn interesting stories. You've been a minor local celebrity on and off. You know, we've got what you and I have some interesting shirt. Why is this one experiences brief Hospital? Stay when you were 18 years old? Why did it keep resurfacing is the story?

35:10 It's so for far out of the norm for me. I mean

35:15 I've never been in the hospital again only maybe once or twice if I had those minor near death experience is

35:24 And I think it was kind of like

35:27 This is your wake-up call for the rest of your life if it happened at age 10, I don't think it would have really made much of a difference if it happened later on. I don't think it would have made much of a difference.

35:41 You know, if it if it was God's will as it were you know, that was that was the time where I need to get out of my my hazy dream of you know, this is all about me and this is what I'm going to do next Wednesday. I'm going to beat the world and

35:58 At least have a wider perspective of what's going on around me and

36:04 How insignificant I am in that grand scheme of things if I just slide on by.

36:13 I thought well, I for one am glad that you made it through that week. We became good friends later which portion of my career to you for. I understand that you're at my wedding. You've been at both the baptisms about my kids you were there when my father died to be with my family and even though I was halfway around the world, so I'm very grateful that that you survived that brush with death.

36:48 It's something I would have significant. I was as well as I would not wish on even my worst enemy.

36:59 You've done a lot of things.

37:02 After that experience that but I imagine you're proud of so what can you talk to Sean a little about one of the things you're most proud of with this new life. You were given

37:11 One thinks I'm most proud of in the end. It doesn't Paul Sean and it's a story for another day is smash to do some service projects on the Gulf Coast after Katrina in 2005.

37:29 That the people that we met who have had to endure more than any of us probably ever have to

37:37 The the the things that we got to experience together, even that small difference I think has had a major impact on both of our lives and

37:48 If I've done nothing else, that's probably one of the most significant things I've ever been a part of.

37:56 And I'm very grateful for the fact that I'm around it to be able to do something like that and it and all it was was just you know, taking down some moldy boards and some some flooded houses and and it's turning food at Food Center wasn't anything other than just lending a hand in a really bad situation.

38:17 Why was that important to you? Because you know, I think of us as neighbors, you know where we're here in Birmingham and down in New Orleans, you know and down in Biloxi and in Mobile and is our friends or neighbors. We spend a lot of time on the Gulf Coast in when they needed us most we needed to be neighborly in to help him out. Anyway, we could so we know we got together week. We got donations. We got supplies Sean graciously loaded his his pickup truck with yonomi him and two other volunteers and a ton of supplies and around ear and a drive us down there so we could make sure that they were getting it. He's made several runs down there to help out and assess the situation in a report on it.

39:09 No, it was the it was pretty much the very least that we could do.

39:22 Well other than the fact that I was unqualified kept alive because of my weight that I went and checked again after you know, there's not a lot you can do about a terrorist attack a thousand miles away. And so you feel like you got to do something and so I went and checked again. I course at that point I qualified so I went and gave blood and tape whatever sense cuz I mean whenever there's a national crisis, you know, people stepped forward and do those things, but then you know, it's a crisis page they they attend stop doing it but giving blood is pretty much the easiest thing anyone can do it, you know, it's at half hour to an hour out of your day. And it's Avery weeks for you, right. Every 8 weeks. Do they ever miss your vein?

40:12 No, fortunately there their they're pretty good about hitting it these days. I'm fully hydrated seho.

40:23 So what would see now your 40? What's what's next for you? I'd what do you what do you think about long-term right now? I mean there are lots of lines of demarcation in your life from an aged ten point. There's no probably becoming a teenager graduating from high school Mountain. Being able to legally drink for he's a big one. Can you think back of where you were at 18 and now that you're 40? What? What do you what do you think's next for you?

40:52 You know, I think I'm still sorting it out as I go along. I mean I'm going to continue to write and if you do tell stories continue to search for ways to build a family, but I also need to appreciate what I have around me and

41:09 Know that wherever I'm headed, I'm still in a good spot where I am right now.

41:20 Thank you. Thank you. That was great. Thanks. I appreciate it.