Here I am again with the next installment of “Getting to know Dot - the woman behind Operation Hat Trick.” So, here we go.
In 2007, my son and his wife were new parents to Jack my first grandchild. On a trip to Phoenix, Kevin contracted Guillain Barre syndrome, a condition in which the immune system systemically and aggressively attacks the nerves. He was very ill, away from home and with doctors who didn’t know what was wrong-at first. SCARY!!!! They would soon figure it out and gave him the immunoglobulin necessary to stop the spread and hoped for the best. There is no known cure. Time is the best healer.
After a call that no mother wants to get, my daughter and I boarded a plane only to realize when we got there that we may lose Kevin. He was in an induced coma, couldn’t breathe on his own or open his eyers. Couldn’t swallow or lift his head off the pillow and he was paralyzed on his left side. He also had Miller Fisher which paralyzed his face. Soon he contracted pneumonia and it was touch and go.
The family held vigil for a week until he came out of the coma and the recovery began. It was going to be a long one. Learning how to crawl and walk again. Learning how to swallow. Being airlifted to San Diego, back home, where he would enter long term rehab. He bled internally on the flight and was not in good shape when he arrived in CA. SCARY places these rehab centers but he was a champ and worked very hard to get better. As he says, “I worked my ass off so I could get back home to my 8 week old son.” True story. From Day One, I prayed nightly and promised to do something good in the world if only Kevin would survive. Today he has a few residual effects but all in all he is a walking miracle.
**For those who don’t know, Guillain Barre is traced back to the 70’s when many veterans contracted the disease after receiving a flu shot. Not clear why but any doctors today recommend no flu shots for those having had the disease.
So, when I heard that Boston radio station trivia contest that day in 2007 asking “What is the one thing wanted most by head wounded soldiers coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan?” and the answer was a baseball cap, I knew exactly what I had to do and how I could make a difference. So, I founded Operation Hat Trick. A few months later SEALs Nate Hardy and Mike Koch were killed in Iraq and it only seemed fitting to dedicate the fledgling of this non profit to them.
Fast forward to today - We have been wildly successful at OHT and have made a difference in so many wounded and recovering service members’ and veterans’ lives. We remain relatively small so that we know everyone who wants to know us. We have supporters like you who help us make that difference and together we are able to fill some critical gaps in care. THANK YOU!!!!!
Enough for this month. Tune in next month for more. I have so much more to tell you.
We want to say a HUGE thank you to all of our
partner institutions, fans and partner licensees!
Throughout the football season, we saw a terrific display of Military Appreciation game features
and activities around OHT.
Additionally, Veterans Day was a true salute from our fans and partners! We appreciate all you do for OHT, and without you, we wouldn’t be able to impact so many veterans’ lives. We posted more than 100 stories on Instagram and added over 100 new followers across all our accounts! Thank you all!
We are so thankful for the fans and participants in the Warrior For Life Fund All Stars vs. Boston Bruins Alumni game this past Saturday!
Active Duty and Retired members of the
Naval Special Warfare community played in
Boston to honor the memory of
Chief Special Warfare Operator Nate Hardy (SEAL).
This event continued the Boston Bruins Foundation's long commitment to supporting charities that impact and improve the lives of military families, including Operation Hat Trick, Warrior For Life Fund, Fisher House of Boston, and the Boston Bruins Foundation. Over $100,000 was raised from the event!
At over 70 pounds, KILO II is growing into such a handsome boy! Kilo is advancing everyday with his training! Being the relaxed boy that he is, his favorite command is down. He loves any toys that squeak or roll. Kilo is the sweetest boy and I couldn’t be happier with how his training is coming along.
In November, the Boston Bruins, the Boston Bruins Foundation, Red River Charitable Foundation,
’47 and the Boston Pro Shop once again teamed up
to honor those who serve our country.
The special edition hoodie and hat are available at the Pro Shop and the link below!