Surgeon's pen

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Project by Tooch posted 07-11-2019 12:00 PM 555 views 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Wow. Where to begin with this post….

First, I guess I should explain my lack of engagement on LJs for the past 6 weeks. On May 18th, while participating in an obstacle-course-style 5K run , my wife tumbled awkwardly and broke her neck. That’s not hyperbole or an exaggeration, she literally broke her C6 vertebrae and suffered damage to her blood vessels and nerve.

After 2 ambulance rides, 2 hospitals, CT scans, MRIs, Angiograms, and other tests, it was determined that she needed to have surgery. The exact surgery is known as an ACDF ( Click Here for Video ) and they fused her C6 and C7 vertebrae with a small titanium plate. We spent a total of 6 days in Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and she spent the last 6 weeks in an immobilizing neck brace.

Luckily and by the grace of God, she did not suffer any permanent damage and is supposed to make a complete recovery.

Going back to work after an event like that is pretty difficult. All of the other worries and concerns I had before were put into a larger perspective. I felt like I needed to make something, anything. I just needed to “do” again. I thought about Dr. Williamson, the 37 year old surgeon (only 2 yrs older than me) who fixed up my wife and literally saved her life. How can you repay something like that? I realized I couldn’t, but I wanted to give him a small token of appreciation for what he did for her, for us, for our family.

I realized I had these 2 bloodwood blanks cut and tubes were already glued in from before the accident. I spun them up on the lathe and put them together in about an hour. I felt good to be able to shut out the world for a few minutes and just be creative again.

At our 4 week check-up, we saw Dr. Williamson again and I was able to give this pen to him. When I handed it to him and he got a chance to look at it, he said “Wow! you Made this??” So there I sat, amazed at his amazement. Here’s a guy a few months older than me, who is literally saving people’s lives on a daily basis, who was impressed with a simple little project like this. What a crazy world we live in.

So anyways, There it is. I’m not sure how to conclude this post other than saying thanks for checking in, and although we are through the toughest part of this whole ordeal, any thoughts or prayers are always welcome.

Until next time, keep on making sawdust.

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

8 comments so far

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7932 posts in 4409 days

#1 posted 07-11-2019 12:41 PM

Wow! I’m lost for words here. But I was so glad to read the part where you said your wife ”will make a complete recovery”. Carol and I will be praying for her.
I watched the video and it’s amazing what doctors can do to help us today. And for your doctor to say ”You made this pen” was equally amazing; it shows what kind of person he is.
Nice work on this beautiful pen (gift) and thanks for sharing this. Please keep is updated on your wife’s progress.

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View Andre's profile


4460 posts in 2862 days

#2 posted 07-11-2019 01:40 PM

Happy to hear your better half will recover, always a good thing to show our gratitude to those who impact our lifes in ways some will never now. While the pen is nice, it is still what is coming from our hearts that matters most.

-- Lifting one end of the plank.

View SMP's profile (online now)


3817 posts in 962 days

#3 posted 07-11-2019 02:21 PM

great story, and how ironic that you happened to have that type of wood laying around for a surgeon!

View pottz's profile (online now)


16261 posts in 2041 days

#4 posted 07-11-2019 02:27 PM

wow thats a rough ride for both of you to go through tooch sure glad she is gonna be ok.that’s a very nice token of appreciation that im sure he will enjoy.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8337 posts in 1769 days

#5 posted 07-11-2019 02:32 PM

I am so glad she will recover from this …. that was my problem …. surgeon has done same procedure on me except I now have severe nerve damage from it

some are doctors some are woodcraftsman some are lawyers we all should be proud of ourselves LOL

GREAT JOB :<)))))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View hoss12992's profile


4180 posts in 2949 days

#6 posted 07-11-2019 03:06 PM

Beautiful pen. Great job buddy. Still praying for your wife and family

-- The Old Rednek Workshop

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26083 posts in 4162 days

#7 posted 07-11-2019 11:30 PM

Hi Mike. I’m sure glad you wife is going to come out of that okay..That is really scary!
You sure made the right gift for the surgeon. He will remember you and that surgery he had to do!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View doubleDD's profile


10272 posts in 3100 days

#8 posted 07-13-2019 08:59 PM

First off my prayers are wit you with all that’s going on. I hope things get better soon for you.
That’s a nice pen and I know the surgeon will appreciate it for a longtime.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

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