Category Archives: Chris

Heroes

Balcom's Cove Accident

Saturday was full of excitement at Balcom’s Cove, the condo complex that we live in. John, one of our neighbors, was parked by the marina and accidentally drove his SUV into Muskegon Lake. Our brother-in-law Luz was sitting on our balcony and heard the car go into the water. Mark and Luz immediately ran out to help while Kelly yelled to her husband Chris who luckily was already out by the lake. Chris immediately began sprinting toward the scene and jumped into the water once he was able to see what had happened. By the time Mark and Luz got down to the water Chris and Bryan were already in the lake trying to help John get out of his car. Chris said when he first reached the car the driver’s side window was open and there wasn’t very much water in the car. John had one leg out the window and was trying to get out so Chris and Bryan both tried to pull him out but it wasn’t working. As the car started to sink deeper into the water Chris went to try and gain entry through the back passenger window to free John from the other side while Bryan reached in and grabbed John’s other leg, braced his feet against the outside of the car and pulled John out of the car to safety just as John’s head became completely submerged in the water. Once the water started rushing in everything happened fast. Once John was out of the car Bryan and John held on to the roof of the car in order to catch their breath before swimming to shore, at which time the neighbors of Balcom’s Cove were able to help John back up to dry land.

Harrison’s Here

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Our blue-eyed baby boy Harrison, along with his awesome parents, arrived on Tuesday. Mark and I are capable of doing this on our own but it sure is nice to have extra hands to care for me, feed me and give Mark a break. And besides we love having them around.

Today we took a couple of nice walks and Mark, Luz and I watched Kelly, Patti and Harrison swim in the pool. It sure is nice to be able to go outside without a coat on.

Rest in Peace, Liz

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Our son-in-law Chris said goodbye to his precious mother Elizabeth Ufnal on January 7, 2014. Liz was bubbly, welcoming and made us feel like family from the first time we met her. She was stunning with the most beautiful blue eyes. We will remember her every time we look at the sweet grandson that we share because he got grandma Liz’s eyes. Liz was 59 and had been battling cancer since late summer. Even though we’ve only known her and her family for about four years we have grown to love them as our own. Our love and prayers go out Bill, Chris, Natalie, Trisha, Barb and the entire family. Rest in peace, Liz.

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Harrison’s Birth

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On the day Harrison was born we received a call at 5:00am from Chris telling us that he and Kelly were all settled into their hospital room awaiting the arrival of Baby Ufnal. Mark and I got ready right away and finally made it to the hospital at 10:30 and were greeted by an excited Uncle Bryan outside of Kelly’s room. Mark called and woke up Corey in San Francisco so he could be there, too.

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We were also greeted by our friend and nurse Deb Mascarin who, after hearing that Kelly was in labor, came in to work on her day off specifically to see Chris and Kelly through this birth. Deb eloquently explained what the monitors hooked up to Kelly were doing and she told us that Kelly was doing great.

Soon Dr. McDonald, who we had heard so many wonderful things about from Kelly during her OB visits, came in to break Kelly’s water. Dr. McDonald had this beautiful and reassuring smile that let us know that everything was going to be alright. She thought the baby wouldn’t be here until the evening so Mark, Chad, Bryan and I left and waited for a call.

At 3:30pm we received a call from Kelly and Chris saying the baby’s heart rate was declining and that a Caesarean section may be necessary, so we quickly headed back to the hospital. Upon our arrival we were again greeted by Deb reassuring us that Kelly and the baby were in good hands and she proceeded to tell us what would be involved if Kelly had to have a C-section. Minutes later Dr. McDonald made the decision to go forward with the C-section so things started to move quickly.

Before we get too far into the birth let me back up a few months. Kelly asked me if I would like to be with her and Chris in the delivery room and I immediately said yes. I had never witnessed a birth except for the birth of my own children and during those times I didn’t have much of a view. So together Dr. McDonald and Deb tried to arrange things at the hospital so I would be comfortable during the delivery. They were treating me like I was their patient along with Kelly.

Now that Kelly was having a C-section I thought I wouldn’t be able to witness the birth of Baby Ufnal but somehow before I knew it I was getting suited up with my son-in-law Chris to witness the birth of my new grandchild. As they wheeled a teary-eye Kelly into the operating room all I could pray for was a healthy outcome for Kelly and the baby.

Mom and Chris Waiting

As I waited with Chris outside of the operating room I could  feel the immense love that he has for Kelly. He was scared but anxious to see Kelly and witness the birth of their first child. The medical team kept Chris and I updated as they prepped Kelly. Everyone on the team was genuinely concerned about Kelly but treated us like we were guests at the Ritz Carlton. Even Mark, Chad and Bryan, who were waiting outside of the operating room with Corey and Bevan dialed in via FaceTime, were treated like royalty.

Since Kelly was doing so well, some of the team members came and got Chris and I. Initially the intern offered to carry me into the operating room if I wasn’t able to walk but then decided to cover my chair and wheel me in. Chris and I sat next to Kelly’s head and held her hand while the anesthesiologist worked next to us. He was so sweet and kept reassuring us that Kelly and the baby were doing great. Kelly’s eyes were so green as she laid there with tears running down her face. My mind flashed back to her being our sweet little Kelly and how quickly the time has flown by and now my baby was having a baby and I couldn’t believe how lucky I was to be witnessing such a miracle. While all if this was taking place Deb was taking pictures.

Mom, Chris and Kelly OR #2

After a short time Dr. McDonald said, “I see an ear. Now I see a shoulder.” As we waited patiently to hear if it was a boy or a girl, the doctor asked Chris to announce the sex of the baby. Chris anxiously stood up and peered over the curtain as they were pulling the baby out of Kelly’s stomach and proudly announced, “It’s a boy!” Little Harrison started to cry immediately and all was right in our world. Chris had the honor of cutting the umbilical cord before they handed little Harrison off to Kelly.

While in the recovery room Kelly and Chris announced to all of our immediate family members in person and via FaceTime that they now had a beautiful and healthy little boy named Harrison Mark Ufnal.

Chris, Kelly and Harrison

Looking back on the day our precious little Harrison’s birth was so well orchestrated because of the love and care we received from Dr. McDonald, Deb Mascarin and their entire medical team. Kelly and I really wanted to share the birth of this child together and this family of medical professionals granted our wish.

Thank you.  We will never forget it.

Mom holding Harrison