Please Help Our Members from MCO through VLTP
Friday, September 21, 2012

Two more members, from Orlando Tower (MCO), were added this week to our database of those currently in the Voluntary Leave Transfer Program (VLTP). To view that page, please click HERE.

Here is more information from each member:

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Hello all,

Some of you may know me more than others, as I am newer to the agency (less than five years). Being new to the agency and a mother to two small children (under the age of five), I did not have much leave time to begin with.

Over a year ago, I discovered a lump in my neck. One test after the next and the next, led me to the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., and to surgery to remove my entire thyroid in September 2011. During the pathology of that surgery they found incidental cancer. As a result, I lost my medical. On Nov. 1, 2011, I was informed via a formal letter from the facility that there were no administrative duties for me in the local commuting area and, once my leave was gone, I would be on leave without pay (LWOP) until I got my medical back. So since the end of that month, that is where I have been - home on LWOP.

During my six-month post operation ultrasound at the beginning of May, "suspicious" lymph nodes in my neck were discovered and I was scheduled for another surgery to remove and biopsy more of my body parts. After my surgery to remove my thyroid, I had become hoarse for about six weeks. But after this recent surgery, instead of losing control of my normal voice, I lost control of part of my face and lower lip. Although my husband says it is getting better, I still feel like I am talking and smiling out the left side of my mouth only. I am getting used to it. I would rather have a partially functioning face then the cancer we were expecting. After this past surgery, I am thankful to once again be cancer free!

So I am back to where I was six months ago, waiting for a post-operation ultrasound. After that ultrasound, we wait six months to do another to see if there is anything new or anything has changed in my neck and body. In addition, we have still not found the perfect dosage of Synthroid (a thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism), and I am waiting 6-8 weeks for adjustments with that.

Unfortunately as a result of ALL of this, I currently have a negative balance of 82 hours of annual and 32 hours of sick leave. I have been using one day a pay period, 8 hours, of leave and advanced leave, while I have been working hard to get healthy again so I may return to work. I am at the max amount of hours of sick or annual leave that can be advanced to me. Currently I have to use one day of leave every pay period with the other nine days being LWOP.

I was able to get acceptance into the volunteer leave transfer program (VLTP) program. What a blessing! So, the reason I am reaching out to my colleagues is that I am in need of 200 hours of donated leave; 114 of those hours will be used to get me out of the deficit I have accumulated through this awful experience. The remaining hours I anticipate using one day (eight hours) per pay period until I can get my medical back.

I know you all work hard for your leave as much as I did, and I know how valuable your leave time is. However, if anyone is in a position and would be willing to donate some of their leave time to me, I would be deeply appreciative! It is very hard for me to ask for help, but I realize I do need it. I know giving up your leave is not an easy decision, but I speak for my husband and two children when I say your time would be invaluable to us. I cannot say enough that I AM VERY THANKFUL AND APPRECIATIVE OF ANYTHING THAT YOU DO FOR ME!!

To begin your donation start here: https://employees.faa.gov/

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Meagan Garmon
MCO
 
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In August of 2011, my wife was in her second trimester of her pregnancy with our boy, and was due to deliver on January 26th, 2012. Towards the end of August, and through the beginning of September, we were referred to a Fetal Diagnostic Specialist who diagnosed our son with Jejunal Atresia – a malformation of the small intestine starting from the duodenum and extending to the ileum. The cause for this was unknown, and we monitored the situation with doctor visits every week.

On December 15th, 2011, my wife had a routine appointment with the FD specialist. During the visit, the doctor discovered that our baby was not moving and that the swelling in his intestine was getting to the point of rupture. My wife also had a placental abruption, and we were ordered to immediately get to a hospital. An emergency Cesarean was performed, and our son was born 42 days early.

Due to the abruption, a partially torn umbilical, and the atresia, our son was put in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, Fla. They performed a blood transfusion and placed him on a medication for his kidneys, which weren’t functioning properly due to low blood pressure. It took about three weeks before he was stable enough to have surgery to correct his intestinal malformation.

Our son was in the NICU for 102 days. During that time, he had two surgeries on his intestine, three blood transfusions and three Broviac catheter placements, which are long term IVs placed into the aortic chamber. He was also isolated in a sterile room due to a staph infection for five weeks. It was 84 days before he was able to eat, and this was done through his nasal-gastric tube.

After his final surgery, and when he was able to eat, our son was released on March 27, 2012. Since his release, he has had and will have monthly follow-up visits with surgeons, a GI specialist, and a kidney specialist. There is a chance that he will require more surgeries as he begins the transition from liquid to solid food.

Since he has been in the hospital, and due to his numerous doctor appointments and surgery consultations, I have exhausted my sick and annual leave balances for 2012, and have exceeded the limit of advanced leave I can receive. Due to the nature of my son’s condition, it is unknown how many procedures he will require in the future. We are monitoring his condition with monthly appointments with his various doctors. We are riding it out day by day, and the current long-term prognosis is unknown. Thank you for your consideration.

Thank you from my family to yours,

Jonathan E. Graves
MCO ATCT
 
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Please consider a leave donation for Meagan and Jon and their brothers and sisters in the VLTP.

If you are in the VLTP program and would like to be added to our members website database, please email Director of Communications Doug Church (dchurch@natcadc.org).