Monday, July 02, 2007

Jimmie Rodgers - Oh Oh I'm Falling In Love Again - Song of the Week

Jimmie Rodgers was very successful in the '50s and '60s with Top Ten hits, Gold Records, great live performances, and even his own TV show. Then on December 1, 1967 everything changed. A mysterious assault on the San Diego Freeway left him with a fractured skull.

My friend Warren Cosford has passed on correspondence from Jimmie's son Michael Rodgers and I wanted to give you the opportunity to know what's been happening this past week with his dad.

Here it is...

Sent: Monday, June 25, 2007 7:07:14 PM
Subject: This story and e-mail have been authenticated

Hello Everyone!
Perhaps we have not spoken for a while. Perhaps we have never even met but somehow we have been connected through this wonderful world of email. That being said, if you are considering this to be SPAM consider it the best kind because there is an opportunity here to be kind if for just a moment and truly bless someone. My name is Michael Rodgers. My father's name is *Jimmie Rodgers*. Some of you might remember him from his musical career that has now spanned fifty years.

In 1957 he recorded a song called "Honeycomb," and followed it up with a string of hit records totaling 25 top ten singles, eighty million records sold worldwide and concert appearances throughout the world. In 1967, when he was 33 years old, my father was injured in what is now known as a road rage incident with an off duty Los Angeles police officer. He suffered severe head injuries and underwent three brain surgeries. During one of those surgeries he lost 28 square inches of his skull on the right side of his head.

Since 1968 he has carried what is considered to be the largest steel plate ever implanted in someone's head. For 39 years the entire right side of his head has been entirely made of steel. It took Dad nearly 15 years to recover from the last
surgery in 1968 as he had to learn to walk, speak and regain his motor skills. He was not supposed to live more than 10 years with this steel plate in his body as the body continually tries to reject these kinds of implants. As he has gotten older, the skin on his scalp has gotten thinner (as it does with everyone) and the steel has began to try to regain it's original shape and the edges of the plate that overlaps the remaining bone have become sharp and they continually cut his scalp open making the plate stick through the top of his head. When this happens his brain is exposed to air and possible infection, he has terrible mood swings and if left this way this situation will eventually lead to his death. During the last 15 years, he has had the plate filed, snipped, cut, and reshaped. He has had more than 60 different skin graphs and other surgeries to try to keep his head from opening up. The last such surgery was 18 months ago and it nearly killed him. He now has a hole in his head the size of a half-dollar, and it has been this way since February. There is not enough healthy skin left on his scalp to cover it over. My dad is tough. He is the definition of the word. He has avoided what is about to take place and tried everything imaginable to live with the constant pain and discomfort and he has now made a decision that will define what will be the rest of his life.

On Thursday June 28, 2007, a team of brain surgeons in Hot Springs, Arkansas will remove the steel plate that he has carried with him for 39 years. They plan to remove the outer layer of skin and lift the plate away from the position it has held covering the outer layer of his brain. If successful they will replace the plate with a new material that has been developed that will recreate the skull bone and will not be rejected by the body. They also plan to recreate new skin on his head using his own stem cells in a paste form so that no more skin graphs will be needed. If this surgery works he will no longer have the worry that his head will open up and his brain will become exposed anymore. If this surgery works he will have the chance to live what is left of his life without pain and the ever present knowledge that at any time his head will open up again. If this surgery works there is also a very real chance that he might never recover from the intense trauma that he is about to go through. At 33 years of age it took him 15 years to recover. At 73 years of age who
knows what the outcome might be. What we do know is that he cannot live with this in his body anymore and it needs to come out if he is going to have any chance to live whatsoever. Dad has made the decision. The Doctors feel confident that all will be
fine and we are stepping out on faith that this is the right course of action. All of us are connected in this life in some way. I believe there is power in prayer and power in positive thought. I believe and claim that my father will completely
recover from this surgery and that his body will be restored. I believe that together all of us through prayer and positive energy and thinking can help that to happen.
My family and I thank you. And my father thanks you and will be most appreciative to you for your thoughts and prayers.

Michael Rodgers

There's more; here's the follow-up news:

Miracles do happen and one happened this morning. The surgery began this morning with a group prayer with the Dr's and family.

About four minutes after beginning, the Dr's pulled back the scalp to reveal the plate. When they did that the plate literally jumped up away from his head. The
Dr's, five in all a Neuro Surgeon, Two Plastic Surgeons, Two Stem Cell Specialists and the rest of the team began to clean the plate and lift it away from the head. It released itself and came away clean. On the video we could hear the Neuro Surgeon say Oh my God look at that. How did that get there?

Under the plate was revealed a complete and intact skull bone where three months ago there was none. The entire hole in the bone which was an eight inch by six inch oval had grown completely closed with a new skull bone which was smooth and shaped to match the existing skull. It was perfect in every way and was the same thickness as the other bone.

The Dr's said that in 35 years of surgery they had never seen anything like it. They did not need to recreate a new skull bone at all. Dad was completely healed and made whole again after 40 years. The stem cell Dr's sprayed a stem paste made from Dads blood over the skull bone and onto the skin flap and the Plastic Surgeons closed him up. The stem paste will keep him from swelling and will encourage skin growth onto the bone.

The entire procedure took about 28 minutes and after one hour in recovery Dad walked out of the room on his own. He is coming home tomorrow. It was an amazing day. Prayer is so powerful.

Much Love to you all,
(Posted at Oldies. Com)

Folks, that this information has been authenticated by broadcaster and writer John Rook at his website.

In celebration of Jimmie Rodgers successful surgery, our Song of the Week is Oh Oh I'm Falling In Love Again by Jimmie Rodgers, a clip from the Ed Sullivan Show.