August 1, 2018

Last month I had my fourth back surgery over the past 15 years. I had some additional hardware installed next to my existing hardware, to help slow down the aging process. Having had knee, shoulder, and back surgery, I am pretty much like a trained seal in dealing with the process. The painful part of this surgery process was the letter I got a copy of prior to my surgery. The insurance carrier was telling my world-renowned doctors how they should do their job and what they would pay for and would not. I hate all insurance because it’s complex, expensive, and often fails to include what we thought should have been included. I tried to read the letter full of big words that we didn’t understand. I was not worried because my doctor’s assistant assured me that all would be fine, and she would deal with the insurance carrier. The only thing I understood in “medical talk” in the letter was that they questioned how my doctor would harvest some bones from me that would be put in my back. For me, that was too much information. So, being the crazy half-Puerto Rican that I am, my mind began to come up with a solution.

I had my ranch foreman bring to my residence one backbone section of an old Texas Longhorn bull that died out at the ranch along with sections of a Texas feral hog and whitetail deer. He did exactly as I requested and left on my front porch a very large plastic tub with the items I had requested. Without looking into the tub, I took it to my back yard and removed the top. The Texas sun can be brutal and the bones he delivered still had a little meat on them! The smell almost knocked me over! Always being proactive I felt there was not a problem; so initially I thought that I would just leave the bones in the sun for a little longer. It then dawned on me that my neighbors might calling the police thinking someone had died in the backyard. My sweet wife, a retired Registered Nurse and my “partner in crime”, provided me with six gallons of Clorox bleach. The smell immediately went away once I poured the bleach on the bones and I felt I was on track for my “donor bones”.

I cleaned the bones and used my vacuum seal to package the bones and then put them in a very nice Lexan display box. Prior to my surgery I delivered the box to my surgeon’s office. The box was labeled:


TEXAS WHITETAIL BONES: DNA will cause patient to grow big horns and run like a buck in rut.

TEXAS FERAL HOG BONES: DNA will cause patient to grunt and eat like a hog.

TEXAS LONGHORN BULL BONES: DNA will cause patient to fight and breed like a bull.

I made some people laugh who daily deal with some real challenges as they strive to make a positive difference in the lives of others. For whatever reason, I once again followed my crazy heart and was successful in making someone laugh. The highlight of every surgery for me is when I am being slid off the gurney onto the operating table. Right before the anesthesiologist tells me they are going to give me a big shot of “go to sleep juice”, I look around the surgical suite and look for the youngest and prettiest girl in the room. I then point at her and say, “I know you are going to look up my dress.” I hear the room fill with laughter as I talk to my boss up above and say something like, “Lord, into Your hands I go.” There is no doubt in my mind and probably in the minds of others that I am truly crazy to the bone!

Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.