Bridget Skillman is Thankful: Minus One Breast, but Plus Many Blessings

Posted on December 20, 2008. Filed under: General, My ordeal with Necrotizing Fasciitis |

Bridget Skillman is Thankful
I’m Minus one Breast and Plus Many Blessings

2008 has been a challenging and scary year, but there are two main words that sum up my feelings: BLESSED AND THANKFUL.
Hard times are never fun, but those situations make the good times even sweeter, and that is exactly what has happened this year. I have a great life, but even when we have a great life we sometimes get too accustomed to it and we take it for granted. But God has a way of reminding us of our blessings.

This year I went through a very unusual and scary ordeal – I found out I had necrotizing fasciitis (flesh-eating disease). Due to the incredible ER doctor, Dr. Dave Walters, they found it early enough to save my life and to limit the damage it could cause. I did end up having to have a mastectomy and some tissue taken from my side and back, but that is a blessing considering I could have lost my arm or even died (if you want more details about my experience you can look at my previous posts on this topic).

During that process there was pain, fear, worry, and too many other emotions to name, but God was with me through it all and brought thankfulness out of fear. Reflecting back on that time I just want to name some of the things I’m thankful for and tell you why I feel so blessed.

I’m thankful for:
• God’s love, mercy and grace – I am amazed by it! He is always there for me and keeps heaping blessings on me even though I don’t deserve them.

• My wonderful husband – God gave me one of the greatest gifts when he gave me Tim. No one could have a better spouse than mine. Our 21 years of marriage have been the best years of my life and his caring and concern during my latest ordeal proved once again how AWESOME he is. He is a very strong man and the tough situations are where he really shows what he’s made of. I love him with all my heart!! He is my knight in shining armor.

• My incredible kids – What a joy they are to me. My 17 yr. old daughter Morgan is a smart, caring, loving, compassionate girl and I love hanging out with her. The even nicer part is that I think she actually loves hanging out with me too. Even in my wildest dreams I couldn’t have dreamed up a girl as wonderful as she is. My 13 yr. old son Logan is also a treasure. His loving, affectionate ways just melt my heart. He’s all boy, but he is not too proud to show his love for his mom and I am always so touched by that. The other day He sent me a song on my phone -“I Will Be Right Here Waiting for You” – and that is so typical of him. How fortunate am I to have two great kids who love their mom and are not ashamed of it?

• My mom, dad and sister – Wow, what a great family I have. They have always been my support and I have always felt safe and secure in their love for me. I can’t imagine having a family who isn’t close. It‘s so great to know that you are loved unconditionally, no matter what your quirks or issues.

• My in-laws – I couldn’t have picked better in-laws if I had tried. They are sweet, special people and I love spending time with them. The welcomed me into their family 21 years ago and we haven’t stopped having fun since.

• My wonderful life – God has blessed me with a tremendous life, but this is the best holiday season ever. I don’t think about what I’ve lost, but about what I’ve gained and how merciful and gracious God has been through all of this. My scar is a constant reminder of God’s goodness.

• Dr. Dave Walters (the ER doctor who diagnosed my necrotizing fasciitis) – He was INCREDIBLE. Not only did he diagnose something that is fairly rare, but he did it quickly enough to save my life. He also has an unbelievably warm, gentle, friendly bedside manner, which was much appreciated when I was in so much pain and so worried. He will always hold a special place in my heart and be a hero to me. He is the perfect example of what a doctor should be.

• Dr. Romel Velastegui (The vascular surgeon who rushed in to do the emergency surgery that saved my life) – I know it’s his job, but I am in awe of his knowledge, his expertise, and the fact that he can be woken up in the middle of the night and rush over to do a life-saving surgery. I am so thankful that we have doctors like this. I hope they realize how much we appreciate them.

• Dr. Peter Murphy (The Pulmonary and Infectious Diseases doctor who monitored my progress in the hospital) – What a warm, friendly, brilliant man. He took great care of me while I was in the hospital AND he did it with a sense of humor. I loved that about him.

• Dr. Jeffrey Sweat (the plastic surgeon who closed my wound and tried to make it look the best he could) – He is such a down-to-earth doctor who was always easy to talk to and who treated us like he’d known us forever. My necrotizing fasciitis wound was not an easy one to close due to all that they had to take, but he managed to change a nasty wound into a beautiful scar.

• My church family- They have been so supportive and loving and really helped me and my family through a difficult time.

Even without this ordeal I knew I had a great, blessed life. But through this I have been reminded even more. This Christmas is so much sweeter and I am thrilled beyond belief at what God has done for me.

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas and remember what is really important!!


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4 Responses to “Bridget Skillman is Thankful: Minus One Breast, but Plus Many Blessings”

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Thank you for being such a wonderful witness! You are such an encouragement in so many areas. What a wonderful mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend you must be. May you always be highly favored and richly blessed.

Glad to hear you’re on the mend. What a scary thing. It does put things into perspective.

Bridget, Please pray for my wife as she
is in the hospital right now in the recovery stages of necrotizing fasciitis. she has had to have a portion of her
inner right thigh removed. We will continue to pray
for you and yours.

God must hate me because I have been unemployed for a year and starving and my sister died of cancer 5 years ago. It amazes me how he picks and chooses who wins the lottery when all is faithful and churchgoing.

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