posted on April 11, 2011 08:40
By Mike Handley
There are two good kidneys between David and Carol Gibson, thanks to her and a team of surgeons. But the eight years following the transplant -- which reduced her to one and gave him three -- haven’t all been good for the man from Pleasant Hill, Ohio.
David suffers from Crohn’s Disease, which is to say his intestinal tract has endured more natural disasters than Bangladesh. Osteoporosis has assailed his bones, neuropathy his nerves, and his feet and legs are mostly numb and subject to blood clots.
Having one good kidney among three (his own pair is riddled with cysts) has kept David alive, but Carol says her husband’s bone marrow is producing too many red blood cells, resulting in polycythemia.
Despite the litany of ailments that would shatter almost anyone’s resolve, David is not content to stay indoors during deer season.
That wasn’t so easy in 2010, however. The man who had given David permission to hunt his 90 acres went into a nursing home, and his family, concerned about liability, didn’t extend the privilege.
He finally gained permission to hunt another tract near Ludlow Falls, but the property was less than ideal. Cover was sparse, corn had not been planted, and the neighborhood dogs made quite the sport of chasing deer. Still, he managed to shoot two of the three whitetails he saw, which left him with one unfilled tag.
On Monday, Dec. 13, David had to have four teeth pulled. The next day, he was in the hospital with septic shock.
“That’s one of the consequences of his taking anti-rejection medications, which lower the immune system’s ability to fight off infections,” Carol said. “The bacterial toxins cause a dramatic drop in blood pressure, preventing the delivery of blood to the organs. It can lead to multiple organ failure and death.”
After spending two days in ICU and another two days in the hospital, David was released Friday afternoon.
The next morning, Dec. 18, he ambled to his deer blind and shot the biggest buck he’d ever seen, though he didn’t know it until afterward. All he wanted to do was fill the year’s last tag, so he paid little attention to the number of points the rack carried.
The buck’s composite score is 6 inches shy of the 200-inch mark. It’s official score is 174 1/8, which makes it a new Ohio record among Semi-irregulars in the BTR’s blackpowder category.
You can read more about what happened that fateful day in an upcoming issue of Rack magazine.