The semi-weekly image developed on the Mac and published on the net

Monday, May 18, 1998------http://www.jps.net/berman ---------FREE

Headveggie w/Betty Davis

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It's with great pleasure to introduce Wayne Willeby and Betty Davis. Wayne is a cyber-buddy I met through RJ Cooper, the person who creates our keyboard and clicking software. After seeing my debut web page, RJ suggested that I write to Wayne because he felt our senses of humor were similar. Wayne's email address:Headveggie@aol.com. So, I headsurfed some email to Wayne and started a net friendship.

Wayne lives in Georgia and sends me jokes, occasionally about southerners and yankees which are really funny. He has had ALS for over 10 years. From an early email, I'm going to let him describe his story:

"I was diagnosed in 1987 (I was 39) and it started in my right hand with my index finger twitching and then a weakness of the hand and so I retired from the city of Warner Robins in Jan. 88 to spend more time with my wife Emily & two sons Michael & Greg. By the end of 88 it was in both arms, but I still fed, bathed, and dressed myself, buttons & shoestrings were hard. It was a couple months into 1989 it started in my legs and month after month I was falling more & more and having to depend on my wife & wheelchair to get around.

Then came 1990 my arms were of no use to me anymore and Emily had to do every-thing for me. I mean everything. The talking, eating and breathing got worse month after month until June of 1991 I had to make the decision to fight this disease or just give up and wait for a slow death from suffocation or from other complications. But, I almost waited to late to fight, because I had lost from 165 to 88 lbs when I got my feeding tube and tracheotomy my body was weak from the lack of food and liquids. When they had done the surgery and I was supposed to wake up I slipped into a coma for 3 days but it wasn't time for me to die like all the doctors were talking about. I was in & out of the hospital half of 91 until my home healthcare nurse said that I could be taken care of just as well at home so her & the doctor worked it out. So the nurse would come by every day for a while and she taught Emily how to take care of me & the equipment. I got better slowly & last time I saw my doctor was early 92 when he put me on the ventilator at the hospital where he kept me a week until my lungs got use to the ventilator.

So I had nothing to do except lay and watch TV or look out the window from 91 to Nov. 95 that's when I received my computer and I've been learning eversince. To use my eyebrow to work the computer was the easy part, the typing was the hard part, I mean the last time I typed my fingers automatically knew where the keys were and when I first saw on-screen keyboard my brain done a back flip and it took me a week to get use to the keyboard. My computer monitor is setting on a hospital table so my wife can move it backand forth across the bed when needed. But, I'm usually on it about 12 or more hrs. a day."

Wayne controls the computer with his eyebrows. A special hat with a single switch registers a click with every raise of his eyebrows. Special software allows him to control the cursor.

Wayne later gave my email and web page address to his good friend, Betty Davis. The short story about Betty is that she met Wayne a few years ago while helping a student do research on ALS. Later, this thoughtful angel, along with her husband, Al, bought Wayne his first computer.

So, Betty contacted me and wanted to surprise Wayne by putting him on my web page. I was excited see the face behind the email and glad to help out. I immediately began brainstorming. Even without any pictures, I came up with the above image idea because of Wayne's email name. Well, after receiving pictures and video, I decided to add Betty to the fun. I hope you both enjoy it. And the wall hanging.

I send my thanks to Emily, Wayne's wife. With Betty's help, she put together a short, beautiful narrative about Wayne along with a little tour of Wayne's World. It was really nice to see and hear everyone.

Thanks to RJ and Betty for being wonderful people and for helping to bring me and Wayne together.

I'd like Wayne to finish with with another excerpt that shows me the positive outlook needed to live with ALS.

"I've out lived the 3-5 years that the doctors give to all the ALS patients and it hasn't been an easy road, but I truly believed in the choice l made in 91 to live. And it hasn't been easy on my wife who is my main caregiver and the rest my family and friends, but we all have learned that you have to believe in God, ourselves and others and as of February 26 1998 l well celebrate my 50th birthday."

Wayne,Happy Belated Birthday!


See you on Friday



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Contributing Staff:

Editor / Designer..........Daddy on the Mac

Videography.................Cali Mac

Assistant......................Miss Peepers

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