Plate sale to benefit Andy Sampson, RN, paramedic and firefighter

BBQ plate sale Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

What: Fundraiser event for Andy Sampson
When: Saturday, Aug. 9 from 11 a.m .to 7 p.m. (or until food runs out)
Where: Hoffman Fire Dept. and Rescue Squad – Marston station, 2401 U.S. Highway 1 North, Hoffman
What else: Proceeds from this fundraiser will help pay the family’s medical bills and living expenses while he is out of work.
Details: Call Jeanette at 910-894-3408 or Denise at 910-894-2020 with questions or visit the event Facebook page.

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By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

Andy Sampson went to bed on Friday, May 30 looking forward to another ordinary weekend.

He woke up the next morning with a headache. A bad one.

Submitted photo Andy Sampson with wife Beth and son Wesley.

Submitted photo
Andy Sampson with wife Beth and son Wesley.

But the 35-year-old registered nurse and volunteer paramedic at Hoffman Fire and Rescue told the Rockingham man this was something more than a headache.

“What got me worried,” said the Rockingham resident, husband and father, “was I couldn’t exactly tell where my right foot was. There was a little weakness on the right side.”

It was almost like a stroke. His wife, Beth, finished her shift as secretary in the emergency department at FirstHealth Richmond Memorial Hospital, came home and took her husband back to the emergency room. He was diagnosed not with a migraine, not with a stroke but a brain tumor the size of a golf ball — but one with tentacles that reached deeper in the brain to further complicate matters.

“It’s just one of those things you’ve gotta accept,” Sampson said matter-of-factly. “They told me that night that I’d probably had it for 30 years.”

He’d averaged eight headaches a year, Sampson said. “Two ibuprofen and I’d be fine in half-an-hour to an hour.”

Nothing unusual except that “all of my headaches were in the same spot.”

The diagnosis took all of 20 minutes, Sampson said.

The location of the Hoffman Rescue Squad on U.S. Route 1 north of Rockingham Speedway.

The location of the Hoffman Rescue Squad on U.S. Route 1 north of Rockingham Speedway.

Within half an hour, “I was on my way to Pinehurst” for further treatment. Surgery was scheduled for Sunday, June 1. He woke up on June 6.

Initially, Sampson thought the operation hadn’t been successful. Something was off. Really off.

“I couldn’t move my right side at all when I woke up,” Sampson said.

Recovery

Barely two months after the operation, Sampson is well along his road to recovery. He chose not to dwell on spending his birthday, June 14, in the hospital. He didn’t dwell on spending his first Father’s Day on June 15 there, either.

It was, he figured, a part of the process. Besides, Beth and his 9-month-old son, Wesley, never left his side for long. He might still use a wheelchair for extended trips out of the house, such as grocery shopping, as he builds up the use of his right side of the body. Doctors, Sampson said, suggest he can regain between 90 percent and 100 percent normal function within 12 months.

“I have to wear a brace on my leg to keep my (right) ankle at 90 degrees,” Sampson said. “I’m still in rehab because my right arm is really weak, my right hand is really weak.”

The large-handed father, however, has little issue scooping up Wesley with his left hand — though changing diapers is left to Beth and other family members, his time with Wesley is one of the reasons he’s able to remain so positive.

“I’ve always been one to look on the bright side,” Sampson said. “My wife tells me I talk too much (but) I enjoy doing what I do. I look forward to getting back to work.”

Down to a single income for more than two months, the medical expenses have piled up. The small and loyal band of public safety workers in Scotland and Richmond counties — Sampson is an RN in Scotland Hospital’s emergency room — and family members have worked to coordinate a barbecue plate sale Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Hoffman Rescue, located along U.S. Route 1 north of Rockingham Speedway.

“So far, everything is coming together very well,” said Denise Hogan, aunt to Sampson’s wife, Beth. “I’m anticipating at least 500 (plates sold). Andy himself and I think Beth are thinking it’s going to be a little bit more than that. He’s such a big part of the community.”

 

 

 

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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