To The Editor:

Flatlander or Vermonter, local or not, this Valley takes care of its own. When I was dealt an unexpected blow this past January having suffered a stroke that left me without the use of my right side, it was no exception.

Words sincerely cannot express my heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of support myself and my family received. In the five weeks I spent at UVMMC, unable to see family or friends, it was the flood of cards and well wishes that got me through the first stage of my recovery. I continue to work on my rehab daily. The road is long and arduous and one that I am glad to have everyone’s encouragement in.

It would be impossible to mention by name the many of you that have contributed in countless ways. There are, however, a few that must be recognized here: the MRVAS team that responded to our home that Sunday morning; Chris Austin, Ky Koitzsch and Ron Hunkins who swiftly stepped in to make my home a safe place to return to; Bruce Hyde and most notable my lifelong friend Tom Mehuron, and in the spirit of his mother Irene, whose accommodations go so far beyond what any reasonable person could expect from their employer, all the individuals that have delivered food to our door and the Mad River Valley Community Fund.

It must be said that I would not be where I am today without the unwavering love and support of my wife Valerie Welter; my three children, Bethany Logan, Caitlin Fleckenstein and Eamon Welter and their families. They have taken on the role of medical advocates, project managers, physical and occupational therapists and driver; they have shoveled decks, salted walks, shuffled cars and fed the birds for me to watch. My gains are a measure of their love.

This place, the community it encompasses, is unique in the world and truly remarkable. This is not a new revelation for my family or myself, but we are beholden to it and all of you. With your support I will continue on with a positive attitude, a positive outlook and ultimately a positive outcome.

Bob Welter