Some time ago, I was asked by a colleague to comment on a story that was being written about the growth of the geothermal HVAC industry. Across Canada and through the United States, government and private entities have embraced the environmental and financial wisdom of clean heating and cooling. Technical trainings classes, informational programs and trade conferences were being hosted across the U.S. and people like my husband, Jay Egg, were asked to come and share information and knowledge with the mechanical industry. I was asked why I insisted that Jay travel up to New York the day after my first open cranial surgery. Here’s what I remember:
Some people know, but many likely do not that it started back in September 2017 (This is a link to the Egg Family Blog for the whole back-story). I was suddenly diagnosed with multiple brain aneurysms that would require a lengthy and dangerous open-cranial surgery to treat the largest and most dangerous. Once completed, there would be several smaller surgeries scheduled to deal with the remaining aneurysms. The largest surgery was scheduled for the October 16, the day before my husband was scheduled to travel to New York to attend and speak at the 2017 International Energy and Sustainability Conference located near Farmington State College from October 17-19.
Jay’s first response was to cancel the trip that would require him to fly out early on the morning of the 17th, the day after the brain surgery. I argued with him for days about the trip and eventually, as expected, I won. I talked him into going up to the Energy Conference with the following arguments:
My surgery started at 7 a.m. and was anticipated to be completed by 3 p.m. on October 16, 2017. Considering an hour or two for recovery, I was expected to be in my ICU room by evening. He would know by then what the prognosis was, and if anything had changed. He could then make the calls to his associates to firm up his travel to New York.
If something did go wrong, as amazing as he is at being a consultant and mechanical professional, he is not a brain surgeon. Although I have been known to describe the flow of blood to my students using a “water piping system” metaphor, with drains and valves, the truth is that it’s a bit more complicated. Even with Jay’s knowledge of heat transfer and fluid flow, he was unlikely to be able to scrub in and assist in re-engineering my cerebral artery blood flow. He stayed with me in ICU overnight and around 5 a.m., he kissed me goodbye and asked me to behave and rest. I told him that I would as long as he promised to go to New York and do a good job. And then he headed to the airport, keeping his end of the bargain.
I believe in what the good folks in this industry are doing and striving to accomplish. For the past 20 years I have watched as my husband worked tirelessly to make the Geothermal HVAC industry a more utilized and promoted entity. Now more than ever, I am convinced that I made the right decision; I wasn’t trying to become some self-sacrificing martyr. I just knew that some things are worth doing right. If problems with my recovery did arise, my parents and children were going to be by my side; I needed him to be where he could do the most good.
Jay still travels often; teaching, consulting and often collaborating with other like-minded clean energy organizations. Although it hasn’t always been easy, we also learned a great deal about the compassion and generosity of the geothermal & mechanical community.
I have remained sidelined with continuing and persistent seizures, but my hope shines bright for the future. There are many times that Jay could have taken a position for a company and worked the steadier and less traveled path than we have chosen.
His unwillingness to bend is one of the reasons that I sent him to New York the morning after my surgery. He believes in clean heating and cooling enough to promote its use, even when sometimes that belief causes discomfort in his own plans or desires.
Jay doesn’t work for a specific manufacturer, nor does he endorse one brand over another. He works for the industry, to grow the consumer base and increase uptake & use. He works with whatever brand will best accommodate the project and showcase the best that the geothermal industry has to offer governments, communities, commercial projects and residences that are wise enough to listen.
Kristy Egg is a Registered Nurse, mother of six, grandmother of four.