Rurodens thankful for support

Danny Ruroden plays with his granddaughter Adalyn at the family's home Thursday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Danny Ruroden plays with his granddaughter Adalyn at the family’s home Thursday afternoon. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Austin Police Officer Danny Ruroden is thankful to play with his infant granddaughter, Adalyn Bordelon. The little girl loves to explore, which means grandpa isn’t too far behind.

“What’s goin’ on?” he asked her Thursday afternoon, as Adalyn pulled herself up using Ruroden’s knee.

Ruroden reaches down to kiss his grandaughter Adalyn at the family’s home Thursday afternoon as he sits with his daughter Brandi and future son-in-law Taylor Bordelon.

Ruroden reaches down to kiss his grandaughter Adalyn at the family’s home Thursday afternoon as he sits with his daughter Brandi and future son-in-law Taylor Bordelon.

Adalyn, with the customary twinkle in her eye common to happy babies everywhere, simply smiled and laughed.

Danny smiled and laughed, too. He has a lot to smile and laugh about these days, as does his family. The Rurodens are thankful not only that Danny is recovering from a blood clot in his brain, but to the community for all the support they’ve given to the family over the past month.

“How do we thank everybody for everything?” Danny’s wife, Marni, said. “We’ve already had so much help.”

Danny, Marni and the Ruroden children are overwhelmed by all of the support for the liaison officer at Ellis Middle School and I.J. Holton Intermediate School.

 The headache

The trouble for Danny started last month when he was out and about with a young boy he mentored in the community. He had woken up complaining of a headache, but nothing too serious — until he called and told Marni he was checking himself into the emergency room during his time with the boy.

Marni Ruroden shares a lighter moment with husband Danny as she recounts his battle with a blood clot.  Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Marni Ruroden shares a lighter moment with husband Danny as she recounts his battle with a blood clot. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

“He kept saying, ‘Oh, my head,” Marni said.

His daughter, Brandi Ruroden, met him at Mayo Clinic Health System — Austin, and the family came together within a few minutes. Which was good timing, as Danny was taken to Mayo Clinic Hospital — St. Mary’s Campus in Rochester in short order.

After several examinations and a CT scan, doctors figured out what had happened. Danny had a large blood clot in his brain, in a vital area too delicate for surgery.

“They compared it to interstates and highways,” Marni said. “He had the main one right on the interstate in his brain and he had several others on the highways.”

Things wouldn’t get easier for Danny, who had already suffered memory problems with the ordeal. Doctors were forced to perform surgery on Danny after his brain began swelling, to remove the blood clots through chemical use.

Thankfully, the chemical compounds took hold and broke up the main blood clot.

Danny has more or less been on the road to recovery ever since. He did have a setback when, in typical Danny style, he tackled a landscaping project for the family and then went to exercise. He went back to the hospital for three days, but the visit turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

Danny’s blood clot had reformed. Only this time, doctors decided to use a new medication, which had remarkably quick effects.

“I feel really good,” Danny said. “It’s nice to remember everybody, who they are, where they work.”

The support for Ruroden has come from all over Austin including the schools. Ruroden is a liason officer for Ellis Middle School and I.J. Holton Intermediate School. He has received a bounty of get-well cards from the students.  Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

The support for Ruroden has come from all over Austin including the schools. Ruroden is a liason officer for Ellis Middle School and I.J. Holton Intermediate School. He has received a bounty of get-well cards from the students. Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

A community of support

Throughout it all, the Rurodens have received a lot of help from the community. Danny has received dozens of get-well cards, including several gigantic cards from the students at Ellis. Facebook groups and friends have posted get-well messages. Even the area churches have contributed, through prayer and upcoming fundraisers.

“We had no idea how much this would spread,” Brandi said.

Marni has been thankful for so many area residents who have helped her and her family in their time of need, from the kind nurses at an area retirement home to Pastor Dave Simonson of Cornerstone Church, who seemed to be in the right place at the right time whenever Marni was feeling down.

“We’ve definitely had miracles here,” Marni said.

Though Danny isn’t quite ready to go back to work yet, he’s determined to do so. His memory is improving and he’s doing speech therapy at the Austin hospital twice a week.

Danny Ruroden plays with his granddaughter Adalyn at the family’s home Thursday afternoon. Photos by Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Danny Ruroden plays with his granddaughter Adalyn at the family’s home Thursday afternoon. Photos by Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

What’s more, the city is ready for him to come back to work as well. The Austin City Council recently allowed city employees to donate sick time to Danny while he recovers from his blood clot.

“We support Officer Ruroden and we are hoping he will come back to work soon,” Police Chief Brian Krueger said earlier this month.

For the Rurodens, and for Danny, there’s work to be done but there’s a lot of comfort in knowing so many people are supporting Danny. Sitting down for a newspaper article is, for them, one way to thank everybody who has included the family in their prayers.

Now’s the time to work hard, so Danny can get back to work mentoring many students throughout the area.

With Adalyn in tow, of course.

“She’s her grandfather’s best friend,” Brandi said with a laugh. “And he’s hers, of course.”

 

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