* Executive Board Members
My name is Al Midgett and my adventure started in the fall of 1992. My wife became pregnant for the first time. We had been trying to have a child for 3 years. The doctors confirmed the pregnancy and we were given a due date of August 29th, my birthday. “Pretty Cool”
The last week of April, my wife’s fifth month of pregnancy, she experienced some discomfort. She was leaking amniotic fluid and was immediately admitted into the hospital. The date was Saturday, May 1st, the 22nd week of pregnancy. She was told that for the rest of the pregnancy she would have to remain bedridden. Yeah Right! My wife asked the doctor to just shoot her. Five days after being admitted, (seventeen weeks early) our son Matthew was born. Matthew was extremely premature, weighing just one pound, four ounces and only 12 inches long. Our hearts broke because we didn’t believe he would survive a single day. We were told by doctors and staff that he had only a 2% chance for survival. If he did survive we would be facing a very challenging life with a little boy that would certainly be plagued with many yet to be known problems.
After three weeks of life, during which Mathew was brought back to life twice, the hospital made arrangements to transfer him to The Children’s Hospital of The Kings Daughters, CHKD, in Norfolk, Va., as a last effort to keep him alive. During the ambulance ride, Matthew went into cardiac arrest. The ambulance pulled over to the side of the road to resuscitate our son as we followed, our sanity gone.
The doctors at CHKD gave us little hope, but would tell us more, once they had Matthew stabilized. For the next three months we went back and forth to the hospital in a zombie-like state. Matthew received seventeen blood transfusions; he was suffering from chronic lung disease and had countless ups and downs. He improved very slowly, but he was a fighter and he made us strong.
On August 29th (my birthday) we brought our son home. We were scared to death because Matthew was still not quite 4 pounds. After a couple of years of highs and lows we started putting our lives back together, forever changed by the experience.
In order to add insult to injury my wife and I had no medical insurance. The company I worked for had just been bought and I was in a 6 month waiting period. I had set aside $5000.00 for the hospital bills. After Matthew came home we received invoices from all of the hospitals and doctors that totaled just over $560,000.00. “A little more than I had in my bank account”.
Friends of mine decided to throw us a party in order to help out with the medical bills. It was a great event and many of the attendees wanted to know what else they could do and whether we could throw some more parties. Great intentions and great friends allowed miracles to happen and the debt for the most part was taken care of as a result of a policy change in how my company handled new employees and insurance. “Life is good”
In 1995, I gathered my friends to create something worthwhile. Some people would call it a little voice from God and others might refer to it as a new found intention. I only knew that it was time to take action in order to preserve some sanity in my life and to “balance the gift”. That meeting took place at my home with some of my closest friends; though I was accused initially of starting a pyramid scheme since I was using a large flip chart, we did manage to form The Robin Hoods of Va. Beach.
RHVB just celebrated 10 years of performing Noble Deeds in our community with over 120 members. It is very hard to express in words where this journey has taken me and our group of noble men. After conducting over 120 meetings and overseeing 10 years of great parties, spectacular golf tournaments, awesome partnerships, moving trolley rides and great Noble Deeds I have a great working template to move forward with.
Armed with good intentions for growth, a decision was made to move forward. A group in New York City contacted us to let us know that they owned a trademark on the name “Robin Hood.” RHVB was in violation of that trademark. The group worked with us and allowed us the time to create something new.
The Noblemen was a natural evolution for RHVB. The Noblemen was created to take the lessons learned from RHVB and create a philanthropic tool for communities to use, belong to and give to. It is my hope that through The Noblemen people will learn philanthropy and its many benefits, not only for those whom we help but for those that do the helping.
Please join us
The Nobleman 2006