Sometimes even indefatigable people get sick and need help. The hard-working Gregory Lloyd, the man who has been the creative force behind the Pilgrimage for Restoration since its inception, has hit that point. Greg, whose adjunct work in academe only supplements his “real job” as director of the National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (NCCL), is very ill in the hospital. It seems his work habits have caught up with him (those of us who know him know all about his all-nighters); he has contracted COVID-19, a bad case of it.
Greg’s dear wife, Susie, herself a known quantity in traditional Catholic circles, just sent me an update on Greg. It is posted below. Let me first say that I know Greg and Susie; it’s quite evident to me that in these circumstances, they need help. They don’t want to ask anyone for help, so I’m asking for them, and I’m hoping that many of those who have benefitted from Greg’s work will pitch in. Greg has helped thousands of people over his many years as director of the NCCL. Most of his work remains very hidden because he generously assists people with sensitive matters; the very prominent Pilgrimage for Restoration and the cases of the two Ethiopian children that Susie mentions below are rare and very visible exceptions. The Paypal button that shows up three times on this page goes directly to the NCCL’s Paypal account, not through any intermediary.
One last word before Susie’s message. Some folks complain about “grifters” in the traditional Catholic world — laypeople profiting from the crisis in the Church. Whoever the grifters may be, Gregory Lloyd is certainly not in their number. Many people — clergy, laity, and religious — can attest to that.
Update from Susie Lloyd on Her Husband, Greg Lloyd
As you know, Greg is in the hospital with Covid. We all had it but it didn’t hit us too hard. But he just couldn’t get well. He had a persistent low grade fever. He slept for days and days. He would seem to be recovering then go right back down again. Finally one night around 4 a.m. after trying to sleep sitting up, he told me he couldn’t breathe. I called the nurse hotline at the hospital and answered a round of questions. She recommended he go in for “observation.” We arrived at the ER between 5 and 6 in the morning. He was able to walk in and also walk back to be seen. They told me I couldn’t go in with him and that his testing would take about 3 hours. So I went home, fully expecting to pick him up the same day. Imagine my shock when I called after hearing nothing for several hours (his phone was dead) and they told me he had been admitted. He was always so robust.
He was very fortunate to get a bed at the hospital because when I went back later to drop off some things for him they told me there were no beds left. I saw people in the waiting room whose relatives were distraught about them not getting seen right away.
That said, he spent the majority of the first day on a gurney in the ER waiting for a real bed upstairs. It was really uncomfortable. He did have the consolation of knowing the ER doctor personally. He happens to go to our parish. Since Greg could have no one in there with him, that was a big help.
I think of all the times Greg has gone to the ER with sick people from our parish or neighborhood or family and acted as their advocate. He would spend hours with them making sure they would not be forgotten or left on a gurney in pain alone. Then there are all of the people he has fought for – people he didn’t even know — like Assefa and Hiwot. Without him Assefa would never have gotten the life saving kidney transplant. Hiwot would never have had colo-rectal surgery to correct a 20 year birth defect that was slowly taking her life. Greg got them into the country from Ethiopia (Hiwot when the borders were closed!), got them free surgery, got them all that follow up care.
If Greg beats this, he is going to need follow up care at home. I’m not worried about insurance. I called and he seems to be covered so far. But I’m thinking he will need to convalesce. And we all know from watching him work that he’s terrible at convalescing.
In fact, I think his habits of pulling all nighters every year in the month leading up to Pilgrimage plus whenever his grades are due, and his workaholic style in general is the reason he is in the hospital.
Right now he is extremely weak. After he entered the hospital he went downhill. It was not their fault. It was simply that he entered at his most critical time, when he could not get a breath. They treated him right, with oxygen and steroids, and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir. But it hurt to even turn his head. And he had to endure all that without any of us there to visit him.
However, he is feeling the effects of all the prayers. Greg told me that last night he had a sort of dream that the Blessed Mother was telling him to take her hand. He took it and he felt a surge of breath come into him.
The doctors say he is on the right track to get better but that Covid is unpredictable. Greg says to keep praying.
When he comes home — we hope next week — he will begin convalescing.
Thus ends Susie’s update. And now a final word from me, Brother André:
Since people are asking what they can do and since the family can’t possibly eat dozens of casseroles, it seems right to mention that a donation to NCCL would be extremely helpful. Greg barely ever asks for funds for NCCL. He really doesn’t make the time to unless it’s to ask for someone else. He and his family rely on Providence. (And everyone in the family works hard at whatever jobs they can get.)
If Greg did not have to worry about feeding them, it would go a long way to getting him to allow himself to not work for a few weeks. The apostolate is the main means of income here and he has done an honest lifetime of work for it. He has been generous with his whole life for God, for the Church, for others.