Not familiar with Helene Sovern? I wasn't either until this morning. She was the focus of this piece by Tampa Bay's News 10. According to them, Helene (whom they call a Rays fan) made it to last night's Red Sox/Rays game despite having surgery earlier in the day "after a sharp piece of medal (sic) was found lodged in her throat."
The short piece admired her pluck for still heading to the game fresh out of the hosptial, but I thought it was terrible reporting. I had so many unanswered questions. So, I did what any pseudonymous journalist would do. I looked up her number and called her. Helene could not possibly have been sweeter, and I'm glad she's feeling better. What follows is our conversation. Yes, it's real.
Camp Tiger Claw: So Helene. How are you feeling?
Helene Sovern: I'm feeling better now. Just a little sore still.
CTC: So I'm calling from Boston, that's how I heard about the story. You were there rooting for the Rays last night, right?
HS: Well I lived in Boston for about 10 years. Actually. I gotta tell you. I wanted to root for them since I live in Tampa. My husband's a Yankees fan. But when the Red Sox came out I just had to root for them. Once you're a Sox fan you can't change it.
CTC: Well I'm glad to hear that. So what happened. I guess the biggest problem I had with the channel 10 story is that they didn't tell me what got stuck in your throat. I'm curious.
HS: So my husband and I had some guests in town from New York. And he was grilling. I bit into a pork chop and all of a sudden it felt like I swallowed a razor blade.
HS: Yeah. So my husband tried to give me the heimlich and that didn't work so he told me to go to the Emergency Room. But I hate the Emergency Room. I don't trust them to actually do anything.
CTC: And who knows how long you'll be in there.
HS: Right! So I just said, I'm going to sleep and if I die, I die.
HS: Well the next morning I woke up and it was still there. So luckily my ear nose and throat doctor took me in the next day. And he scoped me out. Looked all over and said, "There's a small black thing sticking out at the base of your tongue."
HS: So he tried to get it out, but I kept gagging. He said I had to go to the hospital so they could put me under and take it out. When I came to, they'd removed it.
CTC: What was it?
HS: It was a one inch long metal bristle from a grill brush. It embedded itself in my tongue.
CTC: (jumps up and down while on phone) MY GOD. HELENE. THAT IS HORRIFYING. I HAVE GOOSEBUMPS.
HS: Haha. Yeah it was. But I really wanted to go to the game, so I headed right there.
According to Channel 10, Helene still had her hospital bracelet on when she got to the stadium. I'll also tell you this. Helene works blue and has a good sense of humor. She told me a couple of zingers about having a throat injury that she didn't want me to repeat online. I promised I wouldn't, because she also said I had to send her this article to show her family.
Get well soon!