The following speech was delivered by Don Melchiorre to the men of Ohio Theta after recovering from a coma.
By Don Melchiorre, Cincinnati ’59
The Bond, that document we brothers all heard, some of us many years ago, some of us more recently, some soon to do so. We heard, signed, and pledged to uphold. We received our Bond Numbers of Ohio Theta and some of you at other Phi Delt chapters. My Bond Number is 924 at Ohio Theta.
Well brothers, the following is my most recent assurance from my Phi brothers that….”The Bond lives and why I am so sure.”
Many of our brothers already know of my two unfortunate “whatevers” that ended in hospital stays. One with operation on a broken shoulder and while I was under anesthesia somebody stole my hair!
The second stay was a little more complicated and here is where my lifelong story of my association with Ohio Theta and Phi Delta Theta continues:
During this second “whatever,” I blacked out in my car and my Ohio Theta brothers, chapter, and alumni had a hand one way or another in my being found and gotten to the hospital. I was but into a medically induced coma and at one point, I was considered “not to live out the night.” I was told that I had about 167 visitors, mostly Phis, Phikeias, many wives of brothers, and parents of Phis. Present Ohio Theta chapter brothers visited everyday when in coma along with various alumni and friends. Some from GHQ and Conrad Thiede many time.
One visit really needs mentioned here. I was told by nurses in ICU that one day while in coma, restraints, hoses, wires, etc., brothers of the Ohio Theta Chapter came to visit and were told “that may be the last time you see Don alive.”
These brothers put their hands on me and sang Eternal Praise. This may sound “hokey” but in my comatose mind, I felt that brotherly touch and I thought angels were singing Phi Delt songs.
There were so many special visits and it would take too long to mention all, but I will say that I truly believe that owe my being here to three things: my belief in Jesus Christ as my Savior, the terrific nurses at Good Samaritan Hospital, and my Brothers in The Bond, especially my dear to me brothers of Ohio Theta. “They took up the sword of Phi Delta Theta and these days they come to my aid.” I will be forever grateful that you pulled me through – you saved my life.
Once again, you have me “dancing as fast as I can”, once again (with all due respect to Brother Lou Gehrig) you, my brothers, made me feel “like the luckiest man on earth.”
You, my brothers, have proven once again that “The Bond of Phi Delta Theta truly lives” and show know that I, with the help of my brothers, lived through it.