Erik Rodriguez, a 23 year old fellow gym mate at CrosSport, has been fighting for his life since Tuesday November 8, 2016. Erik and his mom Alejandra Rodriguez went to Central Washington Hospital ER because Erik was complaining of chest pains. After an overnight stay he was flown to UW Medical Center in Seattle. His mother, father, brother and sister drove and met Erik and doctors there. Doctors said he was really sick and in critical condition. He has been diagnosed with heart disease. His heart was was enlarged and beating over 180 beats per min. The doctors in ICU decided to use an ECMO a circuit/machine outside his body that's working as his heart and lungs.
Erik Rodriguez is a fun-loving, adventurous young man who has lived with determination and dedication to the people and things he loves. Erik is a humble, unselfish, kind human being. Everyone he meets falls in love with him. He is always looking out for his family and friends. Over the last several years Erik has come out of his gaming shell to immerse himself into a real world of fun, fitness and community activity. Always one to trust those around him, Erik thought nothing of sticking his hand in the mouth of what he thought was a shark, because his friend told him to. Lucky for him the “shark” was a sturgeon which doesn’t have teeth. The moment, though, is a picture of how Erik embraces life, with fearlessness, with trust, without hesitation. He can’t swim, but it didn’t stop him from fishing on the Columbia River where the waves sometimes threatened to toss the crew overboard. Though he never tried it before, the first time he saw the 14’ warped wall at CrosSport, his gym, he set his mind to conquer it. Within two months of steadfast practice to day in and day out, he was victorious. Erik grew to have a zest for life that exceeded the walls of a room and the light of a gaming monitor. He had fun with friends and family participating in all kinds of different events and always had a smile or look of determination set on his face.
Erik underwent a procedure (Ventricular Tachycardia Amblation) Monday, November 14th to try to correct the heart rhythm problems. Unfortunately the procedure was not successful and Erik will be transferred to a long-term care facility while he waits for a heart transplant. The medical bills and expenses to his family will be difficult to surmount. I will be donating a portion of every Catching Tatum ebook and print edition sold to his medical expenses. The family is asking the community at large to help by praying for his health to be restored and support his medical fees by donating to his medical expense fund at: https://www.youcaring.com/alejandrarodriguez-691136 Thank you and God bless!
Songs that inspired Catching Tatum (click here to listen)
Star Spangled Banner – Whitney Houston
Because I couldn't wite a book with a baseball-loving military brat protagonist and not hear our national anthem!
I Don't Dance – Lee Brice
This is the song that inspired me to write Catching Tatum in the first place. From the very first time I heard it, the muse moved me to write a story worthy of the lyrics.
Meet Virginia – Train
Dedicated to Tatum over the radio by a boy in a recollection she had that never made it out of my head into the story, but the song fits her too perfectly to leave out.
No More I Love You's – Annie Lennox
Tatum's motto after she says it one too many times with no love in return. Also, though it's not written this way, this is the song I envisioned Tatum playing over and over again on her pitiful run around McChord AFB, and when she cries on her bed, and when both boys break her heart again.
I'm Not Who I Was – Brandon Heath
When Tatum makes her rules and stands up for herself and becomes a woman of strength and mystery, because of the boy who broke her heart.
Thunderstruck – AC/DC
This is the song I imagine playing on the radio when Tatum drives to work after Justin Parker changed her station.
Rude – Magic!
Another inspirational song for a scene in the story that didn't make it to the final version. This is when Cole comes back and asks Tatum's dad if he can date her and he shuts him down. Then of course, Cole the-persistent comes back and permission is granted.
All She Wants to do is Dance – Don Henley
’Cause I couldn't have two exhibitionist characters like Cole and Tatum and not have them dance to this in front of a crowd of fans. And, anyway, it's perfect for that 3rd inning sing-along!
Better Together – Jack Johnson (but only the harmonica version will do)
When the boy who gets what he wants finally gives in and gives Tatum what she demands—the perfect dance for two stubborn souls.
Redeemed – Big Daddy Weave
When Tatum finds her redemption in the arms of a heartbroken Airman.
Almost Lover – A Fine Frenzy
For the season of Tatum's life when she loses both Justin and Cole. This was another song that haunted me, like a muse, from the first time I heard it and demanded me to write for it.
Hello, My Name Is – Matthew West
I don't know; it's kind of the song I hear when the two of them finally, at long last, say “I do.” I think it's the best way for them to end their courtship, which is filled with memories of regrets, and say “hello” to a new life together.