CARTing ‘Up And Out’ And Captain Kevin
By Monette Benoit
Copyright by Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
Now and then we’re granted special events we remember for a long, long time. Some can be confidential. The jobs I’m writing about here were not your typical day at the office.
Originally I wanted special CART (communication access realtime translation, instant voice to text) moments to remain private. Then my life shifted; it was altered.
Two weeks after the San Diego installation of NCRA, National Court Reporters Association, president Mike Brentano, my world changed forever. I received the call no one wants.
My terminally ill youngest (he hated the word ‘baby’) brother died August 5th, 2000.
Two years prior, 12/23/97, Kevin was privately diagnosed with hepatitis C, HCV.
After his diagnosis, Kevin learned that in 1976 he was infected during experiment vaccinations in the military.
Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly passionately spent day and night researching, assisting veterans, their families and medical researchers. He died suddenly, tragically alone.
Many court reporters knew of my brother’s illness and his work. At my request, Kevin also helped veterans, family members, deaf, hard-of-hearing and court reporters (to include members of their families) each diagnosed with HCV. Kevin encouraged everyone, researched information specific for each person, so they could move forward with hope and facts.
Kevin also worked to develop the first of Hepatitis C Support Forums and proved that the virus and other viruses are shared by pneumatic guns, which routinely shared the same needles with multiple soldiers and individuals. Depression is a side of effect of Hep C, and as many know, depression is an often misunderstood illness.
Kevin designed a website that he and LeighAnn Vogel built to assist veterans, families, professionals and children of diagnosed individuals. Some of Kevin’s work may be accessed at http://www.geocities.com/hepvet/index.html
Their web site was the first private web site to be attached by the VA, Veterans Administration, sharing information Kevin gathered to specifically veterans and their families.
The afternoon of his death, prior to the call, my family gathered with my dad to help his recovery from cancer surgery. Due to dad’s surgery and recuperation, I flew alone to Kevin’s funeral.
(August 10th, 2000, in Calverton Cemetery, a military graveyard, I waited in the noon sun for his casket to be delivered to the empty hole in the ground – the gravediggers went to lunch.)
I humbly share that it was the comfort of mentors, court reporters, NCRA, National Court Reporters Assocation, staff and kind strangers who strengthened me.
I canceled my JCR, Journal of Court Reporting, “Beyond The Comfort Zone” column from one airport, stood on long lines alone.
Stunned, I phoned a few friends as I waited to board planes. They helped me to go, stand tall, listen, fly home, then find sense of my world.
During the quiet time, I experienced many incidents that spurred me to write this article. I am honoring those moments. And now I have a special message to share.
Traditionally, my CART, communication access real-time translation (instant voice-to-text display on a computer) request assists deaf, hard-of-hearing, people learning English, etc.
But I received a unique request many moons ago. They wanted CART and a verbatim disk immediately thereafter. Fine. The consumer was not deaf or hearing challenged. Fine. I was requested because “sometimes high energy field surges blow out electricity recording the event.” Excuse me?
I needed more information. The person scheduling the event was a medium, a clairvoyant. The client wanted to speak to a dead relative. (Yes, like you, I paused a little there too.)
They requested CART for an instant verbatim text record. Could I write on battery to prevent electrical blips?
In court I wrote hearings, motions. Was the plaintiff really injured?
I wrote jury trials. Was the defendant, alleged criminal, in fact, innocent? I know they are innocent until proven guilty, but officers of the court often are entitled to information the jury may not receive.
I still remember the divorce law firm that nailed everything down – stapler, sofa cushions, books, etc. I did not judge others when my skills were used then. Was this different?
I thought about seven years of CARTing deaf masses, PTA/school meetings, religious events, university Latin classes, the McGruff Dog (he had paw surgery, so he could sign to the deaf children), country dancing lessons, funerals, conventions, where I felt privileged to share CART. They required instant verbatim text delivery.
I thought about friends who would scream if they knew. I envisioned my mom smiling, praying; my Jesuit-schooled father sighing, glancing skyward.
With an open mind, lots of prayer, I accepted. I entered terms in my job dictionary to include psychics, mediums, shamans, metaphysical, tarot, clairvoyants, mystics and yes, ghostbusters. I realtimed with the screen turned down, charged batteries to avoid electrical problems.
The ‘reading’ began with prayer, moved quickly into personal information. Pets, nicknames, childhood memories, favorite foods were shared before communication began. I remember holding my breath – concerned sudden inhales could invade their privacy. I ended with wonder (and some shock). Everyone was so thankful I shared my CART skills. I’d been part of something very personal. I received other calls. Each different; each adhered to a Code of Ethics. And, yes, I continued to pray and attend church.
As a result of that work, I received a CART request for a telephonic medical intuitive. Their appointment had been scheduled two years earlier. This was a medical doctor with a Ph.D. using psychic abilities to ‘read’ problems from the past and future for someone’s heath.
Again, I charged batteries, globaled, moved forward. Later, I CARTed a homicide detective sharing a file report.
I am convinced that when someone asks for any verbatim record, a court reporter is the necessary professional. I tease that as an experienced court reporter I can write anything spoken and/or mumbled.
CART providers can bring comfort to people who are grieving. When CARTing funerals for individuals who are hard-of-hearing and/or deaf, I experienced peace while sharing so others could participate. We can assist with closure involving people close to the center. I feel privileged to sit at the edge of the circle, to hear what I did.
Faith is personal. Messages are private.
My brother died young and sadly, much too fast. He is no longer here to share laughter, to guide me with his courage, wisdom, friendship and wicked sense of humor.
Kevin will never send a funny or informative email which I could keep or could choose to share with friend, court reporters and mentors. I draw comfort from my quiet moments, from those with insights, loving guidance.
We can instantly realtime anything … verbal, spiritual and, now I know, even spirits. I’m grateful for spiritual moments, for hearing ‘Up and Out’ utilizing CART with an open mind and an open heart.
My work is still private. My life forever changed due to my CART skills, the death of my brother and the hope I desire to share with each of you.
Further information about Captain Kevin Drue Donnelly is included: www.crrbooks.com
Monette, the Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Tutor, Motivational Management & Career Coach,
Multiple-Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting and CART Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART Captioner, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
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