My Savannah Scare

River Street Savannah

River Street Savannah

My grandmother used to say “if you do not have good health you have nothing”.    I am blessed to say that I have never really been sick in my life or suffered any injuries – until now.

You may not have heard from lately, and here’s why – during what is typically my most busy working season I have been forced to completely stop due to a recent health scare…here’s what happened:

The story begins in Savannah, Georgia – as all good stories should.  My favorite Southern city hosts the annual Irish Festival where I participate as a vendor to promote my Irish tours, framed art work and sell cook books.  Following the weekend I get to double the enjoyment by teaching a St. Patrick’s cooking class at the Kitchenware Outfitters cooking school.  This year was my third year and it really feels like a tradition…so, after a busy and fun weekend at the festival I went to bed early to be fresh and ready to teach my sold out cooking class but was surprised to be woken in the middle of the night by throbbing pains in my abdomen.  Alas, being the stubborn Irish lass that I am, the cooking class went ahead as my presumption was food poisoning.  My dear friend and culinary instructor Damon Lee Fowler carried most of the work load that day as he knew how I was feeling.  As the pain became increasingly worse my plan was to depart the cooking class and go straight to the ER but as things got worse, my husband back in Atlanta called a close friend who was able to whisk me away to the hospital.

As it turned out though, the ER was only the beginning of 5 nights of hospitalization and emergency surgery.

After a CT scan the Dr’s discovered I had a really large abscess that needed to be treated.  The results of an infected abscess bursting would have been catastrophic and I was so thankful for immediate surgery, yes – on reflection, the surgeon saved my life that night!  After the surgery I fought a high temperature and rising white blood cell count but my body won and I started to turn a corner.   My husband made it from Atlanta to Savannah that night and slept beside me in a hard, fold up sofa bed and supported me all the way. – I had everything to live for, to fight for and to hope for, and I do not think I have ever felt so aware that I am loved and this emotion filled my heart as physically my body was struggling.

Needless to say my Shamrock and Peach cooking events have been cancelled for March and April but I do plan to be back in full power in May.  Returning to the cooking stage will begin with a dinner at the James Beard House in New York City and then two tours of Ireland in June and July.

Jumping in to life again with both feet but for now it’s time to move a little slower and embrace this bump in the road I did not choose or have any idea was coming!

Sending all my very best!

Judith the Irish foodie



18 thoughts on “My Savannah Scare

  1. Oh Judith…I am so thankful that you are feeling well enough to write in your blog. Continue healing and I will continue praying! Love you!

  2. Hello Judith glad to hear you are on the mend, that was definitely frightening. I wondered why there were no posts for the last few weeks but imagined you were especially busy at this time of year.

    Actually I was thinking of you on Wednesday the 12th when I hosted a dinner for 6 friends. As an Armagh girl, like yourself, I had never heard of or had Corned Beef growing up. Although my husband Patrick, a Dublin fella, insists he did.

    I decided to bite the bullet and followed your Recipe Book for Corned Beef, Parsley Sauce, Creamed Cabbage and Champ (a no brainer for me). I also made the Armagh Brown Bread which was wonderful too.

    The dinner was received with rave reviews – you now have 6 more fans!

    Hope this cheers you up a bit and that you continue to mend 🙂

    best regards Fidelma

  3. Dear Judith Sorry to read that you have been so unwell. We are delighted to know that you are well on the road to recovery. Take care. Love from Anne

    Sent from my iPad

  4. Judith, thank you for sharing your story, I am thankful that you got to the ER an they took exceptional care of you. I am sure it has made you reflect on all the reasons you blessed. Keep strong and positive, as you always are. Love to you Gary and the boys xx

  5. I am so happy to hear you are on the mend! Just want to say a big THANK YOU for being at the Savannah Irish Festival! I bought a few things for my family to put in their St. Patrick’s packages (I do this every year), and they absolutely loved it. I also made the fudge recipe from your cookbook to put in as well–they were in heaven!

  6. Judith, I am so glad you are feeling better. I saw Sharon on Friday and she told me a little about what you were going through. Wow that was really scary!!!! The heavens were watching over you. God is so good! You will be back to yourself soon! In the meantime, take it easy, and I’ll keep praying for a speedy recovery. Your friend and fan, Karon. PS. will you be coming back to the Bread Beckers? I’ll be praying fotr that too!

  7. So sorry to hear of your scare…. and so glad you let your fans/followers know so we can pray for you! Take it one day at a time ~ Sharon

  8. Dear Friend, so so sorry this happened to you, but so glad you had love all around to take care of you! God bless the surgeon and all the wonderful care you were given. There will never be another you, so please take care of yourself and rest when you can. If there is ever a time you need me, just call and I will be there. Don’t send me a email, as you can see, I am not on here every day, nor am I that great with all the electronic information. Love to you and your family, and tell your husband great picture of river street, we also love Savannah! Love and God bless!

    Sent from my iPad


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