WaPo Scribe’s Touching Twitter Soap Opera

Twitter followers of WaPo‘s Mike DeBonis were rapt Saturday night as the reporter revealed a whole lot more than even he thought he would. Typically DeBonis covers the District of Columbia. But this was infinitely more personal than that. The headlines: 1. Father has a medical emergency. 2. DeBonis pops the question; girlfriend says yes.

First, a warning.

And so the Twitter novela begins: “So a week ago I had dinner with my parents in Chicago, visiting for a old friend’s wedding. Just like always…martinis, wine, too much food. I told them, after two martinis and a glass or two of wine, to expect a call noontime Saturday. As in today. That’s all I told em.”

The tension builds. “What my mother didn’t tell me, because she couldn’t, was to expect a call from her, at 7 a.m. Tuesday morning,” he wrote.

His father was in the hospital undergoing open heart surgery. “Airlifted by helicopter in the wee hours,” DeBonis wrote.

DeBonis explained, “Aortic dissection. Google it. Better yet, YouTube it. The lining of the aorta separates from the outer vessel and high pressure blood tears it away, from the heart to the groin. If the outer layers don’t hold, you’re a goner. Something like 60 percent of cases, you’re dead before you make it to the hospital. But my old man knew something bad was happening.”

His father was fortunate.

DeBonis continued his gripping tale. “And the vessel held,” he wrote. “After a 10 min helo ride he was in the care of some of the best surgeons on the continent. Now, where his aorta ripped open, there’s a piece of Dacron. He’ll have it the rest of his life. He’s doing well. Looks good. Sounds great.”

After a few wrenching tweets later, he writes, “1. @denaiverson said she’d marry me today. And 2. My old man was around to take that call.”

As one follower aptly put it, a double happy ending.