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A Father's Day like no other for sports writer Bob Hersom

by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 18, 2011 at 11:02 pm •  Published: June 18, 2011

Katie Hersom walked down the aisle Saturday evening.

Saturday morning, she made a journey that was every bit as important. She went to see her dad in the hospital.

This is a Father's Day like no other for Bob Hersom.

You may know Bob as the sports writer who covered everything from Sooner football to Blazers hockey for The Oklahoman. You may know him as the RedHawks' official scorekeeper, a Church of the Servant member or a devoted Cubs fan.

But nothing makes him prouder than being known as Robbie and Katie's dad.

Imagine his delight when Katie announced last fall that she would be getting married the day before Father's Day. The entire family would be there — Bob and his wife, Cathy; Robbie and his wife, Kristin; and the newlyweds, Katie and her husband, Blake Middleton.

What more could a proud papa want?

Then in January, Bob was diagnosed with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It was walloping his liver, scarring it and causing it to function poorly.

He got weaker by the day even though he was going to physical therapy twice a week. He lost his appetite. He retained fluid in his abdomen.

There were so many trips to so many doctors that every office started looking the same.

Despite all the doctors and medicines and treatments, Bob needed a liver transplant.

Then exactly two weeks ago, he was hospitalized. He was having trouble breathing and was feeling weaker than ever. Tests in the emergency room quickly revealed that he had fluid around and in his lungs.

The diagnosis: pneumonia.

“He is a very sick guy, but the Hersoms are a tough bunch,” Robbie wrote on a website the family has set up on “We have put this all in God's hands and acknowledge that our strength has one source — HIM.”

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by Jenni Carlson
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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