A Phone Call from the President

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HOMETOWN -- When we get sick, it's not unusual for family and friends to give us a phone call to see how we're doing. A man from Schuylkill County got that call from President Barack Obama himself.

That man, a Schuylkill County native, describes his surprise chat with the president as one that has made him feel better, but in his own words, "it was an experience of a lifetime." And it's one that made him emotional when we talked with him.

Joseph Krushinsky, 81, of Hometown, is still a ball of emotions -- on the verge of tears one moment, then making us laugh the next as he recalled his surprise chat earlier this week, with President Barack Obama.

His son recorded the moment the president called Krushinsky on his cell phone.

"Mr. President, I just want to say it's an absolute pleasure to speak with you and an honor for you to take this period of time to speak with me. It makes me feel wonderful."

"The tears were flowing," said Krushinsky's daughter Nadine Knepper. "I don't think party lines mattered at that part. Everybody, we were all very emotional at that moment."

Krushinsky's family was in Washington D.C. at that moment with the president. President Obama then used Krushinsky's daughter's phone to make the call.

"I've reached this milestone in life where I know I am not going to be around much longer. This is like the ice cream on the cake. I never expected this," Krushinsky said.

Krushinsky was supposed to meet the president in person with his family.

His grandson David works for the president and set the whole visit up as a Christmas present to his grandfather.

When Krushinsky got pneumonia, he insisted his family still go on the trip to the White House, not expecting they'd find a way to get the president to call him and wish him well.

"At some stage, I thought they were joshing me. Why would the president call me, you know? But he did! It was unbelievable, it was fantastic!"

Joseph Krushinsky says after the president's call and this whole experience, he is feeling a lot better. He still holding out hope, that one day he'll get the chance to shake President Barack Obama's hand.

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