It's Happening: Former Family Practice Physician and Combat Flight Surgeon, Dr. Sydney Jackson Serves Like Never Before

By Julie Perine on September 10, 2017 from It’s Happening via

When our oldest daughter was very little, she fell off a swing and got a puncture wound from a screw in the ground. Right on the top of her head, the incision was bleeding pretty badly and had it been anywhere but in her hairline it would have needed stitched. Jeff and I took her to the home of our kids' doctor, Sydney Jackson. With a smile and calm greeting, he came to the door of his Newton Street home and right on the front porch, quickly closed that cut by tying two strands of her hair together. He then asked me if I had any nail polish in my purse - which I thought was an odd thing to ask. I said that I did and dug it out of my bag. He put the finishing touch on his mending work by dripping a single drop of polish to seal the suture. 
Our little girl looked kind of funny for a few days, but her headwound healed beautifully. 
Of course, I never forgot what Doc Jackson did. But what I found incredible is that 30 years later, he remembers it too - in detail. That was just one of the freak accidents our kids had over the years when they were under his care. Multiply that by hundreds of other families. Yet, those instances are as memorable to him as they are to us. 
It was at a meeting of Bridgeport City Council when I ran into Dr. Jackson - more than 25 years after he had doctored my kids. I was happy to see him and when I found out why he was there, I was even happier. 
Sydney Jackson, who not only ran Bridgeport Family Practice, but also worked 25-plus years at VA Medical Center and served as a military flight surgeon and on emergency response teams in Desert Storm, Desert Shield and various other combat zones - is now a member of the Bridgeport Volunteers in Police Services. 
How lucky are we?
Jackson is one of many selfless individuals who give of their time, talent and knowledge to serve in the VIPS; fingerprinting, directing traffic and other behind-the-scenes duties so police officers can be freed from that work and do what they need to do. Like some others, Jackson's volunteer duties cross over to CERT (Community Emergency Response Team). 
For Jackson, it's been one chapter of serving after another. He followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Russell Coffindaffer, who actually brought him into this world. That's quite a story in itself. His mother had already given birth to a baby girl when - to everyone's surprise - another baby followed. Unscrubbed, but ready to step in at a moment's notice, Dr. Coffindaffer delivered baby no. 2 during all the chaos. 
Jackson was inspired to heal soldiers who had served their country, many whose sacrifices had not been met with the appreciation deserved. To further fulfill a need to serve, he joined the West Virginia National Guard - the 171st refueling wing - and shortly thereafter was deployed to Saudi Arabia where he encountered unimaginable situations and life-saving missions - CBRNE Enhanced Response Force Packages (CERFP) missions, all-inclusive of extraction, decontamination, medical triage & care and fatality search.
There were indeed moments he didn't think he would return to his four children and wife Marlene; the girl who "took his breath away" when he first laid eyes on her at West Virginia University. 
He did, of course, return with an enhanced appreciation for life and thereafter continued a most important search mission; a search of his heart and soul. He sought avenues of healing which he had recommended to many of his patients. He became involved with Celebrate Recovery to help him deal with his own PTSD issues, stressors and memories. And though he had served others his entire life, Jackson said he approached his Lord and Savior in submission, seeking his idea of service and asking for refinement in his life. 
"Many times, I'd work for the Lord, then turn around and say 'See what I'm doing for you?' What he really wants is an intimate relationship, not based upon what I do and who I am, but how much he loves me and him being in me," Jackson said. 
He said he is thankful for God pointing him in the direction of Bridgeport's VIPS program, a process which began when he retired from the military.
"To be honest, I missed my tribe," he said. 
Jackson served around the world and literally has come full circle. Reconnecting with fellow VIPS members who he knew from his early years in Bridgeport has made his world smaller.
"I decided I somehow had to give back to the community doing something I was comfortable with and had knowledge and training in. It's all about sharing - taking what you have and being generous with it," he said. 
In the words of VIPS and Bridgeport Emergency Services member Kerry Hess, Jackson is a godsend. 
"He is so talented and, of course, has an enormous amount of knowledge in several different fields," Hess said. "He is a really hard worker and really wants to be active. Anything we ask him to do, he is there. And he is such a good man." 
Jackson completed Bridgeport's Citizens Police Academy and subsequent requirements and training, coming on board with VIPS in June.Sydney and  Marlen Jackson are the parents of Whitney Jackson Chapman, Melinda Jackson Webster, Kimberly Jackson Zickefoose and Jared Jackson. They are the grandparents of Olivia and Levi Chapman; Gavin, Gracie, Aiden, Cullen and Sara Webster; Brianna, Meara and Barett Zickefoose and Kinley Jackson. Another baby boy Jackson is on the way later this month. 
Contact Julie Perine at, 304-848-7200 ext. 2. More "It's Happening" HERE

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