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Kathie Lee J.



December, 2010

A medical crisis has allowed me to meet and interact with many angels, God only knows who among us he will choose to be an angel and his timing of course is perfect. The first angel I met, Don, recognized the signs of a stroke as I led a Pastor Parish committee meeting on April 20,2004 and sought emergency care via EMT's as I had a brain aneurysm rupture. He was followed by Mike,my pastor who found my husband and child that night and provided support to my family and I in the hospital before and following the brain surgery necessary to save my life. Mike continued to support me through the recovery process which started in the ICU at Hackley Hospital where I seemed to beat all the odds at different crises with the assistance and excellent care of my neurosurgeon and nurse angels.

My next stop was at a nursing home nearby where I met two angels who proved to be significant in my recovery. The first was an unnamed intern who interceded on my behalf at the emergency room one night when my trach tube came out by accident when I lifted off my left arm which had spammed and hit my throat with my right arm. I immediately called for an RN who, being unable to reinsert it, called for rescue who took me to a nearby hospital. As doctors and surgeons debated the manner in which to surgically replace the tube this angel bravely asked them to reevaluate the situation since my oxygen level was okay he saw no need to reinsert it. Thank you unnamed angel Dr.

Weeks later at the nursing home the physical therapist, Christine, became an angel as she tried to motivate me by stating the cold hard facts. I had been resisting her efforts to work on maintaining a sitting position  She told me I had a choice to make in that I could either lie in the bed immobile until I died in perhaps 30 years or I could try to help  them help me. Some food for thought. I began trying enough that after quite some time she told me there was a rehab facility that could help me immensely. She said it would be the hardest thing I'd ever do but thought it held hope of a more normal life. She offered to make a referral if I committed to work very hard because if I didn't and got thrown out her reputation in referring would be shot and I would jeopardize any hope for her future patients. She didn't promise they would take me but thought it was my best option. Indeed MaryFree Bed Rehabilitation Hospital did accept me which began a new round of  numerous angel acquaintances of Doctors, Physical, speech, occupational and recreational therapists. Indeed it was the hardest thing I had ever done. Basically since I am completely paralyzed on my left side they taught me how to train an unused part of my brain to function doing the tasks necessary to move, talk and eat.  There were many long hours, 8am to 5pm seven days a week of repetitive actions and exercises until at last after many weeks and with the assistance of an ankle foot orthodic I was able to finally take a step just before my birthday in July. While at MFB I met the most unexpected of my angels, Amy Kinney, my eldest daughter. She stayed with me there, held my hand, dried my tears and encouraged me to work hard. After my discharge she drove me every day from Sturgis, where I would live with my Aunt and Uncle, the hour plus each way to Grand Rapids for outpatient therapy to improve my skills.

My Aunt and Uncle have been angels taking care of the needs I am unable to do for 6 years now along with prodding, transporting me places encouraging and cheering each accomplishment. 

For years now my extended family, old friends and new friends have been angels with their constant support, love and prayers. I am absolutely certain I could not have done this by myself but by clutching onto Jesus and with the angels God has sent me I have made incredible progress.

I no longer use a wheelchair and last year visited my children in Alaska, Rhode Island and Cape Town, South Africa. I even work out at a gym. While there is still room for improvement, I have hope and with God's help there is no limit to what I can do. I am blessed and  thank God that I'm alive and will get to know my grandchildren.

I pray that everyone will allow themselves to be open to the angels God sends us who offer hope and options when none seem obvious to us. Finally, I am grateful God entrusted this journey to me allowing me a tangible way to witness to his faithfulness every day. It is that faithfulness that motivates me to face challenges and try even harder. Thanks be to God.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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