It was a normal Friday for me five years ago this October. I didn’t have school so the hubby and I had been out shopping all day getting ready for the impending arrival of our first child. We arrived home about 5:00 that evening and I checked our voice mail only to find SEVERAL calls from my mom and my sister.
My mom was on her way home from Miami when she got a call that would change her world forever.
That morning my sister was getting ready for school. It was homecoming week and she was dressed to the nines in her hippie gear. She went to run out the door but was stopped by my dad who wanted to take her picture. As she looked at my dad she could tell something was off. He was leaning against the wall in order to steady himself to take her picture. She asked him if he was okay and he brushed her off saying that he just slept funny on his foot.
After my sister left for school, my dad went back to working his morning crossword. That’s when he finally realized something terrible was wrong. He could no longer hold his pencil in his right hand. He started not feeling well and decided to drive himself around the corner to the fire station…yes, I said drive. By the time he made it to the station which was less than a minute away, he could no longer use his right arm and had to reach over himself to put the car in park. He made it to their front porch before he collapsed.
My fingers tremble as I type this story out. It makes me go back to the messages that heard that day. “Stephanie…you need to call me NOW!” When we got home and called my mom she had just got back into town. She was headed to the hospital and all she knew was that it was most definitely a stroke. That was all she knew. The hospital couldn’t tell her anything else. I wanted to come over (we lived an hour and a half away at the time), but she kept telling my no. She didn’t want to worry me with be pregnant and everything…Of course, I went.
My dad had suffered a stroke. He couldn’t talk very well, and had to lay flat on his back. But he was okay. He was in the hospital for what felt like forever, but eventually was released to come home. He was lucky…we were lucky. After that day, he worked hard to be as healthy as he could be, including losing a LOT of weight…
That wasn’t my dad’s last brush with death. 3years ago he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And once again we received a scary phone call. This time we lived in KY and couldn’t get home to see him. After a few months of knowing he had cancer he was able to have surgery. The surgery went really well and he was given an all clear on his health.
Two weeks after his surgery he started suffering from chest pains. The doctors and nurses all assumed it was from his meds. They kept in the hospital over the weekend for observations but the pains wouldn’t go away. They told him if it was a heart attack the pains would go away and not be consistent like they were. That following Tuesday my dad went in for heart bypass. Sure enough he had had a heart attack and was no needing bypass on all 5 arteries!
Heart disease and stroke have touched our family in ways that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. It is for this purpose that I am taking part in this walk. Yes, the walk I posted about last week. Our name has been changed to the Nitro’s which seems MUCH more fitting. I look forward to participating in something that I hope can bring change and prevention in the future.
I have included the link to my walk page if anyone would like to donate towards the cause. I would also appreciate your prayers for those families who have been touched and devastated by this terrible disease.
Everyone knows someone affected by heart disease or stroke. For those I love, I will be walking in this year’s Heart Walk. I have set a personal goal of $500 to raise funds for the American Heart Association and need your help to reach my donation goal. We are raising critical dollars for heart disease and stroke research and education. You can help me reach my goal by making a donation online. Click on the link below and you will be taken to my personal donation page where you can make a secure online credit card donation. The American Heart Association’s online fundraising website has a minimum donation amount of $25.00. If you prefer to donate less, you can do so by sending a check directly to me.Your donation will help fight our nation’s No. 1 and No. 3 killers—heart disease and stroke. You are making a difference. Thank you for your support.Follow This Link to visit my personal web page and help me in my efforts to support American Heart Association – Ormond Beach, FL