RENEE'S STORY OF SURVIVAL
It was Sept. 13, 2008, 13 years after I had fallen and broken my back in three places. I was experiencing headaches and tingling in my right arm and leg. One doctor was sure that both were a result of the fall and another doctor said the symptoms coupled with fatigue (non-sense, just working hard) were symptoms of MS. And there you have it; I was on my way to the hospital for a scheduled MRI. This took 45 minutes in a stifling closed tube that was a loud as anything I had ever heard.
The MRI passed rather quickly as I spent the time talking to God and being thankful. I asked that what they would find would not be too traumatic and that I would not have to wait long to hear the results. As they pulled me from the machine, my prayer was certainly answered quickly. The technician said "the radiologist needs to see you and your husband right away!"
AN ALARMING DIAGNOSIS
I dressed and went to get my husband, Ray. We were led to a room where we were shown pictures of a tumor located in the top of my head with the size being explained as "the size of your husband’s fist". Ray began to cry and I stood there thankful that I did not have MS. Then I suddenly remembered Ray’s mom past away with a cancerous brain tumor several years before. I asked the doctor if it looked like cancer and he said he was 95% sure it was not. But more tests would tell him more. Arrangements were swiftly made at Carolina’s Medical and they were waiting for me in Charlotte to do the surgery, it needed to come out immediately!
That afternoon I met a miracle worker from God named Dr. Tony Asher. Dr. Asher performed my expected 4-6 hour surgery, not then, but 3 weeks later. Dr. Asher wanted to completely remove the tumor in one surgery so he needed time to "plan & prepare" for this delicate procedure. I was medicated to prevent seizures (the tingling in my arm and leg) and steroids to keep down the swelling in my brain.
After much time to think and pray, I also learned many of my customers were closing their doors to the current economic conditions. I then underwent an 8 hour surgery that could have left me brain dead or an invalid for the rest of my life. In fact, during the surgery, Dr. Asher told my husband to prepare himself that I may not recognize anyone after this very difficult procedure.
A MIRACULOUS RECOVERY
I awoke after the surgery and saw my husband and said, "Hi honey, how are you?" I remember seeing tears in his eyes but didn’t know why. Later that morning, I awoke again to my doctor standing at the foot of my bed and I said, "Good Morning, Dr. Asher". He looked like I had scared him to death. He went to find Ray to tell him, "Your wife is a miracle! I expected to see no brain activity at all after I reviewed the MRI that was done at 3:00 this morning."
What was supposed to be an 8 day stay in the hospital turned out to be only 36 hours. The tumor was not cancerous and they removed it all and I was transferred to the rehab hospital for recovery to relearn how to sit up on my own and to walk again.
LOOKING TOWARD THE FUTURE
It has been many years since my surgery and I am now walking and getting better every day and the tumor is showing no signs of re-growth. I am able to work most days but some days are harder than others. I have undergone 7 surgeries on my right Achilles tendon and foot to correct some lasting nerve damage to help me walk without a brace which has not been completely successful. Though I am experiencing some lasting issues, I’m still here!
I am thankful for everyone’s prayers and always remember that with prayer and hope you can accomplish anything if your strength comes from within but most of all from up above.
Even with all that took place, I believe I am blessed! I have a wonderful husband who has stood by my side through it all and still does. We have 2 children from my 1st marriage and 4 from his 1st marriage and our 7th grandchild will soon arrive. Both of my parents are healthy and my company has been successful for over 27 years.
Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up on wings of eagles that shall run and not grow faint, and they shall walk and not grow weary.