God aided in recovery from massive stroke

By Donna Gibson | Dec 23, 2013
Donna Gibson

On Sunday evening, Feb. 17, 2013, my niece had taken my sister and me to Wells Funeral Home in Waynesville.

The oldest man in our community had passed away and his family was receiving friends that evening.

During the time we were there, I developed a severe headache. When we left the funeral home, I began acting a little bit strange. I started in the wrong direction toward the car.

My sister told me I was going the wrong way and took my hand and led me to the car. On the way home, I told my niece and sister I had a splitting headache and was having trouble seeing.

My niece brought me home and called my son. I had managed to get to bed and when he arrived, I could hear him but I couldn’t see him. He called 911 and I was taken to the Haywood hospital. They performed a CT scan and found I was having a massive stroke with a brain bleed. He also said they didn’t know how things would go, and advised him to notify any family.

Another ambulance took me to Mission Hospital and the next day, Dr. Roten, a neurosurgeon, performed brain surgery.

I had a right brain stroke and it affected my left side. Because of the bleeding, Dr. Roten had to remove about a fourth of my brain. He stapled my head together and told my family if I made it, I would probably be paralyzed on my left side, that I might never be able to talk again, and that I could possibly be a vegetable for the rest of my life.

But God took over at that moment and over the next few weeks. He performed miracles on me that remind me daily of the miracles Jesus performed which are related in the New Testament.

I was in the ICU unit for about two weeks, in the step-down unit for about a week, and then was at Care Partners for therapy and rehab for two weeks. I don’t remember anything about ICU, the step-down unit and not much about the first week at Care Partners.

I had started moving my left arm and left leg while I was in ICU. During my second week at Care Partners, my brain finally began to wake up and my ability to speak certainly came back in full force. In fact, I thought I would leave there with several extra ears because I was talking everybody’s ears off.

I was moved to Maggie Valley Nursing and Rehabilitation on March 25 and remained there until July 3, when I was released to come home. I came to the nursing home in a wheelchair, and then graduated to a walker.

Since I have been home, I have been able to get around without the walker. I still have a little problem with steps so I either hold on to my rails or hold on to another person.

God has been so good to me; I could never thank Him enough for the miracles in my life. I still have a little memory problem (remembering when I put things) and a little vision problem, but I really feel that God will complete my healing.

It might take some time, but He’s still working on me. I really feel that I should brag a little on the nursing home. The people who work there are wonderful. I didn’t have a problem with any of them. All departments are absolutely fantastic, the nurses, the CAN’s, the therapy department, and the activities department.

Everyone was so friendly, helpful and loving. I really became attached to all of them. Also, for an extra measure, the food was very good too.

Donna Gibson lives in Maggie Valley.

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