Loni and David in 2005
My wife Loni and I recently celebrated our ninth-year wedding anniversary – we got married in 2005. I took her out to Red Lobster in Salem and we had such a great time. We both agreed that this past year had been the best year of our marriage which has grown amazingly – we are definitely “one” and love each other very much.
Let me take you on a flashback. On December 6th of 1980 I married, Candi, my first wife – my high school sweetheart. To make a long story short, we were married for thirteen years before brain cancer took her from me and my two boys (who were 9 and 11 years old at the time). It was then that I realized how much I actually loved a person – tough times.
On Monday, January 5th, 2015, my wife, Loni, returned to school after a wonderful Christmas vacation. I went in to get a much anticipated haircut at the Keizer Station. I wanted to look presentable since I was scheduled to appear on a local TV show called “Awesome Authors”. My wife always tells me, “Dave, wait until you get home to answer your text messages – they can wait.” While my hair was getting cut I didn’t answer my text messages. The haircut was finally completed so I drove to my next destination – had some errands to run and bills to mail off.
At 11:45 a.m. I parked my SUV and pulled out my phone immediately … an alarming message, “Hi Dave, this is Artonya. We have been trying to reach you. Loni is here in the ER at Salem Hospital.” I felt my body go into shock – almost like feeling numb for two seconds. I took a deep breath and responded, “On my way!” – shifted the gear into reverse and then into drive and I sped as fast as I could down Portland Rd. I heard my phone again, pulled over momentarily to read the text – it was Artonya (the school principal) again, “She said don’t worry.” My wife knows me so well – she knew I would be driving like a maniac to get to her. I was hoping a police would see me and escort me to the ER – luckily I didn’t need that service.
While driving to the emergency room all I could think about was two scriptures, Matthew 9:22, when Jesus said, “Take heart daughter – your faith has made you well.” Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path. I kept thinking, no Lord, not twice! After remembering those two scriptures, I found myself relaxed and somehow calmed down.
When I arrived at the hospital emergency wing, I saw my wife with Artonya next to her in the room (thank you Artonya for staying with my wife until I got there). And thank you to the Brush College Elementary Staff for taking care of her while the ambulance was on its way.
Loni was feeling really good when she drove to work that morning. Her two first classes went well, but during her third class she began to slur her speech. She immediately knew it was a sign of a stroke and notified another teacher. Loni herself took all the right steps, especially having someone call 911 to get her into the ER ASAP.
I prayed with my wife in the room and I thought about those two scriptures again. They wheeled her off for an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging – image slices of the brain). While I was waiting nervously all I could think about was how my first wife had speech problems due to a tumor pressing on that part of the brain. I notified our kids, some family members, and the school on what was happening.
When the results came back much later, the ER doctor said that the MRI was clean and he did not see any sign of a major stroke. It was possibly a TIA (tiny stroke). The brain has tiny vessels that go everywhere and somehow a clot or break of oxygen affected the speech part of the brain. The slurred speech happened for two or three minutes back at her school. After that she could talk normal. She then experienced headaches if she talked too much.
After a few days off, we visited her family doctor and we learned more about strokes and what we needed to do to prevent any in the future. This really caught my attention. My wife and I immediately changed our diets to start eating healthier. The funny thing is that she eats so much healthier than I do – ironic. Our kids tell us regularly to start eating healthier and encourage us all the time. Well, I guess this certainly hit home.
Loni's Flowers from David
The good news, I drove Loni to work on Thursday morning. She is doing better every day and I’m so thrilled to see her laughing again. I jokingly told her, you need to start eating more McDonald’s hamburgers– ha-ha!
We are following the doctor’s orders to help prevent this from happening again. I recommend you all to exercise, check your blood pressure regularly, and eat healthy. Also, do research on what causes strokes. There are many opinions but they are all pretty consistent. I’m so thankful that I didn’t lose my precious wife, and that the good Lord answers prayers.