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Michael, M

December 3, 2017

I am ... A Survivor

Unlikely Survivor

I should not be here to tell this story but I am so I hope those who read it enjoy.

Everyone has had times in their lives where they have been in life threatening situations. In my case, the number of times is a bit overwhelming. As a youngster, I always thought I was really lucky. I guess the luck of the Irish. Of course, I now know it had little to do with luck.

This my friends is a story of God's grace and answered prayer. Trust me when I tell you the life I've led so far has been, what a friend reminded me, a long strange trip. But what a glorious trip. So filled with God's love and Grace it is hard to grasp. I know I am not worthy but still Grace and love along with prayer answered have been given to me. I now finally have a clue what I must do regarding all of it. At the very least, I must tell this story as many times as people will allow me. Thank you for this opportunity to share the story.

I was regional sales manager for an industrial diamond manufacturer/ grinding wheel manufacturer and covered most of five states. While on a trip to Indianapolis late Feb 07, I was driving to meet a colleague for a breakfast meeting on Indy's east side. As a side note, my cell phone was not functioning. I was suddenly overcome with a need for sleep, overwhelmingly groggy and tired despite the fact I had only been awake for a couple of hours. I knew something was not right, but had no idea what was wrong. I now know I had a stroke. Instincts led me to attempt to return to a hotel, the Drury Inn on the northwest corner of Indy. I passed out a number of times on the interstate and drifted against the concrete median. An angel must have been with me because I made it to the Drury parking lot. There at about 10:30 am, Thursday, I passed out in my car. I was there for about 26 hours unattended until Drury personnel came out to the car and requested that I come into the lobby and have a cup of coffee. I had no idea it was Friday morning but went into the lobby thinking it was still Thursday. I was supposed to meet a another colleague for a sales call Friday morning in Dayton and was not answering my cell. The colleague, Angela (imagine young lady named Angela), was concerned. I had not shown up and since my cell was not working, I was not responding to her phone calls. Thankfully, She remembered I usually stayed at this Drury when in Indy. She called the front desk looking for me. She was told I had checked out the day before, she would not let it go. Inside she knew something was wrong. Turns out she was speaking with front desk personnel as I came in from the parking lot and was put on the phone with her. My speech was garbled and she asked me to stay put. She hung up and called our VP of operations, Mike Sweeney, informing him she had found me. Mr Sweeney knows my brother who lives a few miles from our Chardon, Ohio plant and called informing him I had been found. He had called earlier stating they had lost track of me the day before. My brother called the hotel and spoke with me. He thought I sounded as if I had had a stroke and told me to allow Paramedics to take me to the hospital. The hotel had already called the police who in turn called for an ambulance. Well, I did have a stroke in the frontal lobe of my brain. I was fortunate, I only suffered speech problems. I could not relate the thoughts I was formulating in my head. I have since had a complete recovery. I did battle major depression for months. I tried to relate this story 5 weeks after it happened, but emotionally I could just not do it. Doctors have told me there is no medical explanation as to my survival and to how my recovery could have been so easy and fast. Especially given the fact I was unattended for 26 hours after the stroke.

God's grace and love for us is impossible for us to comprehend. We get a glimpse of what Grace is when we look at our children.

NOW HEAR ME ON THIS. It is our father's joy to give you his gifts. They are here for all. How can we not see his love when we look at our children?

As I currently go about my life, I sometimes forget twenty years ago Thyroid cancer was diagnosed from a lump under my collarbone discovered during a physical. Today I am cancer free.

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