Stroke of Luck

Posted On March 31, 2023

It was big. I got lucky. And I’m not sure what to think about it.


My wife and I moved to Mobile in 2007. We had four children ages four and under and needed cheap arms and laps – better knowns as family – to help through this overwhelming time. We committed to staying awhile so my wife and I did our best to invest ourselves in our community. That investment manifest itself last week.

Last Tuesday morning about 8:30 I was on the treadmill. About 8:35 I was mumbling, drooling, the left side of my face was sagging, and I was leaning against the wall. About 9:20am I was rolled into the University of South Alabama emergency room from the ambulance. The stroke code team was waiting. My femoral artery became the channel for a catheter thingy that went into my brain’s right side with a grabber thingy on the end, surrounded a blood clot and removed it. I was fully functional moments later and I walked out of intensive care unit on my own the following afternoon. No damage. It was close. I got lucky.

In the uncertain moments I learned many of our friends, the families we know, our church community and so many others asked God to wrap his arms around me, to cloak me in his protection, to lift me up. Massive quantities of food have materialized. Flowers, too. Calls, texts. Notes and gifts from strangers in our mailbox. My wife and my community showed up to a degree I’m not sure I deserve. I’m beyond humbled and, honestly, am struggling with it a bit.

The stroke was not a consequence of lifestyle choices. My doctors can’t say “I told you so” because, per all the data, I’m in very good health. Which makes me ask, what’s the lesson here? What’s the takeaway? How do I change? What should I change? Or should I even change other this new diet of blood thinners? Should this event move me but not change me or change me but not move me. I don’t know.

The outpouring of support has caught me off guard. So many people have contacted me, my wife, my kids, my father, my brothers, all to check on me. All expressing gratitude that I’m Ok. My eyes have been regularly wet for well over a week, and they are again right now – not because of what almost happened, but because of what did happen – a gush of support. I’m unsure I deserve it.

I hoped to finish with an impactful lesson from all this. But I don’t have one. Truthfully, I don’t know what to do or say. I don’t know what to think about it.

Certainly some of you listening have similar stories. Stroke. Heart attack. Car wreck. Something. What’s time taught you? What’s the lesson? I need my intelligent and vocal public radio listeners to pull your Subarus to the side of the road and go to where you can email me or call and leave a message. What’s all this mean? What’s the grand take away? I need your guidance. I’ll share what you share next week.

Until then, I’m Cam Marston and I am truly grateful to be here.

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Categories: Libsyn2