by Bob Russell, ©2023   

(May 20, 2023) — For those who have read my previous articles in this series much of this will be repeated information but there is significant new information included also.  On August 19, 2014 I suffered a massive stroke, the kind people don’t survive, but I survived.  The neurologist took one look at the CT scan and told the people on his treatment team to make me comfortable, that I wouldn’t live through the night.  This was at about 9:00 p.m. that Tuesday evening.  A few days later he told my family that it looked as if I would live for a while at least but that I would be totally paralyzed, never able to get out of bed and a mental vegetable, never knowing who or where I was.

At my first office visit in February 2015 he told me that in 25 years he had never seen anyone suffer as much brain damage as I did and survive.  He also told me that it was a major miracle that I made it to the hospital alive, that the stroke should have been instantly fatal and that it was as if someone put a 12-gauge shotgun to my head and pulled the trigger.  More than half of the right side of my brain died as a result of the damage done. 

They surmised that a blood clot had come from my abdomen and lodged in my right carotid artery, partially clogging the artery and increasing the blood pressure flowing through.  This increased pressure tore six pieces off the clot before it totally blocked the blood flow.  The pieces torn off took out my left arm, left leg, vision, speech, short-term memory, balance, and emotions.  Vision and speech, to some extent, came back in a short time.  My speech was barely good enough for my wife to interpret for others.  At the time we had been married for 25 years and she could make some sense of most of what I tried to say. 

I spent ten days at the St. John Hospital stroke ICU before being moved to Claremore Nursing Home for ten weeks, at which point I no longer needed that level of care and was released to my wife’s care, which she still does despite her own very painful afflictions.

Another factor that makes this so miraculous is that 14 days before the stroke I had a complete physical, after which my family doctor said that at 64 years of age I had the metabolism of a very healthy 40-year-old man.  I worked out several hours a day six days a week and was in extremely good physical condition, the best I had been since I got out of the Army at age 21.

I had my first dream of healing in late May 2016.  In that dream I was told I would wake up in the morning totally healed and that people would be amazed at my recovery.  It wasn’t THAT morning because I jumped out of bed praising God and immediately hit the floor.  My body wasn’t ready for such exuberance and my left leg collapsed under the load.

The second dream came on April 23, 2021.  In this dream I was strolling through an auto repair shop with a bolt about six inches long and a half-inch in diameter, using my currently paralyzed left hand to unscrew a nut, taking four washers off the bolt, then putting the washers back on and threading the nut back down.  I did this repeatedly while walking through the shop without the current severe limp I hobble around with.

In my latest dream on May 4, 2023, I was half walking, half dancing around the altars at the front of Faith Holiness Tabernacle Church clapping my hands and shouting praises to Jesus for taking the paralysis away.  I was also jumping up and down in praise.  As I did this the congregation of about 200, who have been watching me struggle to walk for three years, erupted in praise for what God had done for me. 

I woke up that Friday morning in a great deal of pain.  It felt as though needles were being poked into my left arm, leg, hand, and foot.  I see this as a good thing, a sign that nerves that have been asleep for almost nine years are waking up.  As I start this edition on May 11, 2023, the event I dreamed of last week hasn’t come to be yet, but we are in a revival which will last at least a week, and tonight could be the night this dream, along with the other two, comes to pass.

I have been greatly blessed by Almighty God, being given the opportunity to use a terrible disability to praise Him and to show others afflicted with physical problems that they can still be productive members of society and an encouragement to others. 

I believe God has brought me to this point as part of His plan to show His love, mercy, and power by using my health situation as an example of what He will do for those who are willing to honor and obey Him.  I believe the excruciating pain I have suffered for the last week is a sign that the brain damage I suffered is being reversed a little at a time.

God has His own way of doing things and His own time frame in which to do them over which I have no control, nor can doctors or medical technology help me.  All I can do is believe, have faith that God will restore me, pray for restoration, and do the very best I can to make the best of the situation that I face.  I believe I have done so.  I have continued to believe I will be restored, pray for it every day, kept a positive attitude, and served when, where, and however I can.  I can’t do much but have found minor ways to contribute at the churches I attend, Faith Holiness Tabernacle and Cedarpoint Churches in Claremore.  I also attend a church named Vision located several miles Southeast of Catoosa on Friday nights. 

I did volunteer work for five years at the local Veterans Center in Claremore doing what I could to help there.  The facility is a long-term care center, a nursing home, for veterans dealing with a variety of disabilities.  Many are in wheelchairs, while others are able to walk but not take care of themselves and have no one close to take care of them.  Some have a wife who is not able to meet their needs due to their own advanced age and/or disabilities.  The volunteer program was shut down when the covid scam started and the biden regime won’t let anyone return unless they are willing to take the so-called “vaccine” shots, something I WILL NOT do.

God is good, all the time, and I firmly believe that restoration of my physical ability is imminent and all I have to do is to continue what I have done for the last eight years, eight months and 21 days.  I WILL NOT give up on what I see as a promise from Almighty God, Creator of the entire universe and everything in it, because I believe that as long as I keep believing in faith, pray in faith, and use what ability I have to serve Him the dreams will come to pass when God wants them to be realized.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility God has given me to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

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  1. I too am a man of faith and suffer from an unexpected disability. Mine was when a couple of screws from a spinal fusion operation drifted into spinal nerves a year after the operation and turned on intense and unrelenting pain. A neurosurgeon then took out the screws but the pain didn’t decrease, and it was so severe I couldn’t sleep and couldn’t work. I asked them to just cut the nerves, but they wouldn’t do that as I would be paralyzed. I thought I only had about two months to live due to my torture and lack of sleep. Then a lady from church reached out to us and said she knew a famous neurosurgeon that might be able to help. She told me she could get me a visit, though he only accepted referrals from other neurosurgeons. My wife and I went to see him more out of respect for our friend from church than out of any hope of reducing my pain. The neurosurgeon said he knew exactly what was causing my pain and he felt he could give me some relief. My wife and I were so stunned that we could hardly talk. Within a month he did the surgery and it was a success. I still have pain, but it is manageable with medication and an implanted electro stimulation device. I feel so thankful that I can still walk and that I can usually sleep three or four days a week. I hope for complete healing but I’m very happy for the gifts I’ve been given. Hope and perseverance are also huge gifts from God. They add a true sense of perspective about what’s important in life. Faith and family mean so much more than health and money. Showing kindness to strangers helps others as well as ourselves.