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Cam Marston on a Very Close Call

On this week’s Keepin’ It Real, Cam Marston has a close call last week, and he needs our help.

My wife and I moved to Mobile in 2007. We had four children ages four and under and needed cheap arms and laps – better known as family - to help through this overwhelming time. My parents and brothers lived here, and I was raised here. We committed to staying awhile, so we did our best to invest ourselves in our community. That investment manifested 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 sagging. 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 to 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.

I feel I owe so many people. 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 as I write this - 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 has 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.