Charlene Hailey says she doesn’t know why she is here, but she trusts that God knows, and that is good enough for her.
At the end of 2011, 74-year-old Mrs. Hailey was good as gone, well at least by physician’s standards, but according to her, the Lord had other ideas which have brought her to where she is now, realizing that God has spared her life for a reason, one which she plans to carry out even if she never knows what it is.
Mrs. Hailey was born in a farming family in the Dripping Springs community, she was the eldest of 10 children and according to her, she worked very hard to help her family, but admits she was always kind of small and puny. Mrs. Hailey suffers for many ailments, from asthma, high blood pressure and COPD to scoliosis and osteoporosis, you name it, she seems to suffer from a lot of it.
It wasn’t until last November, however, that her health turned for the worst and got the better of her, as she entered a Bowling Green hospital for what she thought was heart problems, but later found herself almost dead.
Mrs. Hailey went everywhere for three weeks trying to find out what as wrong with her. She knew she didn’t feel quite right, but couldn’t get anyone to tell her what it was. She finally had to be taken to the hospital on Nov. 30, 2011, where she stayed for a week before a cat scan found air in her stomach. Emergency surgery followed and the doctors then told her there was a good chance she may not make it out. She had to have part of colon removed where they had found a hole.
After Mrs. Hailey proved them wrong, she went to ICU and her family was told she would most likely be on respirator for three days minimum and would have trouble coming off. She defied the odds once again and came off of it in less than one and a half days. Her only child Henry, said she was doing great after the surgery and even started walking soon after. They thought she was out of the woods now and would soon return to her home and everyday routine.
“We got out of ICU to a regular room and stayed a week or so and even made it to a liquid diet,” said Henry. “But then she crashed out of nowhere and almost died again,” added Henry.
They found out she has several bleeding ulcers. They did a scope to fix it and back in ICU she went once again, this time for a few weeks. That was around the Christmas holiday.
Mrs. Hailey was stabilized, but they soon found out she couldn’t swallow so she had to start speech therapy. She started to show some improvement and got a little better, still not swallowing though and having to be feed by tube. She was moved to another floor in the hospital and stayed there for a few weeks, but then she crashed again and the doctors and family thought she was gone. This event sent her back to the ICU where they located another bleed in her stomach. She had a very high fever and an abnormal heart rate.
Mrs. Hailey surprised everyone again and pulled through. She was moved to a speciality facility. She was still not swallowing or walking and had fell out of bed a few times. She began to sit up in a chair more and tried to walk some. This went on for two months or more.
Mrs. Hailey was moved to SKY Rehab where she stayed for a little less than two weeks before being transferred to Greenwood nursing to finish out her rehab. Soon she was sent home and just when it seemed things were getting back to normal again, after a few days she fell and cracked her wrist. Back to Greenwood she went for more therapy and did really good. She was there for one and a half months and was scheduled to come home, but fell and broke her hip five days before she was released.
Mrs. Hailey once again had to go through surgery to fix her hip which had her in the hospital for four or five days and back to SKY for two weeks. Finally she came home around the middle of June 2012.
“I don’t remember most of those eight months,” said Mrs. Hailey, who almost died four times and laid in a bed for 78 days not counting the times at rehab.
What Mrs. Hailey does know, is not to give up.
“What ever happens to you, don’t give up. Never give up, keep on going and trust in God. God doesn’t do something for nothing, He has a reason and we don’t always know what it is, but we have to trust that we are here for that reason,” said Mrs. Hailey, who is now home and recuperating the best she can.
Mrs. Hailey’s son and her daughter-in-law, Dawn are taking care of her. They live right next door, which is a convenience they never knew would be so beneficial. They visit her everyday and make sure she has what she needs. She is walking with a walker and has had to make a few adjustments to her life, but for the most part is doing well.