10/09/04 — A peaceful diversion from the strife of politics

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A peaceful diversion from the strife of politics

We need a little respite from all the political hostility that has depressed our spirits lately, and Sunday is a good day for us to take a break, to put something peaceful in our thoughts, to take a walk beside the still waters.

You might find comfort in the stories of what happened lately to three people in the Goldsboro area. They are separate stories, unrelated but similar.

Although they are encouraging, they all began with distress.


The first one is about Bill Garner, retired high school coach and now the preacher at the New Hope Friends Church. He had suffered a troublesome condition in his left eye, and last month he went to a hospital for some relatively minor surgery.

Blood tests and an electrocardiogram were done first, as is common before surgery. Then Garner was prepared for the operating room.

Before the attendants came for him, Garner’s doctor called. He had noticed that the report on the EKG was different from the one on an EKG that he had done on Garner just months earlier. Don’t operate, he said.

Garner went to see the doctor, who sent him promptly to Wake Medical Center’s heart clinic in Raleigh. There, a catheterization showed that three arteries to the heart were blocked. Stents were inserted promptly to keep the blood flowing.

“I don’t see why he didn’t have a heart attack,” one of the doctors told Garner’s wife, Fay.


The other story involves our own Karinne Young, who designs News-Argus pages and updates its Website each day.

After leaving the office last month, Ms. Young was in a wreck in a parking lot. A truck hit her car and pushed in her door. Her collarbone was broken and she got a solid thump to the head, requiring stitches.

As a precaution, doctors ordered scans to check for bruising that might cause the brain to swell. Then Ms. Young went home.

Soon, the telephone rang, and she was told to return to the hospital. A neurosurgeon had looked at her scans and discovered a brain tumor that had been unknown. It must be removed surgically, or there could be disastrous consequences.


A retired teacher in the Goldsboro area did not want her real name printed, but she wanted her story told. We’ll call her Ms. Smith.

A doctor was doing a CT scan on a sore leg to check for a blockage, and he decided to include her carotid arteries. The carotid arteries, as you may know, are the vital canals through which blood is pumped through the neck to the head. If they are blocked, death results. The doctor found that Ms. Smith’s were almost totally blocked.

He then checked a main artery in the back of her neck. It was clogging up, too.

Ms. Smith was scheduled for a series of procedures in which stents are being inserted to keep the arteries open.


If Bill Garner had not needed an eye procedure, he may not have found that arterial blockages were leading him toward a heart attack that could have killed him.

If Karinne Young had not had an automobile accident, she would not have learned that a tumor in her head was secretly shortening the days of her life.

If Ms. Smith had not had a sore leg, she would not have discovered the danger to vital arteries that keep her alive.

Was this all just uncommon good luck? Garner, Ms. Young and Ms. Smith all have a feeling that it was more than mere chance. They believe they were blessed by Providence with an eye disorder, a wreck or a sore leg.


Tomorrow, as we end our respite and rejoin a world of strife, we can do so with the hope that endures through the shadows, with renewed assurance that even our adversities can be used to restore our souls and our bodies.

Published in Editorials on October 9, 2004 11:36 PM