Sheriff's Office: One more dodge of the bullet
by Jim Ruth Bradley County Sheriff
Jun 16, 2013 | 2767 views | 0 0 comments | 49 49 recommendations | email to a friend | print
On Thursday, May 30, while in a training session in Nashville, I suddenly fell sick. I really didn’t know what was happening, but I knew something was terribly wrong.

I began to feel really sick. I discovered that I could not stand up and walk. My speech was inexplicably slurred and I felt like I might pass out.

Those around me recognized I needed medical attention.911 was summoned. A few minutes later I was in an ambulance on my way to Summit Medical Center in Hermitage, just a few miles from where our sheriffs’ training was going on.

As it happened, Summit Medical Center is one of the few hospitals in that part of Middle Tennessee certified to treat stroke patients.

It turned out that is exactly what I was experiencing, a brain stem stroke. Coincidence or meant to be?

Personally, I believe God was in control of things. I could not have had better doctors and nurses who treated me and cared for me during my eight-day stay at the hospital.

When I first arrived at the hospital, I began to really experience the effects of the stroke. My vision and speech were affected, and I could not swallow. Needless to say, it was scary — to say the least.

Those were just the symptoms that were immediately apparent. I soon found out that I couldn’t walk or do so many other things that are automatic and are taken for granted.

I also soon found out that many people were texting and talking to my wife, Cathy, to find out what was going on.

As more people in Bradley County learned of my malady, they got word to us that individuals and congregations all around were praying for my recovery.

I certainly believe in the power of prayer. This helped me to develop a positive attitude about my situation.

Then, after only two days in ICU, I began to improve by leaps and bounds. First my vision came back and things were no longer blurry, nor did I have double vision. Next, my speech and swallowing began to progressively improve. By the time the weekend was over, the neurologist on my case seemed astonished at my improvement. He and the nurses all thought the same thing — that my progress was amazing.

Well, it was amazing.

I give the credit to the good care I received, to the strong will I developed to be back with my family and co-workers on the job, but most of all to Jesus Christ, the Great Physician. I, and others, soon realized that prayers were being answered. My rapid recovery and the doctors’ amazement were evidence enough for me.

On Friday, June 7, I was transported by ambulance to where I am now, as I write this from my room at Life Care Center of Collegedale. By the time you read this, I will have finished my rehab here and will be at home. I would be remiss if I did not say something about this fine facility where the people are so very kind and concerned. The folks at Life Care Center of Collegedale are the best.

As I reflect on my situation and all that has occurred in such a short time, I have become convinced of something. I am convinced what Satan meant for my harm and destruction. God has used it for something good. It has served to bring my family closer. It has reminded me of what is really important in life. It has caused me to want to get serious about being a Christian again, and to work even harder to be the best sheriff I can be. I have a lot left to do to make our community safer, do more about crime in our area and to help make our agency more professional.

Thank you all for your prayers and concern. They were felt and they were effective.

Thank you, too, for reading.

I am so blessed to be back.