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B.J. DRYE Column: Community’s prayers have aided one of my West Stanly classmates

Time flies when you are having fun.

It flies even faster when you are not having fun.

It seems like it was only 20-some years ago when Martha Clemmer and I had English composition and journalism classes together. I think we were even paired together on one of the beats for The Sage, the student newspaper.

Now married, Martha Dennis has been writing the Endy News for The Stanly News & Press for a few years now. A couple of years ago she made the news when she had a stroke.

You don’t hear of many people our age having a stroke.

My West Stanly High School classmate is having a big battle right now.

She has had five strokes in the last two months. She lost the use of her right leg, part of the use of her right arm and had trouble putting words together.

She had surgery on July 26. It did not go as well as hoped. Doctors were not able to do a bypass because the blood vessels around the brain were too small.

The doctor was able to do an overlay, Martha’s mother Patricia said. With this, the family has to do what it can to guard against another stroke in the coming year.

Martha has Moyamoya disease, which causes constriction in blood vessels in the brain.

She faces being on two types of blood thinning medication for the rest of her life and rounds of physical, occupational and speech therapy ahead.

But her mom says many people in the community have been praying for her, and she believes that has helped.

“She has a real good outlook on things, real optimistic,” Patricia said.

Martha is now at home. She wants to form a support group for people dealing with strokes.

I know I have my health problems that limit me sometimes, but way too many of my friends, colleagues and readers I know have faced diseases and tragedies through the years.

When you have that tiny scrape or scratch, remember those that are facing much tougher issues in life.

B.J. Drye is editor of The Stanly News & Press. Contact him at 704-982-2123 or bj.drye@stanlynewspress.com.