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Faith and Grit Pull Woman Through Stroke

Randy Rudder


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 “I was in the kitchen making breakfast, and all of a sudden my left side got weak, and I was about to go down and I managed to hold myself up on the cabinet, and the next thing I remember is my phone ringing and waking me up.” The person calling Evelyn Cartwright was her daughter, Ebony. “I couldn’t really understand what she was saying, so I decided I would get over there as quickly as possible to find out what was going on,” Ebony recalled. 

When Ebony arrived, she found her mother on her bed, unable to move. “When I got there, I could tell something was definitely wrong,” she said. “Like she was a lot weaker than usual, again, with the slurred speech."

She immediately rushed her to the ER. As it was during Covid, she wasn’t allowed to go in. “I was extremely worried that she had possibly had a stroke, and really worried about having to leave her there and not knowing what was going to happen,” Ebony said. 

After running a CT scan and other tests, the doctor told Evelyn she’d had a stroke. But there was more. He said, “But did you know that you had two strokes prior to this?’ And I'm like, ‘No way. No, I had absolutely no idea.’ So this was stroke number three, not stroke number one,“ Evelyn recalled. 
The hardest thing for family members was the few updates they were able to get from doctors since they had little contact with them. “Of course, I did start praying, and of course the family was involved, so I think we were all praying at the time that everything would be okay, Ebony recalled. "I definitely got a lot of peace out of it, but it was still really worrisome just knowing that we couldn't see her while all this was going on.” 

Just two years before, Evelyn had another major health scare, a brain tumor, which she said God healed through prayer. “I just started thinking, 'Well, if He did that, surely He can do this. He can help me through this,” Evelyn said. “I had people in so many different states praying for me."

Evelyn would spend two days in the hospital before being transferred to rehab. “I could barely speak above a whisper. My left hand was totally paralyzed. It was clasped shut,’ Evelyn remembered. “I couldn’t open my hand and my left side was so weak I couldn’t stand up. So I was confined to a wheelchair.” 

In rehab, Evelyn had to relearn how to talk, walk, and regain the mobility in her hands and arms. Not knowing if she would fully recover, friends from church, family, and even some of the hospital staff, prayed. “One of the nurses walked into the room when a friend of mine was praying for me on the phone,” she said. “And she came and sat down beside me and bowed her head and began to pray with us.”

In rehab, Evelyn not only prayed hard--she worked hard. “I really wanted to recover,” Evelyn says. “And so to me, that just goes with your faith--faith without works, you know--you need to do as much as you can do to help yourself too.”

While there, Evelyn made sure she wasn’t the only one receiving prayer. “I had a chance to pray for one aide that had a daughter that had some issues with her shoulder after she was born. So she told me that she believed God after I shared my testimony of the brain tumor with her."

It wasn’t long before Evelyn turned the corner. “The therapist came in and said, you know, you've made more progress in three days than most of our patients make in a whole week,” she says."

After two weeks, she went home showing no signs of stroke. The hospital sent her home with a wheelchair, but to date, it’s still in the box. “I don't believe I would still be here if it was not for the healing power of God,” recalled Evelyn. “He says in His Word that He wants us to prosper and be in health, even as our soul prospers. So He wants us to be in health. He wants us to have good health. And He also told us that He died on the cross for our health, for our healing. By His stripes, we are healed. I just believe that healing is available to anybody that has faith enough to believe that God can do it for them.”

“I've always believed in prayer, but this was another instance to show me that the power of prayer is real,” Ebony shared.  

“Since I’ve had a brain tumor and three strokes, there’s a purpose that I’m still being here. God has all the power,” Evelyn added. “No matter what the enemy says, God’s plans are greater--and God’s plans win.”

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About The Author

Randy Rudder

Randy Rudder received an MFA in creative writing from the University of Memphis and taught college English and journalism for 15 years. At CBN, he’s produced over 150 testimony and music segments and two independent documentaries. He lives in Mount Juliet, Tennessee, with his wife, Clare, and daughter Abigail.