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On September 15th 2017- just two days before his 74th birthday, my grandfather choose to survive. After waking up in the night with chest pains and numbness- he had no idea he was suffering both a stroke and heart attack. He was so disoriented that he could not figure out how to dial 911.
But, refusing to give up, he managed to make it outside to try to get to his brother's house a short distance down the road. He had lived in those woods for 40 years, but due to the stroke, he was extremely confused and became lost. Unable to stand or walk, and crawling through the rain and mud in the thick Minnesota woods, he endured the worst thunderstorm of the season, eventually having to lay underneath a tree for hours for refuge. But grandpa still didn't give up. When the rain finally let up, he continued to crawl and fight his way- miraculously- onto his brother's porch where he finally found help.
Having to endure hours of seizures while his body fought to stay alive, he ultimately ended up at Abbott Northwest Hospital in Minneapolis where it was confirmed he had suffered a major stroke, another minor stroke, and a heart attack, all due to underlying heart problems.
When asked how he could have made it through that terrible ordeal, when most people would have given up and died, with no hesitation he replied, "Because I'm a Marine."
Grandpa is now in an acute care facility in Bemidji where he will receive therapy and medical care.