Fall 2013 was a busy season for Grace Sellers. She traveled to Central America with her brother to visit towns and friends they knew from their youth in Honduras as children of missionary parents. She and her husband Richard visited their grandchildren in Oregon, and Grace made a quick trip to Kansas. October 16 was a quiet day by comparison; the Sellers enjoyed lunch out, ran errands, and watched their favorite shows on separate TVs. “She sat in her recliner and was watching her shows like she always does, so I went into the bedroom to watch my shows,” said Richard.
That evening, Richard came out to close the curtains and found Grace slumped over in her chair, her arm dangling down the side. He helped his wife of 25 years to the floor and called 911. “I knew it was probably a stroke,” he said. “She couldn’t walk. She wouldn’t talk. She was demobilized.” Grace had a history of stroke and heart attack. On this occasion, she was transported by ambulance to St. Louise Regional Hospital in Gilroy and then transferred by helicopter to Good Samaritan Hospital, which is a certified comprehensive stroke center.
She had suffered an ischemic stroke and underwent emergency surgery to retrieve the blood clot in her brain. Grace remembers nothing of her stroke onset and the ensuing thrombectomy procedure. After four nights in ICU, Grace was released from the hospital with no deficits other than minor speech problems for which she received outpatient therapy.
She recently went back to work at See’s Candies, a job she’s held for many years and cherishes. “I really missed the people,” Grace said of her coworkers and regular customers. Richard teases that while his wife may forget a word here and there, “she remembered all the names of those different candies.” In addition to working part time, Grace is active at church and she and Richard enjoy moving in their fully-outfitted RV every few weeks between Hollister and Morgan Hill. The couple retired to their motor home after they sold their auto repair business nearly 20 years ago.
Reflecting on her stroke and quick recovery, Grace points to her faith. “I had the best doctor, God,” she said. Richard concurs, “It’s absolutely miraculous.”