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Shinn column: A miracle for Mrs. Sasser

By Susan Shinn
Salisbury Post
Juanita Sasser is a living, breathing, walking, talking miracle.
Especially the talking part.
Mrs. Sasser is one of our neighbors, and one of my son’s favorite people. Andrew visits for Chinese checkers, jigsaw puzzles, computer games and as much Cheerwine and Oreos and Cheetos as Mrs. Sasser will give him. He always has such a good time there that I can forgive her for an overdose of sugar and caffeine from time to time.
“Oh yes, we have to have our snacks,” she says.
We almost lost our sunny friend recently.
Years ago, Mrs. Sasser, 82, developed a hernia following cancer surgery. Truth be told, she hadn’t felt well since Christmas.
She finally went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago, and he sent her directly to the hospital.
She’d developed a bad infection.
“Tell me what the prognosis is,” she asked her doctor.
The two were alone in her room.
“He was real somber,” she says. “He said, ‘I hate to tell you, but we’ve done all we can.’ ”
Mrs. Sasser’s doctor did not expect her to live through the night.
“All the nurses were crying,” she says. “I said, ‘It’s not a time to cry. It’s a time to rejoice.’ But I just didn’t feel it was my time.”
She slept fine that night.
When she woke up the next morning, she felt better, and her fever was down. She’s been improving steadily ever since.
“I had people all over the world praying for me,” she says. “I have a nephew in Afghanistan and he’s called me twice.”
Family members gave her testimony at Stallings Memorial Baptist Church.
Since Mrs. Sasser is on some high-powered antibiotics, she expects to remain at Genesis Healthcare ó where Andrew and I visited this week ó for a couple more weeks.
Daughter Jackie Crane has put up bird feeders outside her big window, and daughter JoAngela Fierman ó who lives in Madison, Ga. ó bought a nice television for her room.
She has a reading lamp from home, and she’s working her way through Andrew’s collection of Harry Potter books.
“I love it,” she says. “I can’t find a thing to complain about. They’ve spoiled me rotten. You know what it is? Your attitude makes all the difference in the world.”
Mrs. Sasser is the oldest of seven children. One sister died four years ago of a brain tumor, but everyone else still lives nearby.
Brothers Wayne and J. Van Hayworth were there the day I visited.
“If you have an extra line, put in there that she was awful bossy to the rest of us growing up,” J. Van told me.
“They all look after me,” Mrs. Sasser says. “It is good to have family around.”
And friends, too.
“You have to put Andrew in your column,” Mrs. Sasser told me Thursday afternoon. “I enjoy him coming to see me.”
But most important of all, she says, “The Lord works miracles. That’s the main thing.”

Contact Susan Shinn at 704-797-4289 or sshinn@salisburypost.com.

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