Special Thanksgiving for local couple who survived life-threatening conditions
It's a very special Thanksgiving for one local couple that beat the odds, overcoming life-threatening medical conditions one right after the other.
Stump and Deb Martin are well-known in the local sports world, hosting the TV show "Stump On Sports." But, after 39 years of marriage, they didn't know if they'd both live to spend this Thanksgiving together. They faced near-death experiences over the last few months, but say their faith, doctors, and community support makes them more thankful than ever on this holiday.
Stump and Deb Martin have been inseparable since marrying in 1975, without any health problems. Then, in June, Deb was working out when she felt sudden pain in her head.
"I thought ok don't panic, this will go away," Deb said.
What she didn't know is that she had a brain aneurysm rupture and it was bleeding into her head.
"She actually got on the interstate and navigated one of the worst interstate deals we've got coming out of 24 on 75 and got home. So that itself is the good Lord wanted it to happen because that just don't happen," Stump said.
Stump took her to Parkridge and she was transferred her to Erlanger, where she underwent several hours of brain surgery, then weeks of recovery.
"I'd go home by myself at night because she was in ICU and I'd be laying there thinking, you know, is this the last time I'm going to see her," Stump said.
"Forty percent of people that have an aneurysm rupture don't ever make it to the hospital so she's really lucky that she was in the good side of it. And another 10 to 20-percent of people don't make it out of the hospital," Dr. Phil Megison said.
Even more rare is that in September, the tables would turn. An aneurysm was discovered in Stump's heart. He underwent open heart surgery at Parkridge.
"As they prepared him for surgery, I was petrified," Deb said.
"It was a blessing this was caught because with the aneurysm in the heart they said if that would've ruptured I'd have been dead before I hit the ground, Stump said.
It makes this Thanksgiving a celebration of another day they get to spend together.
"It's real special this year. I think we as people tend to get in a little bit of a rut called life and we take things for granted even though we bow our head each day," Deb said.
"We got a lot to be thankful for not only for what God did for us but for what people in Chattanooga and our friends did by praying for us," Stump said.
The Martin's say they can't say thank you enough to their doctors and nurses at Erlanger and Parkridge, saying they actually miss being with them.