Posted on 01.20.2010

Different Strokes

The day was magnificent. The snow was smooth and deep and the trail had just been groomed. We were skimming across the snow at a good clip doing one of my favorite things in the whole world, snowmobiling in the beautiful Rocky Mountain backcountry with our snowmobile buddies, Cy and Jeannie Scarborough, and some other friends, hitting the high spots and just having a wonderful time.

I noticed that my left hand was getting numb and thought that it was because I had been hanging on to the handle bars of my snowmobile for so long that it had gone to sleep, but then I felt the left side of my mouth starting growing numb and my left foot started getting hard to control and I knew something was happening to me. I knew I'd better get back down the mountain and get some help.

I told Cy how I was feeling and we immediately headed to the trailhead, for the longest 15-mile snowmobile ride I ever hope to take.

When we got to where we were parked, Jeannie gave me three baby aspirin and we got in Cy's vehicle and tore out for Mercy Regional Medical Center about 30 miles away in Durango.

I had so little coordination on my left side that I needed a wheel chair to make it to the emergency room where the staff hurriedly started diagnostic procedures.

A few minutes later, the doctor on duty told me what I was pretty sure of already. I was having a stroke in the right part of my brain, the part that controls the left hand side of your body, probably caused by a blood clot in the brain

They gave me a shot of a drug called tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator), which breaks up blood clots and in a few minutes I was loaded aboard an ambulance plane and hurried off to Swedish Medical Center in Denver, Colorado, where I was hurriedly taken into the emergency room and examined by a very, very capable staff of doctors including a neurologist and was put in the critical care ward where I was hooked up to a battery of diagnostic machines and IVs and began the many tests I would be given in the next two days.

The early consensus of the doctors was that I had indeed had a stroke in the right hand part of my brain, as a CAT scan was later to confirm.

The only effect that it seemed to have left behind was a numbness in my left hand and a stiffness in my left arm.

They released me on Sunday morning and I went back to Durango, where I am writing this column.

I begin physical therapy today to relieve the stiffness and numbness in my left hand and arm.

That's kind of it in a nutshell. I'm doing fine but there are a few details I'd like to share with you.

First of all, if you begin to feel a stiffness in your limbs or face or if one or more of your limbs start to become difficult to control immediately chew up a couple of aspirin and head for the nearest hospital or clinic.

Don't procrastinate or try to tell yourself it's going to go away. You only have three hours from the time you feel a stroke coming on to get a shot of tPA into your system to break up the blood clots that are causing the stoke. So don't play with your life, get help.

The other thing I wanted to share with you is how the fingerprints of God were all over my experience.

First of all, we were snowmobiling on the side of Durango where Mercy Regional Medical Center -the only hospital in Durango- is located. We could have easily have been on the opposite side of town and much further away.

Cy and Jeannie Scarborough -who always haul their own snowmobiles- had decided to ride my two extra machines that day which meant that we had a vehicle with no snowmobile trailer to unhook and could hurry to the hospital without delay.

Our other friends, Tom and Anita, loaded our snowmobiles and drove our vehicle down off the mountain.

By the time I got to the hospital and the doctors got me diagnosed, I only had fifteen or twenty minutes left to take the shot of tPA to break up the blood clot in my brain.

Swedish Medical Center -the hospital they took me to in Denver- has one of the top neurological units in the country.

Of course Hazel immediately got on the phone and started calling our pastor and our Christian friends. The prayers were making their way to heaven even as I was making my way to Denver.

I have seen the hand of God extended over me in the past when I was in a dangerous situation and I knew He was near.

There were so many things that made me know that God was ordering our steps.

We could have easily been snowmobiling a lot farther away from the hospital.

The fact that Cy's vehicle had no snowmobile trailer to remove saved us precious minutes.

Everything worked like clockwork; there was a plane available to take me immediately to Denver.

And here's the mind-boggling part, Mercy Regional Medical Center in Durango had only been stocking tPA in their pharmacy for about three months. If they hadn't had it, there would have been no way for me to get the shot in time to prevent the stroke from doing major damage.

As I said, nothing less than the hand of God.

One other note. My wife Hazel is a very emotional person and will shed tears at the drop of a hat. On the way to the hospital I heard her tell Jeannie, I've got to be strong for him."

And she was, she has been a rock.

On the way to the hospital, I called my son, Charlie, and after telling him what had happened I simply said, "Your mom needs you."

He and my manager and friend, David Corlew, were on the next plane heading our way and met us in Denver.

Thank God for family and friends.

Well that's about it, I'm doing fine and I want to thank all of you who got the news and prayed for me.

Looking forward to another great touring year.

See ya on the road.

What do you think?

Pray for our troops, and for our country.

God Bless America

— Charlie Daniels


Feel free to comment on Charlie's soapboxes, but please refrain from profanity and anonymous posts are not allowed, we need a name and you MUST provide a valid email address. If you provide an email address, but leave the name as "Anonymous" we will pick a name for you based on your email address. No one other than website administrators will see your email address, not other posters. If you post without a valid email address, your comment (whether positive or negative) will be deleted. — TeamCDB


Check out "Mexico Again" from Beau Weevils - 'Songs in the Key of E'


Thank you
Thank you so much for sharing your story. At my age I needed to hear this. God Bless you.
Posted by Mary
Hi ! I wanted to say Hello ,l have met you many times , Taz was my Sons Godfather &was named after him, l haven't seen you since we lost him ,we all miss him alot ,you take care & God Bless You & your Loved Ones , your Friends little Taz ,Trista ,Sharon & J.W.
Posted by John or JW
I'm glad everything turned out fine. I just love it when Jesus leaves His fingerprints on things!
Posted by Raymond
Thank God
Charlie I guess better late than never but I did not see this when it happened. Thank god you are ok. We all have a purpose and yours is spread joy. Thanks Charlie
Posted by Michael
I've had a few TSA's,fortunately nothing more serious! I will take your advice to heart though! Thank you!
Posted by Robin
Charlie's stroke
Thank you so very much for all the details. I surely will be passing this on. He's always around us,even if don't feel him. So glad all worked out. I'm curious,how are you feeling today? You look so much. Like my husband did, I see your face,and I feel him. Than you so much for your music
Posted by Sheila
Congrats on your recovery
So glad that u made it in time! I had a stroke here at home but I wasn't so lucky! I got to the hospital I thought in plenty of time for the shot to help but evidently not! Mine was 4 years ago & still don't have much mobility! I didn't have any insurance so I had very little PT! From what I can gather it must have been a pretty bad one! My knees have a lot to do with why I can't walk, they are like bone on bone & keep giving away with me! God bless u Charlie & may u be blessed with good health from here on out!
Posted by Janie
Charlie's stroke
So glad that u made it in time! I had a stroke here at home but I wasn't so lucky! I got to the hospital I thought in plenty of time for the shot to help but evidently not! Mine was 4 years ago & still don't have much mobility! I didn't have any insurance so I had very little PT! From what I can gather it must have been a pretty bad one! My knees have a lot to do with why I can't walk, they are like bone on bone & keep giving away with me! God bless u Charlie & may u be blessed with good health from here on out!
Posted by Janie
Thank you..
Thank you for sharing.... You gave some great info... Glad you are ok...
Posted by Julie
Thank God
I had no idea this happened to you! But He was with you and you're good as new! Praying for continued good health!
Posted by Mary
Stroke Survivor
Thank you for sharing your story. I love how you explain the hand of God being there - so true! From one stroke survivor to another. God Bless You Charlie!
Posted by Donna
Read your post on your stroke and the hand of God was definitely with you. In August a suffered a stroke while camping with my family. I didn't know what was going on and so I waited 4 or 5 days before packing up and driving home win a camper in tow. 5 and a1/2 hours later I drove to a hospital. I've done some stupid stuff in my life but that was the biggest. If it wasn't for the grace of our lord it could have been my last camping trip. Unfortunately because of the stroke I had to retire. I spent 24 1/2 years as a very proud member of the NYPD. GOD has certainly been by my side each and everyday. I now spend all of my time with my family and getting better. Oh yes and thanking the lord for the days ahead.
Posted by Chris
Country fan
Glad you are still here still listen to your music always be safe take care of yourself we need you Amen
Posted by Linda
Charlie's Stroke
Thanks for sharing that scary tale. Hopefully it will also save someone elses life. Knowing what to do in an emergency makes all the difference. God bless you and stay strong and healthy!!! I love your music!!!
Posted by Micki
different strokes
God bless you, Charlie! Big fan, will keep you in my prayers.
Posted by Debora
Blood clot
I had a blood clot and a mini stroke Eight years ago on the four of July. I came within five minutes of dying. The Lord and the doctors saved my life. My one lung was full of blood and the other was half full. The doctors said they had never seen anyone live with that happening. I had to retire at age 52 because my stop working right after the medicine the doctors game me to save my life. I am doing ok now but can't work. I am thankful God saved my life!
Posted by Don
So glad to hear this. My father suffered several stroke before the advent of this type of drug. Thank you for doing what you do best.
Posted by Patricia
Grace of God
What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing it. I will take your advice, and carry a sm bottle of 81MG aspirin in my purse. I don't think, I mean I don't know if I'll ever need it, I hope not. But your friend had it with her....that alone was a Grace of God moment. I've had quite a few of those.
Posted by Kathy
Charlie Daniels get well
God Bless you!!! ***NOTE*** This happened in 2010. - TeamCDB
Posted by Lynn
Get well soon
It's so amazing when we let the good Lord leed the way so glad to hear that you're ok. ***NOTE*** This happened in 2010. - TeamCDB
Posted by James
Great Artist
I seen Charlie Daniels at the Grand Old Opry after his stroke, he was as great as when I seen him in the 90's in San Antonio. Love his story telling songs.
Posted by Donald
Thank you
Thanks for sharing your story. Most folks tend to ignore symptoms and not get quick medical attention! So glad you are doing well. Blessings to you and your family!
Posted by Suzy
Charlie Daniels
Thanks good info to share and I always have been one of your biggest fans since seeing you with Wet Willie! Good to know when we all get to heaven we will still be loving you!
Posted by Ruthann
Love Ya Charlie!
I wasn't aware of your stroke but I thank our Great God for taking care of you, and for your great gift that He has imparted to you in music. God-Bless Ya Charlie and keep on keepin' on!
Posted by James
I had a what they call a mini stroke lost control of my left arm and left leg slow speach. Went to hospital they gave me mri,mra,CT scan and a cta. Had two more mini strokes while I was there, they called a special surgeon ran more tests and decided I had diminished blood flow to my brain. They found the blockage,put a Stent in and 2 days later I'm home. I'm not quite 100% but I am so lucky for having such wonderful drs. And nurses and the most important was a lot of people sending prayers my way. By the way I can still play my guitar with no problem. Love you Charlie get back to your old self.
Posted by Rick
Get Well
Charlie, get well soon you and your family are in my prayers!!! Gunny Slade ***NOTE*** Charlie's stroke occurred in 2010. - TeamCDB
Posted by Sean
Family and friends with faith
Thank you Mr Daniel's for sharing your story, this time on year ago my brother had a stroke, he was 49 years old, he lost his wife 2 years ago February so he lived alone, it was over 10 hours before he was found. The stoke took his feeling from his left arm and leg. He lived in Arizona at the time, since April last year I moved him to Brush Colorado to help care for him. He is a disabled veteran who gave 28 yrs to our country, currently he is at an assistant living Center down the street from me. We are members of your fan club and just wanted to say thank you for sharing your story, it hits home in a real way. Keep playing and we will keep listening, my brother name is Glenn Arnold, I am Dawn Johnson. God bless you and your family, we are greatful you are still able to play. Fans from Colorado, Dawn, Dennis and Glenn too
Posted by Dawn
Your stroke
Thank you for the advice on the baby aspirin. Didn't know about that one. Glad you're okay Charlie. I can't dance anymore but back in the day I used to dance to your tunes all the time. Thanks for all the good times in the memories and hope you have many more to come. I enjoy your posts on Twitter. Bless ya Charlie
Posted by Fred
Glad that you were able to get treatment so quickly and avoid a lot of effects of a stroke.That is the standard for stroke care.Glad we will still be able to hear from you, musically and otherwise!
Posted by Sue
So glad you got medical care quickly and are doing well. Prayers for continuing recovery and good health
Posted by Elizabeth
Thank you so much for sharing your story. I pray this helps others recognize the signs of stroke and do the right thing for themselves orloved ones. God bless!
Posted by Sheryl
Charlie’s stroke
Thanks for sharing and looking forward to seeing you at Gridiron in June
Posted by Lyn
Different Strokes
Bless you Charlie for all you say, sing, write, tweet & do. Wish I had this knowledge before my dad's stroke, but I know the Lord is the author of our days. Your tweets have blessed, informed & reminded me of so many topics, in so many ways. Thank you for your obedient spirit. May the Lord continue to bless you & your family🙏❤
Posted by Anne
Mighty hands
The mighty hands of God were with you that day. I am thankful his healing hands were on you, I had a stroke 2 years ago and if not for the hands of our Heavenly Father I wouldn't be here right now. God bless you Charlie Daniels
Posted by Donna
Love, best wishes and prayers. My 12 yo daughter and I love your music and your thoughts of t he day. May our Lord hold you and heal you!
Posted by Karen
I've never met you Charlie but have listened to you and read alot of your material. The Lord has blessed you in many ways and we are grateful for that. Obviously he has more plans for you before you leave your place here. Keep on what your doing you have made a difference in many lives and by your writings you speak from the heart so take care and God's speed in all you do. Take care. Daniel
Posted by Daniel
Strong Wives
Charlie, It sounds like you have a strong wife. That is a true blessing, be sure and take care of her. I had a widow-maker heart attack in the Command post during the Ferguson riots and if it wasn’t for my friends, family and most importantly, my wife, I wouldn’t be here to tell you about it. We are truly blessed to have them in our lives and I thank God every day for her and the blessing to still be here for my children. I have been a fan of yours for over 40 years but the more I read your posts lately it has only increased my respect for you. God bless you, your wife and America.
Posted by Shawn
Charlie's stroke
Thank you for sharing about your stroke Charlie. Thank you for serving our country. I Love your music. I also recently purchased your "Never look at the empty seats" books. God Bless you Charlie Daniels
Posted by Eldon
God is good
I am a Paramedic I have worked on both Ground ambulances and Air Planes taking patients all over the world. Many times I have seen patients that by the laws of medicine should not have made, only to find out later they were just fine. The only way and logical explanation is God the almighty Father placed all the right pieces in the right place!!!!! And when I see this I always give God the glory. Also understand God put your friends with you and having aspirin, could not have been any more perfect timing. People’s me need to understand with stroke like symptoms along with signs of a heart attach first thing I will give you as a medic is aspirin. So glad to hear God put everything in place to. Ring you out of this with little to hopefully no deficit after therapy. God Bless Danny
Posted by Danny