Mrs. Eula Jeanette Johnson turned 91 years young January 27, 2017 and was in a battle for her life. She was taken to Jackson Hospital on New Year’s evening and soon found herself in the intensive care unit where she spent 13 days fighting for her life. Mrs. Johnson says, “I had died, and Dr. Spence (Steven) saved me, him and the Lord Jesus Christ. He’s a wonderful doctor. He’s the one that brought me back to life and I am thankful he did. He said they all saw I was dead and the good Lord helped him bring me back and I thank the good Lord for it.”
After her stay in the intensive care unit, Mrs. Johnson was moved to stepdown before being transferred to Signature Health Care at the Courtyard January 30. Before leaving Jackson Hospital, her family gave her a cupcake birthday party on the 27th. She remained in the Courtyard for 100 days, being released on May 10 to go home.
Mrs. Johnson has never driven a day in her life. That was pretty much the norm for her generation of women when they reached driving age. When she married, her husband Noah drove her and their six children wherever they needed to go. While she was battling for her life, one thing that she mentioned on more than one occasion was a wish she had had for some time. She wanted to ride (not drive) in a red sports car. She wanted to go through Grand Ridge (her home town) and blow the horn, see and be seen in a red sports car. Little did she know, the very doctor who she credits with giving her life, along with God’s help, was listening, very intently to her wish. Dr. Steven Spence said with Mrs. Johnson’s permission Tuesday afternoon, “She was obviously very sick and took a long time to recover. During that time, the one thing she said numerous times was ‘When I get out of here and get better, I want to ride down the street in a red sports car, blow the horn in Grand Ridge.’ That was one of the things she used for motivation.”
According to Sybil Cloud, Mrs. Johnson’s daughter, Dr. Spence was more than just a doctor, “She knew New Year’s afternoon something wasn’t right. When we got her to Jackson Hospital, they had to rush her into intensive care, she was clinically dead. It was a battle for over three weeks before she was able to even open an eye and she doesn’t remember any of it. She doesn’t even remember going to the hospital, being admitted, or not being able to open her eyes. The Lord Jesus Christ and Steven Spence save her and brought her back to life. He was with her round the clock at times. He is a good man, a great doctor.”
Last Tuesday, Dr. Spence put the wheels in motion to make it happen. He contacted Wes Polston at Miller and Miller Chevrolet to ask if they had a red sports car. Polston immediately said, “Yes, we have a red Camaro sitting in the showroom.” Dr. Spence told him he wanted to take Mrs. Johnson for a ride in it and asked if that was possible. Polston said, “It sure is, I’ll bring it around there to you. You can keep it today, tomorrow, however long you want to.” Polston said Spence told him no that wouldn’t be necessary, that he just wanted to borrow it Friday afternoon for a short time. Friday, Polston delivered the 2017 red Camaro to Dr. Spence and he immediately left for Mrs. Johnson’s house in Grand Ridge. Arrangements had been made with her family prior to his arrival.
Tuesday, Mrs. Johnson said of the ride, “Well I just tell you, I got in that red car and we went to Grand Ridge and then to Sneads. We came back by Dellwood and then back to my house. I blew the horn a couple of times.” All parties involved chose to plead the fifth on whether or not Dr. Spence reached speeds of 100 miles an hour, another wish Mrs. Johnson had thrown in while in the hospital.
Mrs. Johnson has lived alone since her husband Noah passed away but now is assisted by her grown children. She is the mother of six, and has had to do something no parent should ever have to do, bury their own. Ducky Johnson and Blondie Johnson were her sons and they are both deceased. She still has four children who make sure she knows she is the apple of their eye just as they were hers for many, many years. Bruce Johnson, Clarence Wayne Johnson, Jane Dykes, and Sybil Cloud.
Sybils says of the belated birthday present from Dr. Spence, “She was feeling so happy, what he did showed what a caring doctor he was to his patient. He is an outstanding and dedicated doctor and God gave him the knowledge to give her a second chance. She still has to have therapy but she’s improving a little every day. It’s going to take a while.”
Wes Polston was proud to have been a part of helping to make a wish come true, “It’s just a great thing to see someone come so far and get to do something like this that so many take for granted.”
Ricky Miller of Miller and Miller was all smiles, “That’s what small towns are all about. Helping out any way you can and hearing about her excitement of riding in a red sports car warms my heart and I am as proud of that as I can be.”
Happy belated birthday Mrs. Eula Jeanette Johnson from the staff and publisher of the Jackson County Times.