Kevin Zwingle Is Worth Fighting For

Kevin Zwingle Is Worth Fighting For

Dr. Ben Lisle was young, quiet, kind and asked a lot of questions. He noticed things about Kevin and asked more questions. I began to share how Kevin was doing things that didn’t seem normal and that he was having issues processing what should be normal tasks. Dr. Lisle ordered more extensive, comprehensive scans, but due to the complexity and length of the workup ordered, it would be some days before those tests could be done. Our appointment was for Oct. 14 at 6:30 a.m.

In the days leading up to the tests, Kevin traveled to the farm to finish working on a piece of equipment. I was not thrilled he was driving, but he was determined to fix a door handle on the farm tractor. He would come home exhausted, and would talk about how his headaches were continuing to make things difficult. He wasn’t able to finish the handle repair and left things ready for a different day when he felt better.

The day of our appointment arrived. We laughed about not making the bed when we left at 6 a.m., saying we would just come back home and go back to bed since it was such an early morning for us.

Kevin Zwingle

Kevin happily is an early riser, but not me. I was just fine with the plan to come back home for a few more hours of sleep. The tests were lengthy and after a few hours, we left the hospital and Kevin wanted to eat. I was also good with that, so we went through our typical routine of neither of us being able to decide on where exactly we wanted to eat. It’s comical most times, and this really was no exception. I knew he didn’t feel well, so I tried to be more accommodating. We debated and drove in circles for a few minutes before deciding on The Big Biscuit on South Campbell.

We walked in and were seated immediately. We began studying the menu, but Kevin was notably having trouble making a decision. He was having a hard time processing the overwhelming selection of choices. His eyes were empty and at this point, I wasn’t sure if he would even eat had he ordered. It was no accident God had a hand in our decision to not drive back home to Nixa on the morning of Oct. 14. Nor was it an accident God placed us in this restaurant.

What the manager did next will never be forgotten.

“Something is not right,” Kevin said. He wanted to get up and leave, but I asked him to sit for a minute. He began having a seizure. I was in a panic. I jumped up to hold him close to me and asked someone to call an ambulance. Our waitress did so immediately. The manager came over and helped me to physically restrain Kevin so he would not fall out of his chair. That in itself was commendable and the epitome of a Good Samaritan. What the manager did next will never be forgotten.

He prayed.

He prayed for Kevin the entire duration of his seizure. He prayed without ceasing. He helped me hold Kevin the entire time. Who does this? A complete stranger praying for Kevin. Praying for us. An ambulance arrived and the first responders stabilized Kevin and returned him to the hospital wearing the same wristband he was issued just a few hours prior.

I called the kids on my way to the hospital, not knowing what to tell them. COVID-19 prevented them from visiting, but I wanted them to be aware of what unfolded so they would pray for their dad.

Peyton and Zack Zwingle

After some swift action by all the emergency room doctors, I was asked to review an image of a scan they did upon his arrival. The scan showed a brain bleed. I’m not adept at reading or interpreting any type of X-ray or MRI, unless things are pretty well outlined for me. This was pretty clear. A large, dark mass was apparent, and I was told this was a large bleed, that it likely was the cause of his headaches. While relieved to know what was causing his headaches, I couldn’t help but to ask why this was not apparent in his other scans done in the weeks prior. They reviewed the previous scans and showed me. The bleed hadn’t been visible. Frustrating, but it seemed to answer the question: Why this, today? Kevin was quickly prepped for surgery and would have a procedure to drain the excess blood in his head. I sat in the waiting room. Alone, teary, praying. I asked God to guide the hand of the neurosurgeon and his team. I prayed for a quick recovery. I prayed for Kevin to be back to his normal self. Kevin and I have done hospital recovery before; I was confident we would handle this one in the same fashion. While scary, I was relieved to know we would soon be done with headaches.

Read more from past issues of homegrown journal

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