Some folks might remember Della Reese from the show Touched By An Angel, or her hit song from the late 50s, Don’t You Know? For the curious and music lovers alike, I’ve found a recording of her singing on youtube.
Della is a fascinating woman of many talents. She started out as a singer in her church as a girl in Detroit, and moved from there to acting. She also studied psychiatry for a while, but had to drop out of college when her mother died of a stroke.
She continued with her entertaining career until 1979, when she suffered a stroke while singing on the Tonight Show. It took the doctors two weeks to diagnose what had happened, and by then, they’d spotted two more aneurysms which were ready to burst.
For quite a while, there was question as to whether she was going to survive, and even though there was a delay in diagnosis, surgical intervention saved her life. Her inner strength, faith and good fortune that the doctors were able to prevent further strokes helped her recover from the initial episode with minimal damage.
Today, she’s an ordained minister and a powerful advocate of stroke awareness.
These episodes are extraordinarily frightening, and can cause lasting damage, classified as TBI, if not treated quickly enough, but if medical attention is sought right away, the chances of a full recovery are good.
This article lists the symptoms of strokes and some warning signs, as well as a little more information about this inspirational woman.