'Returned from the dead'; former
Belsano resident has big news

Letter No. 290 | May 9, 2002


I suppose you have wondered what became of me after I promised you I would do a story about Belsano Camp Meeting. Well, we never know what the future holds for us. My dear wife of 55 years of marital bliss, has been a suffering victim of scleroderma for many years. In March or April 2001, she began hemmoraging internally. Before anything could be done for her in emergency, she suffered a heart attack from the loss of blood. The doctors and hospital determined that no invasive procedures were wise, so she was discharged after eight days into a terminal care hospice house in April.

I guess the stress and strain of the frequent visits to my wife (who was 15 miles from me), plus the trauma of facing soon widowhood, and the onset of the grief process proved too much for me and I, too, suffered a heart attack.

My attack required a triple bypass operation. Since I am afflicted with Tourette's syndrome, it was necessary to sedate me to a near-fatal dose of anesthesia and tie me down hand and foot with four additional people still required to hold me on the table.

After surgery, and in the recovery room, I lost all vital signs and was "dead." I was rushed back into surgery and the operation redone. Obviously, I was rescusitated and survived; however, I remained unconscious for another 17 days with what they called encephalitic toxemia. In plain language, they had "fried my brain" and never expected me to be a viable human personage again.

The operation took place on Memorial Day. Miraculously, I recovered and was released to home on July sixth or seventh to live alone, as my dear wife was still in hospice and expected to expire any moment.

Well, I serve a great and wonderful God, and God in answer to my prayers did not let her die. It is now a full year later and my wife is at home with me in home hospice, feeling much better and happy to be at home with me. She still has scleroderma, but she has already lived another year longer than expected. Only my wonderful God knows how long any of us will live. So, with my care and love and the wonderful hospice nurses, who knows how long she may happily live on?

I am quite well recovered now, although it is a tough road to take, doing all the house work, laundry, dishes, meals, etc., but we have those precious hours together and the time really is golden for us.

The following is meant for information only and not intended to be a solicitation, so please take it that way. I had been running a small business having Johnstown Traction Company model trolleys made and sold. I also have had Cambria & Indiana RR coal hopper cars made in "O" scale. They are really as beautiful as a coal hopper can be and the factory has beautifully printed and decorated them. They are shown, and are for sale, on my website, which is www.westernhobbycraft.com, in case anyone is interested.

I want to thank you, Jon, for allowing this venue to connect me once again with my step-sister (Nancy Straw Mills) in Texas (her father, Bradley Straw, was a car inspector and mechanic at Eleanor Yards above Nanty Glo, where they lived when Bradley married my mother, Edna Cameron). I never lost my love for Cambria or Indiana Counties, where the first 21 years of my life were lived. I love to write about things I recall from the area, and God willing I will be able to write some letters that may be of interest to you all.

I am delighted to remain alive and to share with you all whatever I may have to offer you in the way of rich heritage and memories. My wife, Peggy, is a treasure, and what a miracle God gave us both in extended life, even though we both are now of an age where we sort of look forward to our heavenly mansion with our Lord. We still have work to do here.

God Bless you all, and thanks for your time.

Walter E. Cameron
Mesa Arizona

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