I met Dr. Jim Mahan in the spring of 1988. He had a boat and I had boat fever. We went out on Lake Norman in it. It did god; the motor ran and it didn’t sink.
Several months went by and Jim told me what had happened to him a few years back. He had been at a builder’s show in Charlotte. Suddenly, and without warning, he had to sit down. He couldn’t walk. An ambulance took him to the hospital. The next few hours, seven different doctors of various specialties examined Jim.
Then, on Sunday night, Jim’s primary doctor told Jim the results of different tests performed on him. “Jim, you are paralyzed from the waist down and won’t be able to walk again. It is the result of a childhood germ that has gotten into your spinal column. You will be confined to a wheelchair from here on out. You will be given wheelchair training in the morning,” the doctor flatly stated.
Jim was taken back by the news, but he was still optimistic.
All through the night, nurses would come in hourly and prick his feet. Jim could see them doing this, but not feel a thing. Once nurse held Jim’s feet and told him he was going to be healed. Jim said he thought he would be too.
The next morning Jim jumped out of bed and ran down to the nurses’ station. They told him to get back to his room. And, then, they realized that he was actually walking.
Jim thanked all the nurses and said he wanted to thank the nurse, personally, that said he would be healed. He described her as dressed all in white with long blonde hair. They looked at each other and told him that they didn’t have a nurse on that floor that looked like that.
Medically speaking, the doctors had no answer for what happened to Jim. Since then, Jim has not had any more problems with his legs or walking. He even played in tennis tournaments for years.
P.S. I did not but Jim’s boat. I looked at all kinds of boats that year, but did not buy one. Jim and I have remained good friends through the years, anyhow.
George Wollin is a former Elkin resident.