Late August 2012 in Cincinnati proved to be a wet summer. The previous winter was mild, with temperatures like those typical of fall weather. At one moment Jeffrey was a spree and viral young man with lots of energy. It was not unusual to find him building a tree house, cutting down trees, or up on the roof assessing damage.
In the blink of an eye Jeffrey’s life was changed forever. No, not by car accident or fall, but with the bite of one mosquito. Yes, a mosquito carrying the West Nile Virus change his life forever. Jeffrey went from his tireless self to a bed ridden patient in a hospital in a comma. He could not walk or talk. But this virus was no match for his wife’s love, faith, and prayers. His wife, Evelyn, became that partner that we often hear stated during one’s wedding vows, but rarely is tested in such a permanent way. The outcome looked grim, but Evelyn’s eyes were on the possibilities and God’s grace! The result was nothing short of a miracle. Please enjoy the journey realized by Evelyn and Jeffrey and their steadfast faith.
When initially admitted to the hospital and the medical staff placed tubing into Jeffrey’s nose and throat, they felt confident that he would not pull them out because he was in the military and follows rules. Jeffrey grew up on the southside of Lima, Ohio. He is so proud of his upbringing, which consisted of love, support, and confidence from family and friends. As the youngest of seven, Jeffrey enjoyed the company of three brothers and three sisters. It was the strength, lessons, and love from family and friends that Jeffrey was able to overcome such a devastating and impactful illness. Jeffrey was a harsh competitor both academically and physically. Over the years he participated in football, track, and even tried wrestling for one year. He a has a big passion for justice and fairness for all.
Jeffrey’s wife, Evelyn, grew up on a 40-acre farm in Jefferson Township, Ohio – just south of Dayton, Ohio. As the second of four daughters, Evelyn worked hard to overachieve academically. Her natural classroom consisted of 4-H and her parent’s farm. She learned unconditional love form her parents and family, which she carried into her marriage. Never was her love tested as when Jeffrey fell ill with West Nile Virus. She mustered all the strength she could from family, friends, and strangers. It was her relationships built in the past that laid the groundwork to support her trials of the present. Her strength, relationship, and belief in God became closer. Her unconditional love, steadfast faith, and prayer warriors are what got her through such a trying time in her family’s life.