EDITOR’S NOTE: Sue and Bob Brown of Oakwood shared with us the following story about their son, Derric Brown, a Paulding High School graduate, who is currently recovering from a stroke.
On April 12, we got the devastating news our son, Derric, was being taken to Riverside Hospital via an EMS. He had suffered a stroke at his son’s baseball game. On Sunday, he was very talkative, but it was evident he had aphasia. On Monday, his church family called together a prayer service to be held at 7:30 that night; later, the priest told me had never seen this done and for 75 people to show up was amazing.
What was truly amazing, divine intervention I would say, is that late Monday afternoon Derric went into a coma and his brain began to swell. So at the time his church family was praying, he was being wheeled into surgery for an emergency craniotomy. We were told without the surgery he had maybe six hours to live. The next few days are a blur that I don’t want to remember. We spent 10 days at Riverside with NO idea what the future held.
On April 21, he was moved to the Ohio Rehab facility, where for the first time, we were given hope. Derric does have aphasia, meaning the words do not come, and he is right side weak. He virtually has no use of his right arm, but is able to walk a short distance with a quad cane. We are cautiously optimistic that he regain use of his right side and his speech will return. We are blessed that he understands us and has not lost his incredible sense of humor.
During our weeks at rehab, when he was napping, I would try to catch up on reading the newspapers. Several times I noticed him looking at the paper and I would ask if he wanted to see it, and he would say no. Then it dawned on me – he was looking for the Progress! So I asked him, and yes, that is what he wanted. I always saved them and he would read them when he came home.
So he was looking at the Progress when Darsi FaceTimed him and she jokingly said we should send his picture in reading it.
There is a carepage online for Derric that at last count had 784 signed up and many of them are from Paulding County, if not now, but originally. So I thought I would send you this short synopsis and perhaps you would want to print it.
We brought Derric back to his home in Marysville on May 31, finding his street lined with over 100 people. The Marysville Journal Tribune did an article on him. Derric was within weeks of buying the funeral home that he has worked at for 18 years, so he has touched many people in that capacity, as well as being very involved with Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Hospice, and other organizations as well as sports. But he has lots of friends and family here, too.
The Marysville Kiwanis had a benefit for him Saturday, June 14. They stood, along with Noah’s baseball team and friends, for six hours at the main street intersections in Marysville and collected money. We are so humbled by the outpouring of love and support and will forever be paying it forward. He saw the surgeon last Friday, who was amazed at how far he has come. Derric is scheduled for surgery Wednesday, June 25, to replace the piece of skull removed.
We have been amazed at the generosity shown him. In reality, the future is very scary now since he was the principle bread winner. We just take it one day at a time and pray God has another great plan for Derric.
Cards and well wishes may be sent to Derric Brown at 1170 Bay Laurel, Marysville OH 43040. A bank account has been set up at Fifth Third Bank in Derric’s where donations can be directed.
Derric Brown’s homecoming
By Corinne Bix • Special to the Progress
MARYSVILLE – Some would say any sporting event is a metaphor for life. You win some, you lose some and you learn to rely on your teammates because as the old adage goes, “there is no ‘I’ in team.”
Growing up my father would talk about the “Church of Baseball”, a reference from the 1988 movie “Bull Durham.” Annie Savoy (played by Susan Sarandon) said she had tried all the major religions, “worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahman, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan.” However, it is baseball that “truly feeds the soul, day in and day out.”
While Church is a lofty term for anything other than a true House of God, perhaps Annie was on to something. If we look at life as our Church, and find God anywhere and anytime, we won’t be limited to communing with God just on Sundays.
I find it interesting that I connect Derric Brown and his family with the game of baseball as it has been through baseball that I have learned so much about Derric, his family, and their journey back from a life altering event.
About a year ago I had the opportunity to chat with Derric Brown as we watched our daughters play softball. Derric is a funeral director at Mannasmith Funeral Home and while I have known Derric, Dee and their two children, Noah and Leah since 2007, I had always been curious about why anyone would choose mortuary science as their career path.
Derric said it was simple... “I was led.” Led to do something that makes so many others cringe, led to do something that is a part of life that can’t be skipped. People don’t ask obstetricians why they like delivering babies, but the idea of willingly consoling grief-stricken families who have lost loved ones, not to mention preparing corpses for viewings and burial. Well, that is something most people would do anything to avoid.
At another ball game, this time for Noah and my son, I noticed a man and boy walk by. After the man passed Derric, he promptly turned to the boy and said, “That guy there (gesturing towards Derric)…he’s a good guy.” I inferred that Derric had no doubt consoled this anonymous man at a time of grief, and Derric’s kindness would never be forgotten.
On Saturday, May 31 at 1:45 p.m., Derric Brown came home to Bay Laurel Drive in Marysville filled with family and friends celebrating his homecoming. On April 12, seven weeks prior, Derric suffered a massive stroke at his son’s 12U Mitts baseball game.
His son, Noah, had just hit a game-saving triple allowing play to continue as the team was in danger of being run-ruled. Had Noah not hit that double, Derric would have been driving home alone at the time of his stroke. His wife credits Noah, and in part the game of baseball, for saving her husband’s life.
Derric Brown loves his wife, loves his children, family and friends. That was evidenced the last weekend of May as Derric made his way down the sidewalk greeting, hugging, and kissing so many who have followed his amazing journey, prayed and cheered on his successes.
Annie Savoy would tell you sometimes you make a bad trade but “bad trades are a part of baseball.” The stroke on April 12 was a bad trade, but Derric is strong and I believe his wife may be even stronger and this “bad trade” is but a detour that has already brought about great things.
Derric was led to his career, led to his family and now led to inspire and motivate so many as he has come back so valiantly from a life-changing event.
“It’s a long season and you gotta trust it. I’ve tried ’em all. I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of Baseball.” – Annie Savoy, “Bull Durham.”
Corinne Bix is a writer from Marysville.