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The 700 Club

Winning the Battle Against a Fatal Brain Disease

Cheryl Wilcox - 700 Club Producer
Audra Smith Haney - 700 Club Producer
Caleb Wood - 700 Club Producer

Duane and Peggy king had a full and happy life. Married since 1961, they’ve spent most of their time traveling and sharing the gospel as the founders of “Deaf Missions.” But in early 2010, Duane noticed that something seemed off with Peggy.

“The terrible, terrible faraway look in her eyes,” said Duane, “and the actions were just awful.”

Peggy’s son J.D noted, “He would tell me that she had some extreme fits of rage if she didn't get her way, and that was not like my mom at all.  She's one of the sweetest ladies on the planet.”

J.D.’s sister Chris (Christine) also noticed a difference. “She just didn't have the same kind of inhibitions and boundaries,” said Chris. “We just gradually became more and more concerned.”

Eventually, doctor’s diagnosed Peggy with FTD - Fronto Temporal Dementia. An MRI revealed her frontal lobe had shrunk, and there were holes throughout her brain.

“‘She'll do nothing but get worse,’” said Duane, “another professional said ‘the best thing you can do is pray she dies quickly.’”

“That friction between the two of them during that time,” said J.D., “was very-very difficult for him.”

Duane continued, “She would run away, she'd keep me awake, I couldn’t sleep, finally we put her in the memory ward. We made her at home, as best we could.  When we left (crying – wiping eyes) when we left, and that door locked, that was awful.”

“I remember feeling like I was losing my mom,” said Chris, “But then as my dad's concerns about her grew, I remember feeling like I was losing him too.”

With a prognosis from the medical community of no hope of recovery, Peggy’s family reached out to other relatives and friends for prayer.

“Prayers for her healing, prayers of comfort for my dad, prayers of comfort for us,” said J.D. “The number of people praying for her because of the connections that my parents have had through their ministry through the years – and especially with social media today, word gets out, why would we not expect a miracle?”

“I was praying, ‘Lord, help me accept this,’" said Duane, “and there was a day when I remember distinctly (saying) ‘God, You take this, it's more than I can handle.’ That very day, is the same day that Peggy, in the memory ward, was giving up to God. And from that moment on, she started to get better.”

Since that day, not only did Duane notice a difference in Peggy’s cognition, behavior and motor skills, so did the doctors. So much so, that by Christmas of that same year, the doctors and staff of the memory unit agreed that Peggy was well enough to be discharged and sent home.

“And she did so well,” Duane said. “She started cooking, and she could follow a recipe.  She could play the piano. That terrible faraway look, was gone from her eyes. Then a doctor said, ‘I have treated hundreds of patients and nobody ever got better. This is a miracle.’”

Though a CAT scan shows Peggy still has an abnormal brain, her condition has never regressed and she has never had to return to the memory unit. Her family says they owe it all to God and the power of prayer.

“And at first I thought, you know, I was scared I'd go back,” said Peggy with honesty. “But it's just good or maybe a little better all the time.  That's more of a miracle.  That God is letting me function normally with an abnormal brain. God is good and wonderful.

“I don’t understand it all,” admitted J.D., “but I think it's very evident that through men and women of faith and men and women of prayer, powerful things happen.”

“We have had her back,” said Chris with a smile. “We have had her – the matriarch of our family again. How could we ever not thank God that we get to have our mom cooking? (laughs)”

Duane ended with, “We had so many friends and so many prayers, and most of the people were praying for her to be better, to be well.  To have her back is a great blessing.  A great, great blessing.”

For more information on the King’s ministry “Deaf Missions,” check the link below
Link: https://www.deafmissions.com.

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