County Line: Send a card to the ‘Miracle on the Ridge’

Published 1:11 pm Tuesday, October 10, 2023

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By Shirley Thorne

County Line Correspondent

The V-point Ruritans thank everyone for their support at the breakfast last Saturday.

Piney Grove AME Zion Church will celebrate homecoming Sunday, Oct. 15. The Rev. Donald Gray of Woodleaf will deliver the message at the 11 a.m. service, followed by a covered-dish dinner. Church members invite everyone.

The Zachariah Gaither Family Reunion will be at 1 p.m. Sunday in the fellowship hall of Salem Methodist Church. All descendants, relatives, and friends are invited to bring a basket of food and memories. Paper products will be provided.

Clarksbury Methodist Church will have a special service at 3 p.m. Sunday.  Missionary Pastor Sasha, former KGB agent and now President of Moscow Seminary, will testify and speak of God’s work in Russia and Ukraine. This will replace the Bible study for women;  the study will resume at 6 p.m. Oct. 22.

The Young at Heart of Society Baptist will meet at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17.  They invite other senior adults in our community.

Upcoming events: Salem Methodist homecoming Sunday, Oct. 22; fall fest at 6 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, at Society Baptist; and Calvary Baptist homecoming Sunday, Nov. 5.

Our community sends happy-birthday wishes to County Line native Archie Jones, who was 91 Monday of last week. He and wife Caroline reside in Erwin and celebrated with family. Archie, all of us in County Line wish you a happy and healthy new year of life.

We extend sympathy to the family of Delane McLelland Porter, who died unexpectedly early Thursday morning of last week at Forsyth Medical Center.  She was born in Iredell County in 1945 to the late Floyd and Jessie Irene Pharr McClelland.

In 1963 she graduated from Central High School;  where she was a bus driver, cheerleader, and member of Beta Club and other clubs.  She then graduated from King’s Business School.

Delane married Eddie Porter of County Line in 1967, and she joined him in worship at Society Baptist. The couple settled on a farm on Gantt Horn Road off Old Mocksville Road and reared children Shane and Amanda. A homemaker, Delane enjoyed working in her yard and flowers and being with her family.

A service celebrating her life was held Sunday afternoon at Society Baptist;  where she was an active member,.  She was laid to rest in the church cemetery.

Our community sends get-well wishes to Caroline Jones, who was hospitalized on emergency basis last Friday morning.  Tommie Ross remains in rehab at Bermuda Commons of Davie.  Mildred Beck, Hazel Smoot, and Alice Waugh remain in rehab at Davie Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.  Caleb Williams continues medical treatments at Brenner Children’s Hospital.

Join us in prayer for the Lord’s divine healing and blessings upon Caroline, Tommie, Mildred, Hazel, Alice, and Caleb.  Continue to pray that Caleb will be accepted for the Duke University Medical Center liver transplant list. Pray for the Lord’s comfort and blessings upon the family of Delane as they miss her in life.  Remember in prayer Harvey & Janice Williams and the family of Elizabeth S. Williams Foster. Janice’s sister Nancy McCormick died last Friday. Elizabeth, widow of County Line native Lester Williams, died Monday of last week and her funeral was at Damascus Baptist Church last Saturday.

Since July I have asked for your prayers for young Caleb Williams, who was diagnosed with cancer of the liver (hepatocellular carcinoma).  Life has been difficult and challenging for him and his family. Caleb will celebrate his 14th birthday on Friday, Oct. 19.  Please help make his birthday extra special by sending him a birthday card to: Caleb Williams, c/o Perry & Vickie Willams, 1299  Ridge Road, Mocksville, NC  27028.

When I pass their mailbox, I hope it will be overflowing with cards.

From conception, Caleb has been brave and strong.  Until about 12 days before his birth, no one but Jesus Christ – the Great Physician   – knew he existed and took care of his every pre-term need.

Many folks have asked about Caleb and our “Miracle on the Ridge.”  Let me tell you again about that precious God-sent blessing in Perry and Vickie’s own words during my visit with them in December 2009:

When Perry and Vickie Williams were married Oct. 18, 1988, they made Perry’s family home on Ridge Road in Davie County their home. They both dreamed of having children and grandchildren.

Perry’s father “Sonny” died of a heart attack when Perry was 5. He spent a lot of time with his Grandpa Williams, who was a good role model. Perhaps one day he would have a little one following him around.

As the years passed, there were no children –  only cats and dogs. Vickie’s father died of colon cancer in 2002, and she had the added concern that she might develop the same. So, she began going regularly for a colonoscopy. Then in 2003 she was diagnosed as diabetic and began quarterly check-ups with a doctor. By 2007 she had gained weight and, hence, joined Weight Watchers.

By September 2009 Vickie had lost 120 lbs., and she and Perry often took long walks together.  But, lately she had become frustrated since her weight loss had reached a plateau regardless of what she ate or did.

As she and Perry were walking on Sept. 30, she felt a pain in her lower abdomen. She had just had her annual gynecology check-up in August, and everything was just fine. Her next colonoscopy and exam with the gastroenterologist was scheduled for Oct. 5 & 6. She would wait until then and tell him about the pain.

“The gastroenterologist thought I might have a lower hernia or a possible mass or blockage. He asked me if I were pregnant and I told him no. He then sent me to have a CAT scan.”

The doctor was right. A baby was on the way.

“When the radiologist told me that I was pregnant, I was in total shock. After the shock wore off, I was worried about what the dyes and medications might have done to the baby.  I went to my gynecologist. He did an ultrasound and told me I was about 28 weeks pregnant.

“I was anxious to tell Perry but wanted to wait to tell him in person. It just wasn’t something I could tell him over the phone. I’m 39 and Perry is 50; so, my being pregnant was the farthest thing from our minds. We had given up hope of having children years ago. Also, I had just had my annual gynecology check-up in August. When I got home, I told him to sit down. I had something to tell him.”

It was a good thing Perry sat down. “I was in an absolute state of disbelief. I heard what she said, but I was just numb and could not believe what I was hearing.”

Needless to say, Vickie and Perry were elated with the news. Their much longed-for baby would be born around Christmas or early January.

“My gynecologist sent me to his obstetrician partner on Oct. 13. That doctor said the baby was high risk because of my weight, age, and diabetes. He scheduled me to see a neo-natal care specialist in Winston-Salem on Oct. 22.

“Late Sunday night, Oct. 18, we were watching a movie. About 1 a.m. I began having some mild stomach cramps. I thought it was just gas or indigestion, but the cramps continued. We were new at this pregnancy thing and wanted to make sure that my indigestion wasn’t going to hurt our baby. About 4 a.m. we went to the emergency room at Davis. The doctor there told us I was in labor.

“They put me in a delivery room immediately and prepared to transport me to Forsyth. But then, there wasn’t time. So, they started preparing the operating room for a c-section. But then, there wasn’t time for that either.”

This baby was determined to make his presence known.       

“So, in a little bit, I had the baby right there in the room and without any anesthesia or medication.”

On Monday, Oct. 19, at 6:59 a.m. that suspected mass burst onto the scene and became Caleb Douglas Williams. And Vickie was again losing weight – a whopping 2 lbs. 14 ozs. that moment alone.

Baby Caleb was a tiny bundle of joy and had to be transferred to the neo-natal unit at Catawba Valley Medical Center. Initially he had special lights, feeding tubes, respirator, etc. and was in an incubator. As the weeks passed, he was slowly able to shed all of these.

  During this time, only Caleb’s parents were permitted to visit. One Sunday Perry went to see Caleb, but the nurse would not let him in. “She said she was sorry but grandparents weren’t allowed in – only parents. I had to get my pass and ID and prove to her that I was his dad.”