Open Letter: A heartfelt thank you from Dawne Gee

Published: Nov. 29, 2016 at 10:53 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 30, 2016 at 2:25 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - I've had so many people tell me how lucky I am. I'm not sure I'd say lucky but I am certainly blessed.

Luck is getting the last bag of sugar on the shelf at the grocery store when you have pies to make for the staff potluck. I am blessed.

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I have survived everything that has come my way in the last few years.

Faith and prayer have kept me on my feet and moving forward. Prayer has been powerful enough to get me through more surgeries than I can count and more problems than I wanted to face. Prayer has been powerful enough to keep me working and smiling during some really tough days. My faith has taken care of the rest.

Last week I was so sick. I have many issues that require me to see many physicians. A couple of them did all they could to relieve the problems I was having. Wednesday, I drove myself to Immediate Care because I was still feeling ill.

After leaving Immediate Care, I still didn't stop. Still feeling ill, I woke up Friday and went to work anyway. I prayed my way through the day.

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My goal was to get through the news and then go home and go to bed after 8 p.m. I did not reach that goal by the grace of God. If I would have made it home that night I would have had the stroke at home alone. My youngest son probably would have arrived home to find me very ill or worse.

As Connie Leonard and I finished WAVE 3 News at 7 p.m., I was confident I could get through the next newscast. As the 7:30 p.m. news started, my face was numb. My legs were heavy. I was a little confused, but I've done this job long enough that I knew all I needed to do was follow the basics of good journalism. All I needed to do was read the information written in the teleprompter by my producer.

All the writing, producing and fact-checking were done. This would be my Ron Burgundy moment. All I needed to do was read the teleprompter.

I'm usually very expressive and tied to what I'm reporting, but something was wrong and I wasn't even sure what time it was. Kevin Harned began to do just a quick weather hit, so I decided to sit on the floor to get things together. As he ended his forecast, I stood up, tried to straighten my clothing and smile.

I couldn't even feel my face or my legs at this point. My plan was to get through each segment of the news and then rest. I started trying to read the teleprompter but I was literally struggling to push the words out. I thought I was talking very fast, but friends and family later told me my speech was slurred and slow. I am not ready to look at what happened yet although I hear it has been posted online somewhere. My WAVE 3 News family moved quickly. Help arrived quickly. That was a blessing.

My physicians at Norton Hospital told me I had a small stroke. I couldn't move most of my body by the time I reached the hospital. There were 1 million thoughts and emotions running through my mind. After scans, tests and observation, I was given a drug called TPA. It made all the difference. I've been frightened before but never like this. I had a lot to deal with physically, emotionally and mentally, but I'm still here. I am grateful for the care I've been given. I also thank them for being very understanding of all the issues that come with my care.

I'm not sure what I've learned but I will take time this time to stop and re-evaluate what I may need to change in my life. I've always been grateful but my gratitude is now multiplied by a million. I stress again that we must all be kind to one another because you never know what someone is going through. I also must learn to take a deep breath not only to calm down when life gets too stressful but to also just take in the moment.

After leaving Norton, I will go through skilled placement in rehabilitation. Please keep me in your prayers. Please understand that if I'm not at 15 events in a week that I still love this community more than anyone can ever measure.

Last, I hope you understand just how hard and how much I work and will continue to work to make this place we call home better for us all. Thank you so very much on behalf of myself and my family.


Viewers can send messages of support to Dawne on the WAVE 3 News Facebook page or the WAVE 3 News Twitter page using the hashtag #GetWellDawne, and we'll make sure she sees them. Cards and letters can be sent to the station at 725 S. Floyd St., Louisville, KY 40203.

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