Wayne Johnson recalls the day his doctor told him to go home and get his affairs in order. The 52-year-old was not expected to survive surgery to remove his tumor-filled kidney, particularly on the heels of an earlier heart surgery.
My two kids were sitting right
there with me," he recalls. "Can you imagine what that was like? A doctor tells
you to figure out things like wills and where you want to be
Waiting for the surgery proved to be the hardest on Johnson and his family. Too sick to work at his coal company and too weak to leave the house, "I just prayed to God to let me live to raise Nick and Ashley," he says.
Hope came from an unexpected source: a stuffed teddy bear from a local United Methodist church––and the prayers it symbolized.
"I was literally sitting there dying," says Johnson. "My daughter’s friend Taylor came in to the house after she’d been at church. I was so sick I didn’t even get off the couch. And she handed me this bear."
Around its neck was a tag with this message: