Still Managing to Smile

 

KIM WALL, HER HUSBAND, SCOTT, AND MANY FAMILY MEMBERS AND FRIENDS, LOOK FORWARD TO FULL RESTORATION OF HER HEALTH AFTER HER SECOND BRAIN TUMOR SURGERY

by LINDSEY MCMILLAN  

 
 photo by Anita Peek

photo by Anita Peek

Sitting across the table, Kim Wall has the biggest smile on her face. Her positive attitude and demeanor is contagious. She sits next to her husband of 27 years, Scott, who has been faithfully by her side. Also beside her is her sister Terri Peace, who begins to tell Kim’s story. The love around the table is evident, and Kim eagerly interjects parts while her narrative unfolds.

In May of 2012, this busy mother of three who also worked as the catering and marketing manager for On The Border was diagnosed with a brain lesion after experiencing vertigo and vision problems. The non-cancerous tumor was removed via surgery, and her recovery was usual and without complications. She resumed her busy schedule and attention to family. Kim and Scott have three children; Aaron is 24 and a local college student at both TC and TAMU-T, Micah plays football for Louisiana College in Pineville, and daughter Olivia is 15 and a student at Genoa Central High School. Just recently, Kim’s sister Lindsey moved to Florida but the four sisters remain very close to rally around Kim and her journey.

This past summer, Kim suffered a fall, and in June, another lesion was found. The doctors believe that this tumor stemmed from the first one but was located in a different area of the brain. Another lengthy surgery was performed on August 3. Both of her surgeries and post-operative care was at Baylor Hospital in Dallas. Kim entered a rigorous month of rehabilitation at Encompass Health in Texarkana. Her sister Tiffannee Watson is a Registered Nurse and also the facility’s Business Development Director. Kim has been able to accomplish an incredible recovery within several months. The most recent surgery greatly affected Kim’s ability to walk, talk, and perform most all daily tasks. Several weeks after the surgery, they realized that the lesion was attached to her cerebellum, the part of the brain which enables the function of such abilities. She was treated just like a stroke patient and has had aggressive therapy in all areas (physical, speech, and occupational). After her inpatient stay at Encompass, Kim was able to return home but continues all of her therapy on an outpatient basis several times a week.

Scott and Terri share stories of how far Kim has come since August, praising her determination and drive to get better and better each day. Although she still experiences some weakness on her right side, Kim can manage daily tasks with more ease, and her speech has profoundly progressed. The family’s faith is so admirable; the Walls are dedicated Christian servants and truly believe in the power of prayer and miracles. Scott says, “God uses us to minister to others.” Kim is a true miracle with what she has endured and overcome in just six months. The outpouring of love and support from many friends, coworkers, and of course family, have sustained Kim in her recovery.

Scott has served as the union chaplain at Cooper Tire for the past 20 years. He and Kim had a lovely, private dinner to celebrate their recent wedding anniversary courtesy of the Encompass staff during her inpatient stay. All of the nursing staff, therapists, Encompass doctors, and many more have treated the Walls like family throughout this journey. Thanks to social media, Scott has been able to share Kim’s story and raise funds for Kim’s care via a GoFundMe page. There also have been tickets sold for the chance to win a Ruger 380 pistol thanks to Kim’s hairdresser, Jodie Brookes, and her husband Von, owner of Pawn Express. The outpouring of support and prayers has just overwhelmed them. Terri acknowledges, “It’s amazing how God works.”

  Last Christmas, Kim and Scott celebrated the holiday with their children, Micah, Olivia, and Aaron, and their puppy, “Charlie.”

Last Christmas, Kim and Scott celebrated the holiday with their children, Micah, Olivia, and Aaron, and their puppy, “Charlie.”

The Wall family is further assisted with meals being delivered by friends signing up through TakeThemAMeal. com. On the Border hosted a Give Back Night in Kim’s honor on November 1. Twenty percent of sales from that event were donated to Kim and Scott. It also was a great success and further demonstration of the community rallying around Kim with love and support.

Before Kim’s surgeries, both she and Scott had plans to open a private counseling practice. A licensed counselor, Scott wanted to continue helping others, particularly in marriage counseling. Although this project is temporarily on the back burner, the Walls still envision this and believe that what they have experienced as a couple further strengthens their own marriage and ability to help other couples. Both Kim and Scott laugh as they share stories of how Scott has had to take over tending to such things as paying the bills, cooking, etc. since Kim’s surgery. A joke amongst the family is Kim’s frequent craving of bacon. Scott remarks how he cooks bacon daily and does all sorts of other things that Kim always took care of.

Kim likes to ride on the back of the four-wheeler while Scott takes care of their home and acreage in Genoa. Their kids are also a big source of help with their middle son traveling back home on weekends and all of them sharing quality time as a family. Terri remarks how Kim’s memory is as sharp as ever and can remind them all of what needs to be accomplished. They firmly believe in God’s plan for Kim and the full restoration of her health. Scott says, “God brings everything together, and old keys won’t open new doors.” This is particularly insightful as Kim continues to heal and get stronger.

  Sisters Terri Peace and Kim called the Hogs while attending an Arkansas Razorback football game on November 10.

Sisters Terri Peace and Kim called the Hogs while attending an Arkansas Razorback football game on November 10.

The family’s fierce faith sustains them as they travel through such new doors. Kim was just recently in Dallas for her three month checkup, and the MRI revealed the presence of three lesions. The successful surgery of the past two tumors was trying and lengthy, and it is not the current course of action at this time. They have found out that Kim has been approved for radiation treatment at MD Anderson in Houston and hope that plan will commence within the next month.

  Kim (center) with Tiffannee Watson and Lindsey Eaves (two of the four sisters), during a Girls’ Day at Encompass this past August. Kim wore the patch to help strengthen her eye function.

Kim (center) with Tiffannee Watson and Lindsey Eaves (two of the four sisters), during a Girls’ Day at Encompass this past August. Kim wore the patch to help strengthen her eye function.

With this news, Kim and her family remain resilient in their belief that her health will be restored and once again she will continue to be that miracle. Kim shares with tears how much Scott, her sisters, and others have been incredible to her and how she couldn’t have made it without them. Yet through these tears, Kim still manages a beautiful smile. In a photo, Kim and her smiling sisters don shirts with the following saying: “God is great, bacon is good, brain tumors are mean.” The growing group of Team Wall keeps on believing in the existence of miracles just like Kim.