Williamson icon returns home
by JULIA ROBERTS GOAD
WILLIAMSON — From the comfort of her own surroundings, Mae Stallard spoke with the Daily News Monday afternoon about her recent illness that placed her in intensive care at the University of Kentucky Medical Center after experiencing a sudden medical crisis, and of her relief and joy to be back in Williamson.
“I am so thankful for all the many prayers that were said for me,” said Stallard. “I can never repay those who have called to check on me while I was in Lexington and who came and visited - but more importantly, all those who prayed. If God hadn’t heard those prayers and blessed me, I wouldn’t be here today.”
Stallard, who is a well-known resident of Mingo County that has devoted the majority of her life to involvement with many civic organizations including the Action in Mingo (AIM) Group, for which she has served as President for 40 years. The group is responsible for the popular and successful King Coal Festival and the Great White Way Christmas Celebration. Stallard is a retired educator who taught for many years within Mingo County and has spent her golden years trying to make the local area a better place in which to live.
On April 2nd, following an AIM meeting, Stallard had a sudden onset of medical problems while enroute to her home, and was transported by her friend, Jada Hunter, to the Williamson Memorial Hospital. Stallard suffered complications of a perforated wind pipe which resulted in a collapsed lung while at the facility. She was taken by ambulance to UK where she remained in critical condition for several days, on life support. As her condition improved, she was transferred to another Lexington, Ky. healthcare center and then to a rehab facility. She was released to return home on Sunday, in the company of her daughter, retired United States Air Force Colonel Nancy Richards, who never left her mother’s side while she was hospitalized.
“Mom has amazed all of her physicians and therapists with her determination to get well and return home,” stated Richards. “She’s made great strides.”
“There’s no place in mom’s heart and mind that could ever take the place of her home town. This is where she wants to be – this is the place that she loves. She has so many friends here; her church is so important to her and the AIM Group means the world to her. Her goal was to come home, and thankfully she’s been blessed to be able to do just that.”
Richards said that her mom will have to get plenty of rest during her continued recovery, but will be able to continue several of the activities that meant so much to her.
“When it comes to the AIM Group and the King Coal Festival, I know mom’s going to be front and center and with the support of those who serve in this group that care about her and are dedicated to helping her plan and organize the events, I know she will be in good hands.”
“I’m home,” said Stallard with a bright smile on her face. “Thank the good Lord up above – I’m home.”
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