A story of hope when all hope was lost


 First-time author and local banker Jody Porter, answers a fundamental biblical question with his own story, in his new book, "Carolyn and the Cross." What is your cross in life? Everybody has one to carry, or is one to another person at different times, said Porter, who writes about his mother’s 37-year journey after surviving a coma in which she had little brain activity. All the while, she was a blessing to those she encountered.
     The book, which is number one on Lifeway’s CrossBooks’ list, opens with a life-changing event: Carolyn Proctor, a 27-year-old single mother of two, begins hemorrhaging shortly after a routine surgery and slips into a three-month coma. While she was kept alive by respirators, doctors advised her mother, Julia Proctor, “perhaps death would be more dignified.” Following her instinct and heart, Julia ignored this and certain other recommendations to her family’s benefit.
     With strength and unfailing resolve, Julia is pure inspiration as she vigilantly cares for her daughter while raising Jody and his sister Becky. Months later, five-year-old Jody has an accident of his own landing in the hospital and setting up a miracle for Carolyn.
     After breaking his arm, Jody wails incessantly for his mother, bringing to head an issue his grandmother had been avoiding. The psychiatrists had counseled her to tell the children Carolyn was dead so they could heal and move forward. But, Julia goes with intuition and takes Jody to see his mother. She had prepared him about Carolyn’s condition, that she wouldn’t be able to talk to him.
     He remembers tubes and monitors attached all over her “like something I had seen in a comic book.” Julia told him, “You see your mommy is fine so you don’t have to worry anymore.”
     As he turned away, crying after waving good-bye with his cast, the nurses on duty reported tears formed in Carolyn’s eyes, and she kept them up all night crying. Carolyn was “alive to her senses” and had experienced “a break-through.”
      Porter recently shared his story with members of a UMW circle at Conyers FUMC.  Porter, his wife Leanne and their three daughters live in Conyers. “Carolyn and the Cross” is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, CrossBooks.com andwww.carolynandthecross.com.