Keith Myers’ Thankful Heart: A local veterinarian’s journey to recovery

U.S. & World

2020 has been a year like no other. As a result, some folks may find it difficult to have a thankful heart this Thanksgiving. That’s not the case for Keith Myers. The retired Columbus veterinarian is simply thankful to be alive.

Keith opened his veterinary practice in Columbus in 1976, two years after graduating from Auburn University Veterinary School. He and his wife Jan raised three children, a daughter and two sons.

Now retired and living on the backwaters of Lake Harding, Keith is recuperating from a two-year battle with life-threatening physical problems that began with a shingles diagnosis in 2018.

The shingles started Keith down a long and painful road. He says the shingles “triggered the immune system in my body which caused it to attack my pericardium which is the lining around your heart.”

The solution was to have his pericardium removed, a surgery that was performed at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. According to Keith, “They said I would die if I didn’t have the operation. But I made it through, thank the Lord, and it was just a God thing. I had people praying all over this city.”

After returning home to Columbus, Keith hit his head on the bed causing a brain bleed requiring yet another major surgery. “There was so much blood in my skull, it had moved the brain over. I didn’t know where I was or anything. So they said we’ve got to get in and remove that blood right now.”

Keith was in a coma for about a month. When he finally came out of it he was not the same. Keith says, “I couldn’t read, I couldn’t write, I couldn’t concentrate on anything. I couldn’t get out of bed.”

An intense season of rehabilitation came next. He slowly learned how to walk and talk again. “I gradually got better, and I really believe God just healed me.”

Keith credits his family with sticking by his side through the ordeal, especially his wife Jan. Keith calls her his rock. “She just did everything. She was amazing. She never wavered. She came every day. She read me scriptures. She encouraged me.”

Together they have weathered an incredible life storm. “It’s been a real journey, a journey right now as I think of Thanksgiving, a real journey of thankfulness that I have for my life, my family, my country, and everything around me. I feel truly blessed that I was spared.”

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