A Stroke At 24


Russ Crandall appeared to be the picture of good health. He was fit, 24 years old, worked as a Navy translator, and was even the guy they sometimes called upon to bring unfit recruits into shape. Then the stroke happened. It caused him to lose fine motor function on his left side. He had to learn out how to walk and write all over again.

It took six months, but he was able to bounce back to normal. The problem was the doctors couldn’t figure out why he had a stroke in the first place. Everything about this young man looked to be in good condition. Within a year, he was starting to feel awful. He was out of breath all the time. He said he felt as if he was 60 or 70 years old even though he was in his 20s. After rigorous testing, the doctors discovered he had a very rare pulmonary heart disease (Takayasu’s arteritis). He “one in a million” statistic literally applied to him. This autoimmune disease caused inflammation in the pulmonary artery, which restricted blood flow and eventually led to his stroke.

The situation seemed very bleak for Russ and things weren’t getting better. After years of heavy medication and a very scary surgery, he read a book called “The Paleo Solution.” The book claimed the Paleo diet could help with autoimmune disease. Crandall gave it a try and three weeks later his symptoms were essentially gone. Years later, he is now a spokes person and huge advocate for the Paleo diet.

While I’m not calling on people to switch to this diet, it is incredible how much the proper diet can help with health. This is especially true with spiritual health. When we feel spiritually sluggish, apathetic, weak, or sick, the problem is often our spiritual diet. Are we receiving the proper nutrition from God’s word? Do we actually take it in and receive the nourishment, or do we just spit it out? Does it actually enter into our lives? If not, then perhaps we aren’t getting the right nutrition.

For Russ Crandall, switching to the Paleo diet very likely saved his life. When we give ourselves the right spiritual nutrition, the results are wonderful. We will grow (1 Peter 2:2). We will mature (Hebrews 5:12-14). We will be satisfied (Matthew 5:6).

Let’s make sure we constantly feast upon the nutritious words of the Lord. Above all else, it will save our lives (John 6:47-51, 68-69)!

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