While teaching at Brown Mackie College (Bettendorf, Iowa), in June of last year, United States Army Major Wayne Stratton, collapsed in agony. “The searing abdominal pain came out of nowhere,” said Maj. Stratton. For the next seven days he fought a battle more intense than any he had fought in foreign lands.
He was transported by ambulance to Unitypoint Trinity Hospital (Bettendorf, Iowa). As his life hung in the balance, he didn’t know if he would ever see his beloved wife and daughters again. A few days later he was transported to the University of Iowa Hospital (Iowa City), in critical condition.
He was eventually diagnosed with severe necrotizing pancreatitis. His wife, a registered nurse, never left his side the entire time he was hospitalized. “God did the work,” his wife Ammie, “was the one raising her voice” Stratton said. With her knowledge of his medical condition, she realized his body was shutting down. She was able to alert the nurses and doctors of his changing condition.
Maj. Wayne Stratton has served his country for more than two decades. He continues to serve at Rock Island Arsenal for the U.S Army Sustainment Command, as Executive Officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff. He has deployed five times to foreign lands. He fought two times in combat situations. “I saw things that I wished I had never seen, yet they helped me put things into perspective in the long run. It’s an ironic thought, but in a sense, I kinda grew up on the battlefield.” he said. Yet this battle with pancreatitis has been a different challenge that has changed his life in a positive way.
Maj. Stratton will be leaving the Quad Cities this month for his newly assigned installation at the Combined Arms Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He will be an instructor at the School of Advanced Leadership and Tactics. When asked what he had to say about the Quad Cities the Major said, “Treat every situation as a decision between an obligation versus opportunity.” He will be dearly missed by all who know him. He will miss the close friendships he has formed here. He added he won’t miss the winters!
During his time at Brown Mackie College, he has taught courses in; Business Communications, Criminal Justice, and General Education. His students are like family to him they have had many obstacles to overcome in their lives. Stratton compared it to raising children and watching them succeed in their accomplishments. Experiencing the joy that comes from playing an important role in their development is rewarding. They have encouraged him as they graduate and go forward gaining the confidence they need to take the next step in their lives. He will never forget them.
It was on that fateful day 13 months ago, while he was in the ambulance on his way to Trinity Hospital, that his life changed. As Fear gripped him, he asked God to forgive him. Now in hindsight, he sees the Lord’s plan clearly. He is thankful for his illness because of the changes that were made in his life. His faith that was always there, has been renewed. Maj. Stratton said, “My inspiration is the Lord and my wife Ammie and our two daughters Desiree and Deidre”. Be inspired today! Hardship and difficulties in our lives can bring about positive change!
“ The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart upon the black horse of affliction.
Charles H. Spurgeon