Oklahoma dad battles through stroke, COVID-19 to get to daughter’s wedding

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Ron Cruise fought a near-deadly battle with COVID-19 and endured intense physical therapy sessions with grit and determination. He did this with a singular purpose – to watch his daughter get married.

“He’s a fighter,” said Mitchell White, an occupational therapist for Valir PACE. “He gets up every morning and does exercises to try to regain what he’s lost. He doesn’t want anybody doing anything for him that he can do himself. He has been that way since I met him.”

Mitchell first met Ron in February when Ron was battling back from a stroke.

But as Ron fought to recover from the stroke, COVID-19 delivered a near fatal blow in June.

“We done a test and it come back positive, and that’s when we went to the hospital. I don’t remember a whole lot after that,” Ron said.

COVID-19 put Ron in intensive care, where he spent almost two weeks on a ventilator.

Ron survived COVID, and he was transferred from the hospital to a skilled nursing facility, but then his health collapsed again.

Ron had to once again regain his health and had to do so without his family around him.

“It was terrible not being able to be there,” said Karen Cruise, Ron’s wife.

Being apart from family was just as painful for Ron, but his only daughter’s upcoming wedding motivated him to overcome his health setback. Ron’s physical therapists were determined to help him see his mission through.

“It was awesome to be a part of it and be a part of the transition so he could do that,” Mitchell said.

After months in the hospital and grueling physical therapy, Ron’s unwavering resolve persevered and he was ready for his daughter’s big day.

“It’s great…my only daughter,” Ron said. ” It was good to be able to walk her down the aisle and then to have the dance with her.”

Ron and his daughter danced together to a song that now has a profound and deeply personal meaning for him – ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.’

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