Last week, Kaye Mellencamp of Berne took a driving test that had her motoring 17 miles around Fort Wayne – and she passed.
Getting a drivers license is always a big deal personally, but generally its not news.
What makes Mellencamps passing score significant is that she suffered a brain aneurism on Election Day in May, and doctors didnt expect her to survive. In fact, when doctors tried to pull her out of a drug-induced coma after 12 days, she didnt respond.
It looked bleak. Her husband, Tony, discussed the possibility of donating her organs when the time came.
On his Facebook page, Tony Mellencamp explained to friends exactly what the situation was and asked friends to pray for her.
Friends told friends, and they told more friends, and before long there were people all over the world, including a lot of people whom the Mellencamps didnt know, offering support and prayers.
Then, after two days with no signs of improvement, Kaye Mellencamp suddenly woke up on Sunday morning, started looking around and trying to talk, though speech was impossible because she was attached to a breathing tube.
Now, Kaye Mellencamp, who at best was expected to spend the rest of her life in a nursing home unable to care for herself, is up and around, walking without assistance, shunning those motorized carts at the grocery store and even driving.
Shes not 100 percent, her husband says. She will probably never be 100 percent. But she remembers the doctors who treated her early on, remembers their names. And scans of what her husband calls the massive, massive bleeding in her brain are being shown to students as an example of what can happen during an aneurism.
She cant work in the familys restaurant.
Physical work tires her quickly, and she cant handle multiple things at once, Tony Mellencamp says.
Youre running a restaurant and youve got a customer up front and an employee asking questions. She cant multitask yet, he said.
But she can walk and drive and talk and, an amazing thing to all involved, shes using the computer again to handle the family businesss books and do the payroll, something Tony Mellencamp said he doesnt know how to do.
Throughout the entire ordeal, all Tony Mellencamp has been talking about is how marvelously his wifes condition has improved. Hes never fretted, at least openly, about the huge cost that has been involved.
Fortunately for Mellencamp, he has good insurance that is paying most of the bills. Hell be paying for the rest of his life toward his wifes medical expenses, but there has been no whimpering on his part.
People in Berne, though, know what hes been up against, so various groups have arranged for a variety of fundraisers on Saturday.
There will be a Poker Run motorcycle ride, with sign-up between 10 and 11 a.m. Saturday at the south entrance to South Adams High School. The entry fee is $20 a bike.
A dinner will be held at the high school starting at 4 p.m., followed by an auction at 6 p.m.
The American Legion on Berne Street will have a 50-50 drawing, food, music and games starting at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Kaye Mellencamp will be at the dinner at the high school at 4 p.m., but since she is still recovering she will likely not attend all the events.