Coma survivor gets second chance at life

by: Nina Laing, News Reporter

A local businessman who said he had two life-threatening experiences is thankful for a second chance to live a better life.

Charles Bodie, owner of Party Flashers & Glow, said he now plans to invest even more time in loving his family, caring for others and serving God.

Bodie said the pair of health scares that occurred over the span of two years served as major wake up calls.

The first scare came in August after he suddenly lost his sight.

According to Bodie, he had been living with two benign tumors in his brain for about 20 years.

The tumors, which he described as "baseball-sized,"  eventually rendered him legally blind.

Bodie said he underwent a 20-hour brain surgery at Memorial Regional Hospital in Florida and, following that operation, regained his vision.

He said he commonly experienced seizures and in 2011, he was placed on medication to assist with reducing the recurrence of seizures.

However, Bodie claimed his physician did not indicate that the prescription must be refilled.

He recalled that on Sunday, January 19, 2014 after not taking the drug for a little over two years he began to experience dizziness shortly before going to bed.

Bodie said that was the last thing he remembers about that night.

" When my wife woke up at 5 o' clock the next morning, she met me on the floor, unresponsive,"  he said.

Bodie later learned that he had been admitted to hospital and doctors had placed him in an induced coma in order to stabilize him.

Following that procedure, Bodie spent nearly two weeks at the Rand Memorial Hospital, during which time, he said, doctors informed his wife that there was "nothing"  more they could do for him.

" People were actually making plans for my burial, because as far as they knew it, there was no way I could survive this one after surviving the last (ordeal),"  he said.

His wife refused to accept that, and decided to have him airlifted to Florida to see the surgeon that performed his brain surgery, Bodie said.

Though that process presented its challenges, Bodie said he was eventually taken back to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he was restored to health.

Bodie said he was discharged from the hospital and returned to Grand Bahama in early February.

Since that time, he has been working on strengthening his legs and trying to adhere to a healthier and more positive lifestyle.

Bodie acknowledged that his situation might have ended much differently had he not been medically insured.

Thus, he said he is encouraging family and friends to ensure that they have medical insurance because accidents can happen at anytime.

" When we're up and running we feel like weâ re invincible. God had to knock on my door twice to show me that I'm not invincible,"  he said.

" From 2011 to January of this year, I really was superman. I was all over the place. I was here there and everywhere, but that big knock on the door showed me I have to change the way I live." 

Now, he said, he has committed himself to outreach projects and has given motivational addresses at church and youth groups.

His new outlook on life has gotten the attention of those closest to him.

" I've seen a lot of changes in him. In the way he has drawn closer to the Lord and is fulfilling his purpose. He is thankful for what the Lord has done for him and thankful to be back with his kids,"  Bodie's wife, Michelle, said.

She said she and her youngest children, ages six and two, are especially happy to have him back at home.

Bodie noted that his ordeal has influenced Michelle and one of her coworkers to start a charity called Help Us Help Them.

He said they will host a fund-raiser this month to aid families medical expenses.

Bodie added that they also plan to coordinate a blood drive.

Published Monday, April 5, 2014

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