On Oct. 14, Gig Harbor resident’s Christine Lange’s 71st birthday, she was on the hunt for some toys at Goodwill in Gig Harbor for her grandchildren when she began to have some trouble.
The first sign was she had difficulty making change for her purchases and getting to her car.
“I walked across the parking lot and it was on a slant and I had balance problems. My left shoe kept slipping off and I was dropping my purse on the left side,” Lange said.
Additionally, Lange was having trouble finding her car in the parking lot and stumbling when a woman appeared to be following her.
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“I said to her, ‘Something is not right,’” said Lange.
The woman, who Lange only knows as Mary, seemed to notice the telltale signs of a stroke. She stepped right up and took charge.
“She said I couldn’t drive and she called 911,” said Lange.
An ambulance arrived quickly and soon Lange was at St. Anthony’s Hospital, where staff members said she indeed had suffered a stroke and was lucky to have made it to the hospital in record time.
Lange’s daughter, Rachael Garcia, said her mother suffered a hemorrhagic stroke.
“Every second counts with a stroke. I know that (Mary) was an angel,” Garcia said.
Lange would agree that Mary likely saved her.
“It was significant for me that her name was Mary for spiritual reasons. I’m not surprised. The Blessed Mother has been my protector for a long time and she was there with me,” she said.
Garcia said her mom remembers walking across the parking lot and dropping her purse over and over when Mary came up to her and said, “Are you all right? Can I help?”
After a few minutes, Mary looked Lange right in the eye and said, “My name is Mary. I think you need help,” and took the car keys out of her hand.
Lange is now in rehab and gaining the function of her legs.
“She has a great attitude and a great amount of faith and that carries her,” Garcia said of her mother. “Mom was in the right place at the right time. We are so grateful for the Lord’s protection of her and that He placed someone perfectly there at the right time and moment for her.” .
John Bahm is in a men’s prayer group with Herb, Lange’s husband. The group meets weekly at the Lange’s home.
“It’s a wonderful group. I usually drive the Jesus taxi and get everyone there,” Bahm said.
Lange always provides the men with freshly baked cookies and decaf coffee, although she has had to take a little time off from that recently.
Bahm is confident it won’t be long before Lange will be back providing snacks for the men’s group.
He is very grateful that Mary was in the Goodwill parking lot that day at just the right time to help save Lange.
“Christine is a warm person who trusts the Lord with all her heart. It sure paid off for her that day,” he said.