Through a horrifying ordeal, Jessie Strickland found a surprise and life-altering Carter County connection

9:35 am | September 10, 2012

Jessie Shields Strickland has been to the brink of death, but in her fight to live, she has found the “abundant life” that the Great Physician of the scriptures spoke about.

Photo contributed
Former Elizabethton educator Jessie Strickland is pictured with PA Arvin Ward, also a former Carter Countian. Strickland says Ward may have saved her life when an x-ray taken at his urgent care clinic revealed a massive growth in her leg.

And while she’s traveled her path of faith — and a road to recovery — she found an unexpected Carter County connection that may well have saved her life.

Strickland, a longtime educator and former director of Elizabethton City Schools, was diagnosed in January with spindle cell lipo sarcoma cancer, a deadly cancer which claims about 95 percent of its victims. However, today, she’s one of those lucky 5 percent — a walking miracle, some might say.

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