Diagnosed with polio at the age of 3, Wallins resident Sandy Hendrickson, now 66, went on to become a registered nurse. She said her parents, Bud and Jimmie Simpson, were inspirations to her to overcome difficulties she suffered.
“There were six of us children and my mother was a good christian woman,” said Hendrickson. “One day when I was just a child, my mother began to fast and pray that my father would be saved. Then, one day a preacher, Otis Hurley, came and told my mother I would not walk another step until my father gave his life to the Lord. During that time Oral Roberts was a well known preacher and was preaching in North Carolina. My mother asked my father to take us down there for them to pray for me. I was paralyzed all over and couldn’t walk at all. My father took us and during that time he was saved. After that night, I began to hold onto things and began walking.”
Hendrickson said from a child her mother never “slacked” on her, making her work just like all the other children.
“I cleaned house and worked in the garden just like everybody did,” said Hendrickson. “My mother pushed me even though I was crippled. But, I can say, that I never looked at myself as being crippled, because I could do anything all the rest were doing. I learned to ride a bicycle. My family would just give me a shove and tell me to peddle. If I fell off they’d put me back on it again.”
After graduating from high school, Hendrickson went on to a licensed practical nurse (LPN) school. After graduating from LPN school, she worked at the Harlan ARH Hospital and the Daniel Boone Clinic for a total of 10 years. She then went back and obtained her registered nurse’s license and worked an additional 10 years before having to retire in 1988.
“Through my working experience I was able to spread the news of Jesus to those around me,” said Hendrickson. “I’ve been serving the Lord for the past 50 years and I give honor to God for helping me every step of the way. What I have accomplished in life it’s been because of what God has given me. I only had one ovary and one tube and I was blessed with a son, Perry Ed. At times I go and sing at funerals, and I feel honored to be able to do this for families during this time. I think God put us all on this earth to help someone along the way, even if it’s just a kind word. If the Lord doesn’t help people, they don’t have any help at all. No matter what kind of shape you are in or how bad you are, I want people to know the Lord has something you need.”
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at firstname.lastname@example.org