Over 800 Christmas cards encourage man to recover

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Reporter - Elizabeth Fields
Photojournalist - Mason Watkins

PRINCETON, Ky.  - Many have already received Christmas cards considering the holiday is only two days away. They're a nice reminder from family and friends. For one local man, however, his cards serve as a reminder of his goal to heal and go home from a rehab center.

A couple of weeks ago, Allen Stone hung up a few Christmas cards on the walls in his room. They wished him happy holidays, sent him love, and reminded him that he wasn't alone.

But the cards kept coming. Nearly 800 Christmas cards cover Stone's walls, dressers, and bed. There some he hasn't had the chance to read yet, but he cherishes every single one.

Stone contracted a debilitating viral infection in May 2012, Guillain Barre Syndrome.
He said he felt sick one day and within a couple of days he went to the emergency room and slipped into a coma. He was unconscious for 6 weeks and has slowly recovering ever since.

Christmas in 2012, meant being three hours away from family and hooked to a ventilator. He's not home yet, but he's closer than he's ever been.

"This is the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," Stone said. He also admitted he could not do it alone, and every card proves that he's not.

"These cards make me realize that people are praying for me. They're rooting for me. And because of this, it gives me encouragement every day to keep working."

Time until Christmas may be running out, but Stone hopes the cards won't stop on the 25th. He said he would love to see the total break 1,000.

He will never have a Christmas as hopeless as last year, and he doesn't want to get cards in his room next year. Stone promised that he will not be in a rehab center, but will instead be able to hang his Christmas cards on his walls at home.

Stone has received cards from 37 states so far, including Hawaii. If you'd like to send a card to Allen, you can find and track his progress on Youtube.

He's recovering at the Princeton Health and Rehabilitation Center.

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