WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA: When Cherie (Thompson) Newman, age 51, defines hope, she keeps it simple. “Hope is that gleam of light, that glimmer that never goes out and never giving up. Keep praying and knowing that God does not leave his children.”
And it is something Cherie has experienced in her life many times she told The Murphy Gazette.
A medical biller, Cherie has two children, a daughter, Morgan Echols, age 27, and a son, Jacob Echols, age 25. Jacob is married and lives in California.
Cherie is engaged to Chris McPherson who has a daughter, Taylor, age 28, who lives in Louisiana, and a son, Tristan, age 16, who lives with the couple in Warner Robins. Cherie grew up in Bleckley County, and graduated from Bleckley County High School in Cochran.
Of her career, Cherie said, “I believe my career chose me. I had worked accounting jobs … accounts payable, receivables and bookkeeping for years, then started working at the hospital in registration, and then realized I wanted to be a nurse.”
She explained, “I changed my degree from business administration to studying to be a registered nurse. I worked weekends at the hospital as a unit clerk while I was in school. When I started for my first semester of nursing school after a very competitive entrance and acceptance. “
“I did clinicals at the veteran’s hospital in Dublin. The last clinical I did was on a Thursday,” Cherie said, and added, “and then my (then) husband, Scott, had his accident on Sunday.”
She “had done wound clinicals … never knowing I was about to be changing wound dressings and wound vacs for Scott for the next few years,” she explained. “But God knew. I wasn’t able to stay in nursing school because Scott’s accident happened in Alabama, and he was way too sick to be moved. He was at UAB Hospital in Birmingham on November 7, 2010 until June 2011.”
Cherie said, “He came home by ambulance and couldn’t walk. It took several years for him to regain his faculties. I had to medically withdraw from nursing school and started online classes for a bachelors in healthcare administration.”
This is where her faith and belief … hope … took evidence. “I finally graduated in May 2018. I had to WARNER ROBINS, GEORGIA:quit at times to work full time but I finally finished one month before I turned 50,” she added.
“I have so many stories working with the youth girls of my church. I have friends that I’ve helped along, with my ex-husband (the father of my children),” Cherie stated. “He was the one I nurtured back to health giving up my own dreams to become a nurse to take care of him. But, as I wrote in my journal day after day, I soon realized this was God’s plan.”
She continued, “He made sure I was trained far enough along to be able to take care of Scott when he was released. He was on the vent for two months and in the ICU for months on end. Scott was broken from collar bones down to his feet. They didn’t know if he would walk again.”
“I quit my school, and took care of him, even though we were about to divorce. I had a dream of Scott wrecking two years before it happened, and I wrote about it in my journal. Then it happened for real,” Cherie said.
“Scott died 14 times. With his heart stopping. I kept journals of his time there also. I survived this through prayers and blessings of strength from my Heavenly Father. He sent many family members to help and church members even members of other faiths. It was a very spiritual experience,” she explained.
According to Cherie, Scott is disabled now and has a drop foot, but is thriving and living in Washington state on the Columbia River.
“We never gave up … I kept going no matter how hard the path was or the obstacles before me … I had to figure out a way to succeed,” she stated.
During the day, Cherie does medical billing for a group of physicians that serve long-term care facilities all over the state of Georgia. In her spare time, she enjoys playing the piano, creating vinyl projects like t-shirts and other projects with my Cameo 3 and all sorts of crafts.
In offering advice to others about surviving day to day life, Cherie thought for a moment, “Sometimes, you have to smile, and just keep going.”
And that is good news.