April 9th, 2019 at 6:30 PM Helping One Guy Dinner Honors Brian Kelly




My name is Brian Kelly, I'm a 42-year-old husband of 14 years to my beautiful wife Laurie. Together we have two wonderful children, CJ (7) and Berkleigh (5). In the middle of the afternoon on July 4th my family's world was rocked. I thought my wife Laurie was having a seizure. I called 911 and started giving her CPR until the medics arrived. Shortly after that, when I arrived at the hospital I came to find out she had an aneurysm that had ruptured. Let me pause here and tell you one of the first of many difficult conversations I had with the ER doctor. He told me she had already beaten the odds at the moment as once an aneurysm ruptures the person affected has a 50/50 chance to make it to the hospital alive.

So, clinging to that news Laurie's journey began, and it included 9 weeks in the ICU at Kennestone Hospital (8 of them in a medically induced coma), 5 weeks at Windy Hill Hospital, and 6 weeks at the Shepherd Center before she was well enough to be sent home for at home health care. At home we have a skilled nurse, a speech, an occupational, and a physical therapist in multiple times a week to help get her back on her feet. Our next phase of this journey is to get Laurie strong enough for an out-patient therapy day program that is longer and more intense therapy (which she will get to) it is just a matter of when.

There are no words to describe the out of the blue gut punch life can throw you. However, the best words I have found were in a book that my uncle gave me back in July called "Leading from the Front", here is the excerpt below:

"After the chaos ensues, there is a subdued response when one is alone, quiet, stunned, in shock, with nothing left with which to respond. There are no longer any offensive weapons to be used. There is not even a defense. One is completely defenseless. And then it hits you, we are no longer who we once were. Our substance has been altered. That which made us who we are is missing. Lying defenseless on the ground, helpless, hopeless, depleted, and spent."

It was only at that moment where I realized there was still one important play left in my playbook, it came in the form of a 3 step drop to G-O-D. I completely shifted my focus from worry to praying for strength, patience, healing and help. I completely surrendered this to God, and my trust is in Him to continue to guide me and assist in Laurie's healing and journey.

I have learned a lot about myself, family, friends, and others throughout this process. I think the biggest thing that I have learned is that you never really know how many people you have touched or had a positive impact on in your life until you go through something like this. You can't really imagine the outpouring of love, prayer, and support. I could spend years sending out thank you notes for every kind gesture that was done to assist in our time of need.

While I have no idea what the future will hold as that is a worry for another day, I have no doubts it will come with a price tag. I am honored to be selected as a recipient for the Helping One Guy Dinner Honor for the month of April. I look forward to having a night of fellowship and sharing our story of what it is within us is stronger than what is in our way.