KOKOMO, Ind. — If 2020 has taught 44-year-old Kokomo resident Kristen Rody anything, it’s that one phone call can literally change your life.
“Everything you thought was important the day before all of a sudden isn’t important,” Rody said.
Rody, a wife and mother of two, got a call last month from her doctor, telling her she had Stage 4 colorectal cancer that had already spread to her liver.
“I know I asked her to repeat it five times because I was not processing what she was telling me,” said Rody.
Within hours, she was in the hospital for complications. At her side was Eric, her husband of 13 years.
“He still maintained his sense of humor and tried to make me laugh and smile every day,” said Rody.
That all changed less than a month after her diagnosis with another phone call that again rocked Rody's world.
“She said, ‘This is…’ I can’t even tell you her name,‘ from Franciscan Hospital. We have your husband and he’s in the trauma bay of the ER,’” Rody said of the voice on the other end. Eric had been in a head-on collision driving home from work.
“They had no idea the extent of his injuries or anything at that point,” said Rody, who couldn’t be at Eric’s side because of her weak immunity from cancer treatments.
“COVID. They were afraid for me to take the chance to go,” said Rody.
Less than two weeks later, Eric is on the road to recovery with several broken bones, including ribs, but that road is long. She is hoping Eric can be home for Christmas. In the meantime, Rody and her sons, 17-year-old Tyler and 12-year-old Liam, visit with Eric via FaceTime every day.
“It’s not the same as being there with him. It’s horrific,” said Rody.
Not to mention her own fight, this one for her life, all while parenting two sons.
“It definitely gives me strength and it definitely propels me forward and yeah, if I had any doubts before, I’m coming out fighting like a champ,” said Kristen, while praying for a miracle.
Their family and friends have started a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the couple, neither of whom is currently working.