Guest Column: Inspiration from a former patient

By Julie Drake

Special to the Herald Times

Julie Drake

RBC | asked a former patient of mine to write for me this week. He exemplifies motivation, positive attitude, work ethic and drive. These are traits I admired when he was my patient and I felt all who battle serious health conditions should hear his story. The drive to overcome is key to good health and my friend Dick Prosence should be an inspiration to all.


I’m a 93-year-old World War II vet who suffered a stroke about 15 months ago which paralyzed my left side, leaving me only my right hand to work with. I can’t walk, but you know what? Life’s good.

I can hardly wait for spring colors—the greens of the grass and trees including our beautiful aspen forest out our back door and the beautiful sky with the cotton ball clouds.

I love sitting on our patio listening to big band or country music remotely coming from our bedroom TV. At night I lay and plan trips in our 35-year-old Jeep with the huge Chevy engine that I know will get us back home.

When I get bored I look at photo albums which remind me of memories of happy days. These photos were all taken in the days of film cameras. Remember? One picture on our living room wall is of wildflowers on Blair Mountain east of Meadow Lake. I laid on the ground to properly frame the picture. I can still feel impressions of the gravel I was lying on 20 years later.

I haven’t given up on having a full recovery from my stroke.  If you ever find yourself in a situation similar to mine I would urge you never to give up. Growing old in Meeker is a privilege afforded to only a few. Enjoy every day fully.

Dick Proscence


Julie Drake is the Director of Public Health for Rio Blanco County.