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WDAY: The News Leader

Published April 27, 2014, 10:09 PM

A special follow up to the story of the Fargo school teacher, Jodell Johnson

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A special follow up to a story we have been reporting on for some time, about a Fargo school teacher and a family that has surrounded her with unconditional love.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - A special follow up to a story we have been reporting on for some time, about a Fargo school teacher and a family that has surrounded her with unconditional love.

Jodell Johnson suffered a stroke four years ago that left her unable to speak or move.

After months and years of stays in hospitals and nursing homes, Jodell's husband finally made it happen.

The family brought her home.

In a sun-drenched room in South Moorhead, two giggly girls snuggle up to Mom; 8-year old Ellika, and 6-year old Annika, happy to finally have their mother out of the nursing home, and at home with them.

“It has just been a real blessing to accomplish that, it is nice to have the family together again.”

Ever since Jodell's stroke turned this family's world upside down,

There are nurses here around the clock.

Husband Ruel has vowed and promised he would get her home. It has taken a few years, but now with round the clock nursing care, the family is together again.

Ruel Johnson/Jodell’s Husband: “There are times this would happen, 1240 days since it happened and we got her home so it was a long process to do that.”

The cruel outcome of Jodell's stroke. Completely paralyzed, unable to communicate or move, and family believes Jodell's has "locked in syndrome." Aware of what is happening around her.

Johnson: “Absolutely, there is no doubt that she is aware of everything. The only thing is she cannot express or communicate what is going on.”

There is no shortage of family love in the room, when Ruel and the girls are away, the room is awash in sunlight and photos. Surounded by some of yesterday, and a lot of today. Artwork from her girls. New school pictures.

The lift helps out for getting out of the bed, the track runs the length of the room. Into the bathroom.

Ruel had to remodel the house. A lift system.

They call it a sand bed. Ground up silicone powder.

And a special high tech hospital bed that keeps Jodell free from bed sores.

Keeps pressure off the skin.

Have not heard from Joel.

We couldn't help but notice Ruel quietly talking to his wife, Jodell. It was a normal husband and wife conversation. A love story like no other.

If it got later, they probably went home.

It is just what you do, I don't have a good answer, if the situation was reversed, she would do it for me.

In sickness and in health...no one has ever taken those words more seriously..... Words to live by surround the family, including some, hard to grasp in such a circumstance like this. But Ruel is all about hope and miracles. He has a wife and two precious girls to prove it.

The family is hoping to get a special van that will allow them to take Jodell out of the house more.

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