This is a story about a woman who was born the same year the Panama Canal opened. She lived through the roaring 20's, suffered in the Great Depression and thrived in hippy 60's. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a God fearing woman from Mitchell who at the age of 98 just became an accomplished author and has a few things to say about longevity.
Lorraine Wise originally from Grand Island, NE who now lives in Mitchell has lived a great life and has a lot of great stories to tell. Her niece Judy Wise has heard a million of them and could hear a million more. Lorraine is 98 years old, but sure doesn't look it. She has macular degeneration and has trouble seeing so she can't even appreciate her own youthful reflection.
Lorraine says," Isn't it something? I never thought I'd make it to 98, but here I am."
Something else hard to believe about Lorraine, her first ever stay in a hospital came just 3 years ago when she was 95.
Lorraine says, "I got a surprise. One evening I just felt so low. I thought what's the matter with me? When I went to bed I have a big digital clock there. I never take my pulse, but I thought I'll take my pulse. It was 42. I called Judy and she said that's awful low."
She ended up getting an ambulance ride to the Avera Heart Hospital where Dr. Riyad Mohama implanted a pacemaker.
Judy says, "She went in for the surgery and it was just a breeze. They are so good there and so conscientious and gave us such wonderful care."
Lorraine is the oldest of 6 siblings. She was the first born, and the last living. Her parents also lived into their 90's so the longevity gene is on her side.
Lorraine says, "According to the Bible it says if you honor your mother and father you'll have a long life. I think I did that. Another thing I tried to do is live right. I never drank, never smoked and lived a clean life."
Lorraine also credits God for all her many blessings. After some nudging, she wrote a book last year called God is Real: Excerpts from My Spiritual Journey Through 78 Years. (She became a Christian at the age of 19)
Judy says, "This book is meant to be a witness to prove to them just how real he is."
It's hard not to believe. Lorraine didn't live to be this age, look this good and stay this healthy without a little help from above. Ms. Wise is living up to her name.
Lorraine's book "God is Real" is available at Crossroads in Sioux Falls and at the Reader's Den in Mitchell.
For more information on all the heart screenings offered at the Avera Heart Hospital: http://www.avera.org/heart-hospital/index.aspx