In 2007, Steve Ware tore the meniscus in his knee, and late last year tore it again. The meniscus is a cartilage disk that cushions bones in a joint.
He said, “So I had a procedure done in December to fix it, thought everything was fine, and took off a week of vacation to rehab. But after a week, I still had swelling in my knee, and had (added) pain in my lower and upper leg. It was puzzling.”
A physician said the knee needed draining. The moment the needle went into his knee and the syringe began filling, 58-year-old Ware winced. Gasping loudly, he felt pain in his chest. Later that day and just past dinner, he became short of breath.
He was worried because his livelihood depended on being able to talk, and he was scheduled to do that early morning. Ware was an early morning radio announcer at KJLY-FM, which serves a large swath of Iowa and Minnesota.
Having difficulty breathing, he checked into a hospital emergency room. “They did a bunch of tests,” said Ware. “After about five hours in the ER, I was feeling better. Then the ER doctor, on a whim, decided to run another test. I was planning on going on the air in several hours. It was close to 2 a.m. already when the doctor said I had a saddle pulmonary embolism in both lungs.”
In other words, he had blood clots blocking arteries. It was life threatening, and he had blood clots in his upper and lower legs. Within 30 minutes, he was airlifted to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He nearly died.
He said, “Now I'm on blood thinners up to six months and eventually the blood clots will dissolve. They put a screen inside me to catch any clotting. The clots went through my leg and heart and both sides of my lung.”
At present, he has to pace himself when doing anything strenuous, has difficulty lifting anything, and can't walk or talk much without losing breath. To help get his car out of the garage every morning so he can work, his wife lifts the garage door. Doctors haven't said whether his physical condition will improve. Yet despite his discomfort, and after having nearly died, Ware has been content with his situation and believes God has given him more time on Earth for a reason.