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WMU’s O’Brien’s recovery from mild stroke going well

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (BP)–Dellanna W. O’Brien, executive director of Woman’s Missionary Union, continues to improve following a mild stroke Sept. 26. She remains hospitalized and is undergoing extensive therapy daily in a Birmingham, Ala., hospital.
O’Brien, 65, suffered the stroke at her home in Birmingham early morning on Sept. 26. She immediately was taken to the hospital. While doctors suspected a stroke, tests did not confirm the diagnosis until Sept. 29. Her health was excellent; she had no symptoms of a problem prior to the stroke.
O’Brien took the helm of the national Southern Baptist missions education organization in 1989. Earlier, she was an educator and served as a Southern Baptist missionary with her husband, Bill, and family in Indonesia. Following their missionary service, the family lived in Richmond, Va., where Bill served as an administrator with the former SBC Foreign Mission Board (now International Mission Board). He now teaches missions and directs the global center at Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham.
National WMU President Wanda Lee, who has worked as a registered nurse for 25 years, said she is very pleased with the progress O’Brien has made since the stroke. Lee saw her Sept. 30.
“Dellanna is far ahead of most patients I’ve worked with this close to the stroke,” Lee said Oct. 2. “She has good mobility and strength on her right side,” the area left weakened by the stroke.
“I expect a full recovery,” Lee said. “Part of my confidence comes from Dellanna’s own spirit. She has her usual keen sense of humor, and the determination and energy required to work through the process. While it will be hard work, I believe she will do it.”
Lee said O’Brien has decided not to travel outside of Birmingham for the remainder of the year. O’Brien’s engagements will be fulfilled by Lee and other national WMU staff as their schedules permit.
Lee also expressed appreciation for the outpouring of expressions of concern and pledges of prayer support. “Each expression has meant so much to Dellanna and her family. We know it has made a difference in her recovery.”
Because of the tremendous outpouring of support, the O’Briens have asked that in lieu of flowers and other gifts that contributions be made to the Dellanna West O’Brien Christian Women’s Leadership Development Fund, a fund establish earlier this year to honor O’Brien on her 10th anniversary with WMU. The fund is handled by the WMU Foundation, PO Box 11346 Birmingham, AL 35202-1346.
Cards and notes may be sent to her at the WMU mailing address: PO Box 830010, Birmingham AL 35283-0010.
*Name changed for security concerns.

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