By Lyonel Doherty
An Oliver family’s prayers were truly answered over Christmas.
Long-time pastor and humanitarian Elroy Pankratz suffered a major stroke while visiting family in Oregon on Christmas Eve.
He was flown to hospital to undergo surgery to remove a clot in his brain.
“They made three attempts to remove the clot and got it on the last try. That was our Christmas miracle,” said Life Church pastor Rae Pankratz.
As of today (Thursday), Elroy was stable but still not communicating very well. He has lost function on his left side. However, his sense of humour managed to slip through when he uttered, “I’m in the penalty box.”
“That’s my dad for you,” said son Mark Pankratz.
Elroy is being transferred to Penticton Regional Hospital this afternoon. He now faces a long road to recovery.
Rae said prayers have come in from around the world, including Africa where Elroy is widely known for his humanitarianism through Home of Hope.
“The African people love my dad. He has always been a father to the fatherless,” Mark said.
Elroy, 82, also spent 20 years as a pastor to the First Nations people of B.C. “He has such a loving, caring heart,” Mark added.
Because Elroy did not have insurance while in the U.S., he faces a substantial medical bill, estimated at $140,000 Canadian.
So his grandchildren set up a Go Fund Me page to help raise the money.
People can donate at www.gofundme.com(type in Elroy Pankratz in the search bar). You can also access the site through Mark Pankratz’s Facebook page.