How God Is Using Rep. Scott Plakon to Combat Alzheimer's

How God Is Using Rep. Scott Plakon to Combat Alzheimer's

Alzheimer's is a terrible disease. Host Stephen Strang saw its vicious work affect his friends, Florida Rep. Scott Plakon and his late wife, Susie. Last year, Susie went to heaven after wrestling with early-onset Alzheimer's for a number of years. But what the devil means for evil God can use for good. As a result of the Plakons' heartache with Alzheimer's, something incredible is stirring in Tallahassee, Florida. Listen to find out what Florida is doing to help fight Alzheimer's.

20 Minutes • 3 months ago

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

With Stephen Strang

Guest: Scott Plakon

After Scott’s wife, Susie, passed away last year, the Lord used his heartbreak for good and opened some miraculous doors.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Alzheimer's is a terrible, terrible disease. And as you'll hear in this edition of the Strang Report, I've been able to see it up close and personal. I'm here today to report on some good things that are happening as a result of this very, very terrible situation. Hello everyone, I’m Stephen Strang and today my guest is Florida State Representative Scott Plakon. I realize my listeners are all over the country, but I'm very proud of my friend Scott, who was elected in 2008. I welcome you, Scott. You and I have been friends for many years. We even went to Communist USSR at one time right around the time that communism was ending over there. We've been through a lot of things. And recently, your beautiful wife, Susie, whom I've known as long as I've known you, went to heaven. She had early onset Alzheimer's. In a limited way we walked through that with you, but I was able to see for the first time in my life what a terrible debilitating disease this is. Tell my listeners what happened with Susie when she was diagnosed and exactly what happened. And also, it will lead up to us talking about what's happening in Tallahassee as a result.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: How God is Using My Friend Rep. Scott Plakon to Combat Alzheimer’s

 

Scott Plakon: We're in the middle of the legislative session right now. I shared this story with a Senate committee earlier this week. Susie was diagnosed in 2014 and we saw signs of memory loss, the normal thing. But nobody would think at age 53 that it could be Alzheimer's. So, finally we took a testing and then, in 2014 around May, she was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia, which is another form of dementia which is more aggressive than Alzheimer's. There are different types of dementia. There's Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's, Frontotemporal dementia and some other variants. But they all affect your brain and your body in various ways. Later that year, we took her to Mayo Clinic; it was a misdiagnosis and ended up being regular Alzheimer's. So, then we were involved in a car accident in 2016, which accelerated it quite a bit. There's a seven-point scale with the Mayo Clinic and she was a 2, which is a fairly normal life. And then on July 1, 2016, she went literally overnight to stage five. One thing I didn't know, I thought Alzheimer's disease was that disease where you forget stuff and eventually pass away from it. But I didn't know anything about my wife would be having chronic short seizures or grand mal seizures where, with head injuries, hospital stays with staples in the back of her head and brain tear from the fall. I didn't know anything about agitation, almost psychotic-like breaks where sometimes they even get violent. Of course, she needed 24-7 care the last couple years, but last year and a half, all of her bodily needs, I took care of it along with some other help from family members and a caregiver. So, I didn't know that Sundown Syndrome. I had no idea. So, she passed away last July. We thought at the beginning last year she would live maybe three to five years. Then after maybe March the doctor, who had become a friend, said a year two maybe three. Then on July 13, she had lost nine pounds in three weeks. I brought her in told the doctor that, and he said we need to get her in hospice right away. Ten days later, she was gone. So, even while she was here and then after I had asked her early on when she was pretty much fully cognizant to share our story … being a public official, you have a platform, so she was on board for that although not really understanding what the future was. So, in the legislature, it's been an amazing amount of things that have happened for good to advance the cause of Alzheimer's awareness.

 

Scott Plakon on Charisma News

·         Two Florida State Lawmakers Sponsors Version of Pastor Protection Act

·         Liberal Left Attacks Scott Plakon for Traditional Values

·         How God Used This High-Profile Death to Fulfill Romans 8:28

 

Stephen Strang: Let's talk about that. I saw a lot of this up close and personal, remembered talking about it when you were just wondering why it was, when she was just forgetting things … taking her to Mayo, that whole thing. I remember the car accident and I saw how quickly she went downhill. I didn't really know what to expect, either.

 

Scott Plakon: But you were there. I'll never forget when she passed away, every single night you came over to my house to check on me. Well, for a week or 10 days, I think it was

 

Stephen Strang: Yeah, a lot of people came to her service, it was a beautiful service, maybe even six or 700 people there. It was a huge funeral. Elected officials flew in, the governor, the Senators all sent their regards, maybe a flag and things were named in her honor. And the big hospital in town did some things in her honor. In fact, you could articulate better than I am. She was she was one of the most beautiful, sweet, loving people I ever knew. Everybody liked Susie. She had all those kids, six kids, and we got to know your family. I knew you slightly before you're married, and then we reconnected when you just you had two. Jamison, the second one was very, very young. And so, I watched your kids grow up, of course and Susie was a great mom. You are just a family we know and love. You had no premonition at all that something like this would happen. That's how life is. None of us have any promises. We don't know what the future holds. But everybody who knows you, Scott, says great things about how devoted you were to her. I know up close and personal as your friend how true that is. And now that she's gone, you’re trying to help other people through the tragedy of her own life, because there is no cure for Alzheimer's. In fact, I'm not even sure if they know what causes it. Is it genetic, or what triggers it?

 

Scott Plakon: They really don't know. There's huge amount of research going on. But we're pretty far from a cure. I believe one day they'll find it. But there's a lot of different drug companies working on it, a lot of clinical testing. But a lot of the things that we're doing in Florida and around the country with research are some of the things around it, like the fund that was set up a few years ago by the Florida Legislature, a about $5 million a year program that funds about 200 research projects. For example, with Sundown Syndrome, there's a group over in Tampa that is studying that. Alzheimer's patients tend to, around sundown, they get agitated and they're trying to figure out exactly why. Some people think it’s because they literally wake up and their brain gets tired later in the day. I've heard that. But what we're doing here in Florida is studying that, and I'm sure there's other studies around the country. So, although there's not a cure really in sight, there's a lot of research going into how to deal with the disease. We’re talking about a lot of the good things that happen. One of the one of the focuses is in making sense of Susie's legacy is Romans 8:28 as we know for those who love God, to paraphrase, God can turn bad into good. That's what we're seeing at the Florida capital and even around the country. I had the opportunity last year to be the keynote speaker at the National Convention. So, me and my kids, it's helped find meaning in the whole thing. When a loved one passes away, if you see things like this happening, it's easier to understand if she could see all the good that is happening.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Scott Plakon, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

Episode Notes

The Strang Report

With Stephen Strang

Guest: Scott Plakon

After Scott’s wife, Susie, passed away last year, the Lord used his heartbreak for good and opened some miraculous doors.

Introduction

Stephen Strang: Alzheimer's is a terrible, terrible disease. And as you'll hear in this edition of the Strang Report, I've been able to see it up close and personal. I'm here today to report on some good things that are happening as a result of this very, very terrible situation. Hello everyone, I’m Stephen Strang and today my guest is Florida State Representative Scott Plakon. I realize my listeners are all over the country, but I'm very proud of my friend Scott, who was elected in 2008. I welcome you, Scott. You and I have been friends for many years. We even went to Communist USSR at one time right around the time that communism was ending over there. We've been through a lot of things. And recently, your beautiful wife, Susie, whom I've known as long as I've known you, went to heaven. She had early onset Alzheimer's. In a limited way we walked through that with you, but I was able to see for the first time in my life what a terrible debilitating disease this is. Tell my listeners what happened with Susie when she was diagnosed and exactly what happened. And also, it will lead up to us talking about what's happening in Tallahassee as a result.

 

·         Read the Strang Report: How God is Using My Friend Rep. Scott Plakon to Combat Alzheimer’s

 

Scott Plakon: We're in the middle of the legislative session right now. I shared this story with a Senate committee earlier this week. Susie was diagnosed in 2014 and we saw signs of memory loss, the normal thing. But nobody would think at age 53 that it could be Alzheimer's. So, finally we took a testing and then, in 2014 around May, she was diagnosed with Frontotemporal dementia, which is another form of dementia which is more aggressive than Alzheimer's. There are different types of dementia. There's Lewy Body dementia, Alzheimer's, Frontotemporal dementia and some other variants. But they all affect your brain and your body in various ways. Later that year, we took her to Mayo Clinic; it was a misdiagnosis and ended up being regular Alzheimer's. So, then we were involved in a car accident in 2016, which accelerated it quite a bit. There's a seven-point scale with the Mayo Clinic and she was a 2, which is a fairly normal life. And then on July 1, 2016, she went literally overnight to stage five. One thing I didn't know, I thought Alzheimer's disease was that disease where you forget stuff and eventually pass away from it. But I didn't know anything about my wife would be having chronic short seizures or grand mal seizures where, with head injuries, hospital stays with staples in the back of her head and brain tear from the fall. I didn't know anything about agitation, almost psychotic-like breaks where sometimes they even get violent. Of course, she needed 24-7 care the last couple years, but last year and a half, all of her bodily needs, I took care of it along with some other help from family members and a caregiver. So, I didn't know that Sundown Syndrome. I had no idea. So, she passed away last July. We thought at the beginning last year she would live maybe three to five years. Then after maybe March the doctor, who had become a friend, said a year two maybe three. Then on July 13, she had lost nine pounds in three weeks. I brought her in told the doctor that, and he said we need to get her in hospice right away. Ten days later, she was gone. So, even while she was here and then after I had asked her early on when she was pretty much fully cognizant to share our story … being a public official, you have a platform, so she was on board for that although not really understanding what the future was. So, in the legislature, it's been an amazing amount of things that have happened for good to advance the cause of Alzheimer's awareness.

 

Scott Plakon on Charisma News

·         Two Florida State Lawmakers Sponsors Version of Pastor Protection Act

·         Liberal Left Attacks Scott Plakon for Traditional Values

·         How God Used This High-Profile Death to Fulfill Romans 8:28

 

Stephen Strang: Let's talk about that. I saw a lot of this up close and personal, remembered talking about it when you were just wondering why it was, when she was just forgetting things … taking her to Mayo, that whole thing. I remember the car accident and I saw how quickly she went downhill. I didn't really know what to expect, either.

 

Scott Plakon: But you were there. I'll never forget when she passed away, every single night you came over to my house to check on me. Well, for a week or 10 days, I think it was

 

Stephen Strang: Yeah, a lot of people came to her service, it was a beautiful service, maybe even six or 700 people there. It was a huge funeral. Elected officials flew in, the governor, the Senators all sent their regards, maybe a flag and things were named in her honor. And the big hospital in town did some things in her honor. In fact, you could articulate better than I am. She was she was one of the most beautiful, sweet, loving people I ever knew. Everybody liked Susie. She had all those kids, six kids, and we got to know your family. I knew you slightly before you're married, and then we reconnected when you just you had two. Jamison, the second one was very, very young. And so, I watched your kids grow up, of course and Susie was a great mom. You are just a family we know and love. You had no premonition at all that something like this would happen. That's how life is. None of us have any promises. We don't know what the future holds. But everybody who knows you, Scott, says great things about how devoted you were to her. I know up close and personal as your friend how true that is. And now that she's gone, you’re trying to help other people through the tragedy of her own life, because there is no cure for Alzheimer's. In fact, I'm not even sure if they know what causes it. Is it genetic, or what triggers it?

 

Scott Plakon: They really don't know. There's huge amount of research going on. But we're pretty far from a cure. I believe one day they'll find it. But there's a lot of different drug companies working on it, a lot of clinical testing. But a lot of the things that we're doing in Florida and around the country with research are some of the things around it, like the fund that was set up a few years ago by the Florida Legislature, a about $5 million a year program that funds about 200 research projects. For example, with Sundown Syndrome, there's a group over in Tampa that is studying that. Alzheimer's patients tend to, around sundown, they get agitated and they're trying to figure out exactly why. Some people think it’s because they literally wake up and their brain gets tired later in the day. I've heard that. But what we're doing here in Florida is studying that, and I'm sure there's other studies around the country. So, although there's not a cure really in sight, there's a lot of research going into how to deal with the disease. We’re talking about a lot of the good things that happen. One of the one of the focuses is in making sense of Susie's legacy is Romans 8:28 as we know for those who love God, to paraphrase, God can turn bad into good. That's what we're seeing at the Florida capital and even around the country. I had the opportunity last year to be the keynote speaker at the National Convention. So, me and my kids, it's helped find meaning in the whole thing. When a loved one passes away, if you see things like this happening, it's easier to understand if she could see all the good that is happening.

 

For the rest of Stephen’s interview with Scott Plakon, please visit cpnshows.com.

 

Where to Find Stephen Strang on the Internet

·         The Strang Report on Charismamag.com

·         The Strang Report on cpnshows.com

·         On Twitter

·         On Facebook

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How God Is Using Rep. Scott Plakon to Combat Alzheimer's