Lufkin city councilman credits teaching with saving his life

Lufkin city councilman credits teaching with saving his life
Source: Victor Travis
Source: Victor Travis

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - It's been a seven-month road to recovery for Lufkin councilman Victor Travis after he suffered a stroke back in February.

Travis was substituting at Lufkin Middle School on Feb. 4 when he started to feel bad.

"All of the sudden I heard a very loud noise, like a steam pipe," Travis said. "I thought it was in the class room. I looked around and couldn't see anything. I put my hands on my ears and realized it was in my head. If I hadn't been substituting, I might be dead today because I would have been at home alone until someone found me."

Travis was rushed to Woodland Heights Medical Center, where doctors determined he suffered a stroke. Travis was surprised by the news and thought he would have a fast recovery.

"I thought I was going to walk out of there, but it didn't work out that way," Travis said.

After weeks of monitoring, Travis finally returned home to his North Lufkin home where he would continue to heal. In that time, Travis relied on his faith.

"It gives a different meaning to the 23 Psalm," Travis said. "You know, 'As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.'"

Travis said his main goal is to stay as active as possible by attending the city council meetings every other week and visiting with friends in the community. Travis admitted the road to recovery is not over just yet.

"I still have my left side that is weak, but I go to the gym and work on it," Travis said. "It is just a matter of working on it. They say you never get fully back, but I will try to get as close as possible."

Travis has yet to return to the classroom but is still keeping that goal in his mind.

"My wife has other plans, but I plan on it," Travis said. "I always told the kids, 'It's amazing. You think they pay me money just to come up here and tell you what I know?'  This is great. I love it."

Travis said the stroke has also brought his life into perspective and shown him what is the most important pieces of his life.

"[My wife] told me, 'You've been talking about taking a vacations and you never do it," Travis said. "This is the time to do it, because you are not promised tomorrow. Whatever you need to do, you need to get out and do it. You need to have fun. Go visit. Go call people; talk to people. Whatever it is you have on your mind you really need to do it."

This last summer, Travis took a trip out west with his family.

"I walked the entire two plus miles of the Carlsbad Caverns by myself," Travis said. "It was a big deal. I'm already looking to next year. I plan on taking on the Grand Canyon next year."

Travis said he could not have gotten through all of this if it was not for the prayers and support from his friends in the Pineywoods.

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