Lynchburg firefighter returns home after suffering stroke, thanks community for support

‘Just grateful to be here’

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Jeremy Pillow’s road to recovery has been a long and uncertain one.

The Lynchburg firefighter has spent the last 2 and a half weeks in a hospital bed. At the end of February, the otherwise healthy 46-year-old suffered a stroke out of the blue.

“I was hurting. That’s just that’s all I knew: pain. I just knew a lot of pain,” said Pillow. “I really don’t have a whole lot of memories until like, almost 10 days later.”

After tests and procedures, Pillow was transferred from Lynchburg General Hospital to UVA Hospital, where doctors told him he’d stay for at least three weeks.

But Pillow pulled through.

Finally on Thursday, after 17 days in the hospital, he was cleared to go home to his wife Erin and their children.

“I finally get to see my son, which was fantastic. He just wanted to know where the beard came from,” said Pillow, jokingly.

Pillow also paid a visit to the fire station to see his coworkers. It was a reunion Pillow’s friend and Battalion Chief Charlie Shealy didn’t know would ever come.

“We understood the gravity of Jeremy’s situation,” said Shealy.

“Only the Lord knows what He has in store for Jeremy for the rest of his life,” said Shealy. “If Jeremy didn’t still have a purpose, he wouldn’t still be here.”

Pillow has good days and bad days. Headaches, brain fog, and fatigue linger.

“My biggest question obviously is the chance of recurrence,” said Pillow. “That’s my biggest concern.”

He’ll go back for more procedures and testing in a few weeks to hopefully find out what caused the stroke. Until then, Pillow says he’ll take all the time he can get.

“Just grateful to be here,” said Pillow. “Take it a moment at a time and enjoy everything we can.”

Pillow has a message for the community who stood by his side:

“A huge thank you. I can’t even express it enough,” said Pillow. “The community has been fantastic. Complete strangers have reached out to offer prayer and support. My fire family has been fantastic. I always told my wife, I said, ‘If anything ever happens, you don’t have to worry. They will take care of you.’ And they proved it.”

About the Author

You can watch Lindsey during Virginia Today every weekend or as a reporter during the week!

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