Transitioning for Transformation

Transitioning for Transformation

A Message from Dr. Freda Bush, CEO Emeritus


Many of us have heard of West Nile virus, but how many of us really know much about it? As a gynecologist and obstetrician, my practice did not involve diagnosis or treatment of such an illness and so I myself was uninformed about the devastation that the mosquito-borne virus could bring. However, I have gotten to know first-hand just how close-up that far-off sounding West Nile virus can be.

On the morning of July 17, 2018, my husband, Lee, noted that I did not get up as usual and was not responsive to his call.  Lee came to check on me and noted my eyes were not focused. He took me to the nearest hospital. The diagnosis of West Nile infection did not come until six days later, while I was in critical condition in the ICU. I remained hospitalized until August 31st and I am still in recovery mode.

I can’t say enough about my husband of 50yrs. He stayed at my bedside from admission until my daughters started their rotations. Once the daughters came, they made him leave for lunch and sleep. Before then he said, “I leave when she leaves.” He didn’t even go to work. Fortunately, he owns his own company, and our son works with him.  He says he hired good people not knowing when something like this could happen.

The West Nile encephalitis affected me mentally and physically. My daughters went to rehab with me to learn what I was learning so we could further practice at home especially the thinking, reasoning exercises, memorization and physical therapy.  In physical therapy, I have now graduated from using a wheelchair to a Rollator walker and to now practicing walking with a cane.

Family has always been important to me, but I have to say that I have an even greater appreciation for my husband, my children and my siblings. My family members took turns staying with me and taking care of me.  I was so blessed that I was able to travel to my family reunion this summer, almost exactly one year from when my illness began.

I have never asked “why this happened to me”. My life has been blessed and I am grateful to have been given so much on this earth. Not long ago I heard a sermon on “transitioning for transformation,” and my husband Lee and I both realized that the sermon was a message for us as a couple and for me as an individual. I can easily see myself in a season of transition. My life has transitioned from being a busy, busy, physician, speaker, writer, and community activist to being….well… transformed to a new life that I cannot yet identify or name. I just know that it is good because God is good, and He is the one doing the transforming.

9 Responses to “Transitioning for Transformation”

  1. Gwen

    Have always admired you so very much, Freda, and now even more. My-oh-my, what a mighty challenge you have had to endure. Know that as a faithful believer, God will see you through! Will pray for you, as well! May you know the superior blessings of God’s enduring love for you!

    • Freda McKissic Bush

      What an encouraging and thoughtful response to my letter. It really helps me me as I go through this transition. I too believe God is faithful and will see me through. Thank you for your prayers.

  2. Anne Badgley

    Our dear Freda, it is wonderful to hear your mighty testimony. What a grand title for a sermon and for your story. You are a unique presence among us – so smart, so loving, so accepting, so encouraging, and so inspirational in every role you have lived. We shouldn’t be surprised that you continue to lead us as we all transition into transformation during the changing phases of our lives. You are much loved, much admired, and much appreciated. Thank you for sharing such an intimate, personal journey. God bless you, we continue to pray for you and your family.
    Anne Badgley

    • Ann

      I really appreciate your heartfelt words. Yes, this a phase that has taught me about me as well as more appreciation of family & friends. Anne, you have been there for MI as well as me. You are so thoughtful. Thank you for your encouraging words & prayers. Freda

  3. Gale Grant

    Thank you for providing your testimony and insight into the way the Lord our God is working on your behalf. Your devotion to a life yielded to him was shining through as I read your words. May God continue to bless and keep you and your family. Much love and respect for the role model that you are! You are in my prayers as you gain strength day by day. Rest in his love, comfort and peace as you continue to recover!
    Gale E. Grant

    • Freda McKissic Bush

      I am so glad to hear from you and read your response to the transition I am going through. Your words are so encouraging. I’ve always appreciated working with you to inform & encourage youth & their communities about sexual health. Thank you for your prayers for my continued transformation to recovery.

  4. Christine Kalmbach

    How shocking to learn of your illness, I am praying for your full recovery! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

    • Freda McKissic Bush

      Your personal words and your prayers are so encouraging. I am still improving physically, emotionally and spiritually. I appreciate you.

  5. Phyllis Ann Rose

    My Dear Freda, Jim and I were so sorry to hear about your problem from Dr. Joe McIlhaney. We have been praying for you and your family. You are absolutely correct that the Lord allows these opportunities to bring us closer to HIM and to increase our witness to others for HIM. We enjoyed our time with you and your husband several years ago when you visited us in our home. Please get well and come back to see us. We love you very much and will be continuing to pray that God who created you so beautiful, that HE will heal you totally and return you back to the life He has called you to live. Our love, Phyllis Ann for Jim too