This Thanksgiving, five years later, I want to thank my God for continuing to perform miracles.

I tried to speak but no words would come out.

Amy called me from Renfroe’s Pecans in Pensacola where she planned to get a gift to bring to her brother’s to celebrate Thanksgiving.

She talked to me but I remained mum. I knew what I wanted to say but for some reason struggled.

In no time, she made it to my house and quickly convinced me to go to the ER. When we arrived the clerk asked me who is the president? “Barack Obama,” I said loud and clear. My birthday? “12, 2, 1968.” What day of the week is it? “Tuesday.”

Amy said, “Wait a second. He couldn’t speak a minute ago.”

Later, they brought me into an exam room where an ER nurse began asking me questions. All I could spit out was “Yeah,” “Sure,” “OK.” She retrieved a pen and piece of paper but my hand just shook like I had Parkinson’s.

That was my last memory.

Amy told me I went stiff in the wheelchair, began violently shaking, bubbles came out of my mouth and both my eyes and fists were closed tightly. She said I looked like I was being electrocuted. The group of nurses and doctors cut my sweater and shirt off.

Then, they stroked my sternum but I could not breathe on my own. They intubated me.

The priest gave me last rights in ICU.

But I woke up the following morning, trying to pull the tube out of my mouth. A nurse commented to Amy that she had a hard time believing I was doing that after taking the strongest medication they could give me.

I had no idea what happened and spelled with my finger “g-i-r-l-s” in Amy’s hand. This gave her an overwhelming sense of relief, since I failed to write anything the day before.

We ate Thanksgiving dinner in a hospital room, thanks to my ex-wife, Andrea. Plus, a constant entourage of family and friends watched football. Medical personnel kept telling us to, “Keep it down.”

I had zero worries about a tumor the size of my fist getting cut out from my brain on Dec. 1 — the day before my birthday. I felt calm. “No recurrence” of cancer has occurred.

This Thanksgiving, five years later, I want to thank my God for continuing to perform miracles.

Duwayne Escobedo covers Santa Rosa County for the Daily News. You can contact him at 850-315-4489 in Fort Walton Beach, on his cell phone at 850-255-1484 or email him at