Ron Sanders served 23 years as a police officer and then homicide detective in Detroit.
As a detective, he solved the major case of a serial killer who killed 11 women in Detroit. No other detective could make the man confess to all the murders of these women.
Sanders gained enormous fame and for a limited time was considered a celebrity. He said there was even plans for a movie about his life and the idea that Denzel Washington would play him.
Then, tragedy struck.Sanders suffered a devastating stroke on May 22, 1993.The day of his stroke he was vacationing in Cancun, Mexico.
Sanders wrote in his book, “Concerned, but Not Consumed,” that the night of his stroke he suffered the worst headache of his life.
Sanders was at a birthday celebration for his good friend and took a small sip of champagne, then immediately felt dizzy. He was rushed to an emergency hospital.
He had suffered a stroke affecting both sides of his brain and portions of his brain stem.
The stroke almost killed him. At times, Sanders wished he were dead. He laid in bed without any abilities whatsoever. He couldn’t walk, talk, or move. He was depressed all the time.
To Sanders, there was no hope of things getting better. He had to stay at the hospital for a very long time. With speech therapy and physical therapy, he began to talk and walk again. “I hated it,” he said.
Sanders said he had faith in God the whole time.
“It was a miracle I survived the stroke,” he said. He also said “The doctor with 30 years of experience said she’s never seen a patient with the severity of the stroke I had survived”.
Secondly, he said “that not only did I have a stroke on both sides of my brain but the brain stem.”
The stroke left Sanders with speech problems and he had to use a walker for balance. After years of therapy and hard work, he started to balance himself without a walker and began to speak more clearly.
Sanders said he was supported by his church congregation, friends, family, coworkers, and nursing staff.
We asked Mr. Sanders what advice he would give to the next generation of homicide detectives. He said, “first, always remember if it were not for the grace of God, it could be you sitting on the other side of the interrogation table. Second, realize your investigation is actually speaking for the victim (deceased) and their family. Lastly, during your investigation, don’t take shortcuts, but cross every T and dot every I in the homicide investigation.”
Sander’s devastating stroke affected him in many good and bad ways and he never lost faith.
For information, visit Sanders’ website.