James Alan Shelton suffers a stroke

James Alan Shelton, long-time guitarist with Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys, has spent the past two days in the hospital in Kingsport, TN after suffering a mini-stroke at home. He is scheduled to be released today.

According to Stanley, James fell to the floor and was rushed to the hospital. From all reports, James is doing well and has told Ralph that he is expecting to be able to play this weekend with the band.

If you follow medical news at all, you will have seen repeated references to how important immediate medical intervention is when a stroke has occurred – and how valuable it is to recognize the signs of a stroke as it is occuring. We are all fortunate that James received the proper care, and will be back on the bus right away!

UPDATE 3:00 p.m. – James shared a few words about his ordeal…

“My wife and l were getting ready to go to bed late Tuesday night and l was trying to pick up the cat and put him out of the bedroom. I got kinda disoriented and sank down to the floor and couldn’t get back up. Greta said that my mouth was drawn down on one side and that I couldn’t seem to think clearly. She called 911 immediately and the rescue squad came and took me right away to the Holston Valley hospital in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Yesterday they did all kinds of tests at the hospital – they did a carotid ultrasound, an MRI and an echocardiogram. The doctors seem to think that a piece of cholesterol plaque broke loose somewhere in the bloodstream and when it got to the brain, it showered and affected both sides of the brain. It is what they call a TIA or mini stroke. But everything seems to be okay now. We just got home from the hospital at about 2:00 pm today. I was very anxious to pick up a guitar and see if I could still play. It appears that I can, thankfully.

I really  think that I’m going to be fine in a day or two. I’ve had a lot of messages from friends and fans everywhere and that really means a lot. Thanks so much to everyone for all of your prayers and concern!!”

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.