Ten days after suffering a stroke, televangelist Pat Robertson returned to TV and thanked God for turning what could have been a "crippling illness" into a "miraculous healing."
On Monday, Robertson, the 87-year-old founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network, appeared on "The 700 Club" for the first time since suffering an embolic stroke on Feb. 2.
"I'm back," he said. "I'm back on television!"
Robertson revealed that his daughter-in-law noticed he was having trouble speaking and keeping his balance and alerted medical professionals.
"You know, I had a stroke and I wasn't even aware of it," he said.
After being transferred to the hospital, the televangelist immediately received a clot-busting medication, called tissue plasminogen activator. According to CBN, within minutes of receiving tPA, Robertson was awake and responsive and able to move all of his limbs.
"It was a miracle," he said. "It was amazing ... For every minute that you have a stroke without being treated, you lose two million cells in your brain. So mine was just starting ... it's terrible."
Robertson returned home on Sunday, Feb. 4, and just over a week later, made his return to the television show he founded in 1966.
"I am grateful for the expressions of love and concern that have come toward me from all around the world, and I am thankful that I have received what amounted to a miraculous healing instead of what could have been a crippling illness," Robertson said. "I am delighted to be back on the air to fulfill my life calling."
Robertson's son and the current CEO of CBN, Gordon Robertson, earlier appeared on the network to thank everyone who prayed for his father.
"This was an absolute miracle," he said. "Within 10 minutes of getting the drug, he is awake, alert, able to raise his arms, able to raise his legs — talk about joy in the room. The ER staff said they'd never seen anything like that, that kind of rapid recovery. The doctor said, 'This is a tPA miracle.'"
The younger Robertson said that his wife wasn't planning to visit Pat Robertson on the day of the incident, but the "Holy Spirit nudged her and said, 'No, go today.'"
"Within two minutes of walking into the house, sees dad having the onset of symptoms, where his speech wasn't right, and he kept saying, 'I can't understand what is going on with me, what is happening to me,'" he said.
"She identified [the signs of the stroke] immediately, and we got help right then," Gordon Robertson added. "I urge everyone, know where your stroke centers are ... know the signs ... and then, know where the stroke center is, and get there as soon as you can. Time is brain cells, and the faster you can go, the better."
According to the CDC, every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year — that's 1 out of every 20 deaths.
"Know the warning signs and symptoms of stroke so that you can act fast if you or someone you know might be having a stroke," recommends the CDC. "The chances of survival are greater when emergency treatment begins quickly."