An Update on Florence Littauer’s health

Update on Florence Littauer's health
Florence Littauer, the day before her stroke.

It has been a month since my mother, Florence Littauer, had a stroke. (Photo is from the day before the stroke.) I wanted to give family and friends an update on Florence Littauer’s health. She is now into week five of a hoped-for recovery and is in a third facility.

When we called 911 on May 18, she was taken to University Medical Center (UMC) here in Lubbock, Texas. When she arrived, she couldn’t put words together and seemed very fragile—shrieking “no, no, no,” when they tried to move her. It was there that a CT scan determined she’d had a stroke. After a week there, she had made remarkable progress. She was quite conversant—though not always on point. They had her up and walking around the nurse’s station. It was time to move her to the rehabilitation facility. The day she was to be transferred, she had the nurse call me. When I answered, Mom told me: “You have got to come and get me out of this place.” Gratefully, I was able to tell her I’d be there shortly and that I was getting her out of there.

While the move to South Plains Rehabilitation Hospital (SPRH) was uneventful, it did tire her. Yet, she ate well and slept well that first night. Then some medications got changed. UMC had put her on Keppra. SPRH added Prozac, saying that is what they do with their stroke recovery patients and have found it to be very effective. They also switched her Gabapentin (which she takes for nerve damage from a bad bout with shingles about 10 years ago) from night to mornings. After just a few of days there, she’d declined so dramatically that on June 2, the doctor, on a conference call with my sister Lauren, suggested that if she didn’t improve we needed to consider bringing in hospice. I showed him a video I’d recorded just before she let UMC. He was shocked at how alert and animated she was. He pledged to go back over her charts and see what medications had been added—that is when I found out about the Prozac. Additionally, an xray indicated some pneumonia—likely from food getting into her lungs.  Keppra, Prozac and Gabapentin, and almost all her medications, where all removed. Antibiotics and fluids were added. The next day she was markedly better. Improvement continued for a couple of days followed by some decline. They then gathered a urine sample and on Sunday night the culture came back: Fungal UTI. New meds, once again, did their magic. All the therapists who’d worked with her exclaimed over her sudden progress. Later in the week, her condition slipped again. On Sunday June 14, she was given an anti-anxiety drug. Early Monday, she was nauseous and threw up again on Monday after lunch. She was weak and tired. Clearly no therapy was going to take place. Tuesday she was still nauseous and didn’t want to eat—or do anything. SPRH and I agreed that she needed to move to Covenant Specialty Hospital (CSH) to get her health stabilized. Assuming that happens, she can, then, go back to SPRH for rehab. At that point the Medicare clock starts over again.

My mother was scheduled to be moved from SPRH to CSH on Wednesday afternoon. When I arrived at SPRH on Wednesday morning, she wouldn’t eat. Her verbal communication was very limited and her affect was flat. She asked me to just let her die. While we sat in her room waiting for the transport folks, her speech became unintelligible. I sat in front of her, looked in her eyes and cried and cried. Her therapists came in to tell her good-bye and the care team had a brief meeting in her room.

Once the uneventful transfer took place, and she was settled in her new room, she did become more verbal. At one point, she woke up and said: “Marita, I’ve got to do something.” A bit later, she declared: “I’ve got to get better.” So, she seemed to be on an upswing. Today, she has mostly slept but was lucid when she did wake up. It will take a few days and more testing to try to determine the next steps. It could go either way.

My sister Lauren, my brother Fred and I, and our spouses and children, thank you for your prayers on my mother’s behalf. Most days, I’ve been spending 5-7 hours at the hospital. Lauren was able to come see her over the weekend of June 6th when Mom recognized her and was thrilled to see her. We’ve been able to have video calls with Fred and his family.

This is a difficult phase of life. She has had a great one and should the Good Lord choose to take her home at this time, we know her legacy will live on.


  1. Joan on June 18, 2020 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you for the update Marita, I feel so blessed to be a part of her care! Thanks you for allowing the great opportunity!

  2. Sharon Patterson on June 19, 2020 at 12:02 am

    Marita, thank you for taking time out of the exhaustion of details you are dealing with, No mother could have a greater caretaker, attentive defender, and lovingly assertive warrior than you. We who follow can pray with greater accuracy because you took the time to give the detail. I ask for supernatural addition of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength and grace to meet the depletion such care takes out of us. God keep you in this very tender, up and down time.
    Much love and prayer,

    Sharon Patterson

  3. Linda Hollingshead on June 19, 2020 at 12:04 am

    I am praying for her and for you and your family. We will never know how many she influenced (This includes Fred.) I am so thankful the Lord allowed me to have the Littauers in my life since 1982. Love you all and God bless you.

  4. Dorothy E Franklin PA on June 19, 2020 at 12:22 am

    The impact your Mom and Dad have made on my life is immeasurable. She was with us in Pensacola when she was writing the book, Personalities in Power. I had all her books and some of your Dads. I went into Real Estate 27 years ago and about 4 years ago I Sold the house which she and Fred stayed in when they were at a Conference at Olive Baptist Church here in Pensacola. Their Ministry will change lives for generations. Thanks for Sharing her Journey.

  5. Pam on June 19, 2020 at 1:00 am

    Oh Marita! And of course Lauren and Fred— this is so hard! Marita I can relate because of my own mothers breast cancer years ago— bless your heart for all you and she are having to experience— please send her my love 💕 when next you see her… so glad she has an advocate in you😊 sometimes that makes a huge difference in their care sadly—-

    • Doreen Hanna on June 19, 2020 at 3:46 pm

      Good Morning Marita,
      My prayers are undergirding you, as you walk the last days of her heavenward journey with her.
      I’m praying she will not suffer from any more reactions to meds given her, so she can rest peacefully and your heart and mind will feel His presence in a very significant way. Very warmly yours,

  6. christine sneeringer on June 19, 2020 at 1:19 am

    Marita, thank you for sharing all of this. I adore you and your mother. I can only imagine how hard this must be for you. I’m glad you guys are able to have some tender moments along the way. Cherish every second. Losing a parent is hard. I know you lost your dad very suddenly and this is the opposite. You both are in my prayers. Sending you lots of love from across the pond.

  7. Tammy on June 19, 2020 at 1:31 am

    I’m praying for the family and for my dear friend. I’ve tried to call but I suppose she isn’t able to talk on the phone at this time. Please give her my love, a kiss and a hug.

  8. Edy Lambert on June 19, 2020 at 2:12 am

    Thank you for sharing your Mom’s updates with us as I’m sure you know how much we all love and care for your Mom. You are an incredible daughter Marita and I’m sure this is very hard on all of you. Please know that I continue to pray daily for your Mom 🙏

  9. Cindy Miller on June 19, 2020 at 3:31 am

    Marita you are being a wonderful daughter. Florence is fortunate to be so physically close to you. Your whole family is a great team. I pray for peace, clarity of thought, and perseverance for you all. I continue to pray that simple prayer – Jesus Intervene! Florence – well done My good and faithful servant!

  10. Maxine on June 19, 2020 at 4:27 am

    I’m thankful to know Florence’s health update. My prayers are with her and your family. 🙏❤️🙏

  11. Sharon Norris Elliott on June 19, 2020 at 6:24 am

    Thank you, Marita, for updating us. We all love Florence so much! She poured her life into so many of us and believed in our callings. I’m so glad you are able to be there with her as she recovers. Please tell her how much she is loved!

  12. Carole Lewis on June 19, 2020 at 10:37 am

    Thank you so much for this detailed update that helps us know how to pray. I am so proud of you, Marita, for the way you have cared for your Mom since she moved to your home. I know it hasn’t been easy but you have honored her every time she has been out in public by making sure she looks as beautiful as she always did in the past. I cared for my Mom the last 3 years of her life and it was the hardest, most rewarding thing I have ever done. God bless you, precious friend for all you have done to make your mom’s last days on this earth so wonderful. Praying for you, and all the family and especially for every caretaker who comes in contact with my dear friend, Florence.

  13. Karen Power on June 19, 2020 at 10:47 am

    Praying for Florence and you all.

    Love you all!

  14. April Henning on June 19, 2020 at 12:47 pm

    Have been and continue to lift your mom, you, and your family in prayer. I am who I am in part because of your mom who inspired me in my school years in the 50’s. At 78, I continue to follow my dream ( with the same passion she has always lived her life. May God give her healing as He strengthens the family she loves.

  15. Mary Hunt on June 19, 2020 at 12:57 pm

    I read this Marita, and I cried and cried for you, with you. This lyric is in a loop in my head … “… and we’ll understand it better bye and bye.” Praying …❣️

  16. Ruby Heaton on June 19, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Thank you for the update. I agree with you she’s had a great life and done so much. But I don’t want to see her go. Praying God’s will for her. Love all of you and praying for you all

  17. Bonnie Schnoor on June 19, 2020 at 8:29 pm

    Prayers continue for your Beautiful Mom and all your family. God give you strength on this journey. 😘

  18. Colleen Weeks on June 19, 2020 at 11:11 pm

    You’re mother has been a constant voice of wisdom and encouragement in my mind for many years. I am so thankful for the day I met her and her daughters. I’m praying that she is finding peace and comfort in your love and presence and in the knowledge of Gods love for her. Love and prayers for all of you, Colleen

  19. Melody Rabenberg on June 19, 2020 at 11:47 pm

    thank you for sharing, and keeping us all updated. Your mom, you and PP has been a game changer for so many. It is a part of my life almost everyday. Your whole family is lifted up each day. You are all loved very much.

  20. Anita Lawrence on June 20, 2020 at 7:14 am

    Thanks so much Marita for taking the time to share this with us. We love your mom dearly and will continue to pray for her. Yes, her legacy will go on and she has touched so many lives. May God continue to comfort and strengthen you and your family as you care for her. Lots of love!

  21. Sherri L Villarreal on June 21, 2020 at 10:25 pm

    Marita as I read the account of Florence’s condition, the tears flowed. Your family has been so instrumental in helping save our marriage and influencing our children and all those we have taught The Personalities to through the years, I feel like I am losing a member of my own family. I am so grateful that you are bringing the tools back to influence future generations and keep Florence and your family’s legacy alive. I have always been envious of the precious relationship you share with your mother, and I know how painful this time is for you, Lauren, Fred, and the rest of the family. But it sounds like mama is tired and ready to reunite with her handsome Fred. I can envision him eagerly waiting for her arrival with a beautiful cluster of green grapes (and his nail clippers of course), and that million-dollar smile of his. And I’m pretty sure the ice cream parlor is open 24/7 in Heaven, and he will have no problem indulging her at 11 pm when she decides she would like an ice cream cone:) What a joyous reunion it will be! Blessings to you at this time!

  22. Pam and Bill Farrel on June 22, 2020 at 5:47 am

    Marita, praying for you . We are caregiving Bill’s 91 year old parents so praying with EMPATHY. Praying for Florence, that she would know all of us she poured into are so grateful and that she hears the applause if heaven. If God allows her to stay, that she would be lucid and be able to communicate her love to you all. And if Gid calls her ho.e, that she will be dancing with your dad as the says “WELL DONE” ♡♡

  23. Donna Stepan on June 22, 2020 at 11:12 pm

    Praying for you and your family. Sorry you are having to go thru this but my thoughts and prayers are with your mom, you and your family. What amazing parents you have and they have touched so many lives and saved a lot of marriages. May God wrap all of you in his loving arms and give you comfort and support.

  24. BARBARA JOHNSON on June 23, 2020 at 1:08 am

    Dearest Marita, This is the first I knew of this. We are praying fervently HIS WILL BE DONE… whether her healing is here or There in Eternity… your Mom has fleshed out CHRIST JESUS and role-modeled CHRIST for many generations. I first met her in 1989 when she spoke at the little ole community Plano Centre where i reside and her book, Silver Boxes was coming out… SHE HAS LEFT HUGE IMPRINTS ON THOUSANDS OF OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE YEARS. I have made many “silver boxes” and gifted co-workers, nurses, and friends with them and the poem through the years. Perhaps in 2021 you will come and speak to our women at Meadows Baptist in Plano, Texas… may His Huge Arms embrace you each one during this time of her transition to wellness or TOTAL WELLNESS.-Barb johnson “…and we have a priceless inheritance-an inheritance that is kept in Heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”-1st Peter 1:4

  25. Kim Garrison on June 24, 2020 at 4:23 am

    Marita, you and Florence and the whole family are so close to my heart right now! As I help my elderly parents in numerous ways these days, I’m struck by how this phase of life is so much more challenging than I ever imagined! Florence is fortunate to have you right there with her. Please give her my love. You all have my prayers, every day.

  26. Gloria Simon on June 26, 2020 at 4:07 am

    Marita, I can not imagine my life without the influence of your Mom and Dad. The personality information helped me not only understand my husband but my children and others as well in a way I never imagined. I’ve had the most wonder experiences with them and they have been such a blessing. Jeff and I continue to pray for her recovery and for your (and your families) encouragement. Her legacy will live long on. Hug her for us. Remind her she is LOVED beyond her imagination.

  27. sali on July 1, 2020 at 1:51 am

    prayers from sali spangler and all others at our lost hollow chapel logan ohio