Music drives Salem church organist after health scare - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Music drives Salem church organist after health scare

Posted: Updated:
SALEM, Ohio -

For 57 years, Ila Paxson's been a fixture playing the organ at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Salem. A major health scare almost ended that run, but nothing could keep her away from her music.

"I just, I want to be here," said Paxson.

Just a year ago, she wasn't sure she'd ever be back. It started out as a little trouble with her balance. Before she knew it, she was in a wheelchair, unable to walk and unable to play the music she loves.

"My neck, the vertebrae were broken and they were sticking in my spinal cord. So I couldn't walk and I couldn't use my hands," said Paxson. "It was very scary."

Last March, she had surgery to fix the problem, but even then, doctors said at best it would be a year or maybe a year and a half before she could play again. That wasn't good enough for Ila.

"I'm kind of an impatient person. I want to do it yesterday," said Paxson.

So the organ became the reward, pushing her through the rehab process through all the ups and downs.

"I knew that to get her back to feeling better, it would take getting her up here to the organ," said Ila's daughter Amy.

Throughout it all, she stayed focused on making it back to the church. And now, she's right back to where she always wanted to be.

"I had to have a note from the doctor that said I could do it. Felt like I was back in school again," said Ila.

"That day that I brought here up, I couldn't quit crying. I cried the entire time," said Amy. "I was so happy that she made it up here, because that was her goal and she did it, and she didn't give up."

"Just so satisfying," said Ila. "I was doing what I wanted to do, and my fingers were doing what I wanted them to do, because for a long time they wouldn't."

Now, she's back in the best seat in the house, the same one she's held since she was 16. A long climb, but Ila made it back to the top.

  • More NewsMore>>

  • Credit card skimming reported at Mercer County service station

    Credit card skimming reported at Mercer County service station

    Friday, May 26 2017 5:06 PM EDT2017-05-26 21:06:52 GMT

    Authorities in Mercer county are investigating reports of thieves skimming credit guards to steal consumers personal information. It happened recently at Wagler's Camp Perry service station in Clarks Mills.   Skimming happens when thieves unlock gas pumps and connect a skimmer to the card reader which steals information when a customer swipes a credit or debit card. 

    More >>

    Authorities in Mercer county are investigating reports of thieves skimming credit guards to steal consumers personal information. It happened recently at Wagler's Camp Perry service station in Clarks Mills.   Skimming happens when thieves unlock gas pumps and connect a skimmer to the card reader which steals information when a customer swipes a credit or debit card. 

    More >>
  • Accordion lovers from around the country unite in Sharon

    Accordion lovers from around the country unite in Sharon

    Saturday, May 27 2017 12:13 AM EDT2017-05-27 04:13:53 GMT

    Those who love the music and dances of their ancestors have converged on Sharon. People have traveled from as far away as Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia to be at the 11th Annual National Button Accordion Festival. 

    More >>

    Those who love the music and dances of their ancestors have converged on Sharon. People have traveled from as far away as Alaska, Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia to be at the 11th Annual National Button Accordion Festival. 

    More >>
  • Sebring names new Police Chief

    Sebring names new Police Chief

    Friday, May 26 2017 11:16 PM EDT2017-05-27 03:16:21 GMT

    Sebring Police Department will have a new chief on Sunday.  

    More >>

    Sebring Police Department will have a new chief on Sunday.  

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms