Keller: Amato, Poirrier families display grace through struggles

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, August 5, 2015

I’ve heard it said that it’s not so much the years in your life, but the life in your years.

Patti Poirrier Amato, a 40-year-old mother of three and her husband, Jared, had everything going for them. Patti, a certified aerobics instructor, the picture of health, happy and excited about life, had her dreams and plans for the future interrupted on April 15, 2000.

That day, my friend Danny Louque, Patti’s uncle, called and, with a heavy heart, asked to pray for Patti who was being rushed to Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge. According to Jared, the doctors immediately knew it was serious.

Patti was diagnosed with Menningicoccus Sepsis, at best a 10 percent survival rate. At one point, the family was told Patti had only three hours to live.

Being a positive person with a strong family and friends, Patti survived.

After 30 days in ICU, nine days in a coma and seven months in the hospital, Patti and Jared left the hospital prepared to face the future.   Patti, now a quadruple amputee, had beaten all odds.

It’s a fact that as Christians, we all have a cross to bear. Some crosses are heavier than others. The Amato family had a cross they didn’t ask for, but accepted it.

Patti had escaped death, but her quality of life would depend on her family. Jared had a job, the kids were in school and her mom, Marie, and her dad, Lloyd, were only too glad to help.

I spoke to Patti’s mom and she said  she and Lloyd went to help Patti every day. She didn’t have to tell me she was grateful God allowed her and Lloyd to have their daughter for almost 15 years after that dreadful day in 2000.

Patti’s will to live, in spite of many setbacks, allowed her to live until her death December 1, 2014.

Lloyd and Marie lost a son in the Shell explosion.

In spite of the heavy cross they had at that time, her mother, Nelta, said, “Marie, you just have to pick up your cross and carry on.” It’s impossible to understand unless you’ve lost a child.

The trails that the Amato and Poirrier families experienced, including Patti’s will to live, have been a testimony to all the people that know them.

If you have any questions, or comments, please write to Get High on Life, P.O. Drawer U, Reserve, LA 70084, call 985-652-8477 or e-mail