An F-150 Miracle

Wendy Helfenbaum

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When a man decides he wants a new truck, not much can stand in his way. Just ask Ted Frett. In the summer of 2006, the West Deptford, New Jersey high school principal had decided to trade in his beloved 1997 Ford F-150 for the new 2007 model when he began experiencing worrisome health symptoms.


“While on vacation in Maine, I suddenly got double vision,” recalls Ted. Within two weeks, Ted began losing his close-up vision. Then, both his eyelids closed three-quarters of the way down. A neuro-ophthalmologist diagnosed him with Myasthenia gravis, a chronic neuromuscular disease.


Driving was out of the question. For the next five and a half months, Ted’s double vision and unsteady equilibrium meant that his wife Judy drove him everywhere. Undaunted, Ted continued to talk about getting a new F-150, despite Judy’s advice to put off the purchase.


“I was determined to have a new truck, but my wife wanted me to face reality and wait,” says Ted, who eventually convinced Judy to let him order the vehicle for a December 30 delivery.


“My faith got me through this time,” says Ted. “I knew friends with much more serious medical problems than mine, and if this is what God wanted me to live with, then I was prepared to do so.”


Every morning, Ted looked around his bedroom, testing his eyesight.


“Each time, he still had double vision,” recalls Judy. “But on December 30—pickup day for our new F-150—he woke up and said, ‘Oh my gosh. Everything is clear!’”


The couple went to Ace Ford in nearby Woodbury, where they’d been customers for 20 years, and Ted drove his new F-150 off the lot with a huge smile on his face. “It felt wonderful,” he says.


The couple named their truck “Leap of Faith” for the miracle it represented: restored health and the return to independence.


Ted and Judy recently sold their 2007 “Leap of Faith” F-150 to get a 2017 model. “We liked the 2017 because of its appealing body style.” But their love for their new truck didn’t stop there. “The 2.7L EcoBoost engine, aluminum body and Auto Start-Stop technology really won us over.”


“All my Ford trucks have been so reliable; we use them for kayaking and hauling gardening materials. But we hope we won’t have to name this new one anything revolving around a medical condition,” he laughs.

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