EDMOND — Former Edmond Mayor Carl Reherman said having a new park at Arcadia Lake named in his honor gave him the strength to survive before his 2007 liver transplant.
“It was a wonderful gift and made everything better,” Reherman said during groundbreaking ceremonies for Carl Reherman Park.
Reherman was diagnosed with chronic liver illness in 2006 and was told he had less than three years to live.
He went into a coma in May 2006 while visiting his sister in Kansas City, Mo., who was ill with cancer.
For 3½ days, Reherman lay in a coma and seven of his bodily functions failed. Doctors told his wife, Gloria, there was probably nothing they could do for him. But after 10 days, he was well enough to return to Oklahoma City.
He received a new liver on June 9, 2007.
Tuesday's ceremony in the red mud of Arcadia Lake, with more than 70 people present, was emotional for Reherman, who was surrounded by his wife, three children and six of his seven grandchildren.
“Today means history, a celebration,” Gloria Reherman said. “All the girls can return and be married at the park named after their grandpa. It is darned exciting.
“Every time you're going down I-35 and see a sign about Carl Reherman Park, it will be thrilling.”