Evie Branan had been in a semi-coma for 5 years when she fell, hit her head, and suddenly woke up. “I want to go to a Bob Seger concert,” was the first thing she said. She got her wish, and more, two years after she woke up from that coma on May 7, 2011.
After she suffered a massive stroke, she couldn’t speak, move or eat on her own. The staff members at Willowbrook Manor in Flint Township did everything for her for more than five years. After she bumped her head, she was able to speak, and had a clear mindset once again.
It wasn’t until this year that she got her opportunity to see Seger in concert, and Michelle Cross, administrator at Willowbrook Manor, wanted to make sure that it was a night to remember. She got a limo to bring Evie to the concert, and got in touch with Seger’s management. Evie’s story eventually found it’s way to Bob Seger himself.
When she was at the show, she got to meet him, as well as his family, and many others back stage.
Dream come true
As Branan got ready for the night, she put on aqua eye shadow, earrings and her Bob Seger 2013 concert tour t-shirt. She did her hair and put in a colorful hair clip.
“I’m so nervous I can hardly stand it,” Branan said as she was getting ready to climb in a limo and be escorted to the concert.
But she was ready. She’s been ready for two years.
She had keyboards and music notes painted on her nails. Branan said she felt like a celebrity.
“You look beautiful,” said Jennifer Hickey, Branan’s aid. “It’s so fun seeing Evie so excited.”
Hickey and Willowbrook Administrator Michelle Cross were amazed that Seger came to see Branan.
Seger even said he would dedicate a song to Branan during his performance.
And Branan kept her promise of what she would do when she met Seger.
“I had my arm around him and I gave him a smooch on each side,” said the cheerful Branan.
Branan’s last hope for the night? “I hope I can stand up and shake my booty.”
But first she still had people to meet. It seemed that everyone already knew Branan and wanted to meet her backstage.
Mark Reis, a guitar technician for the opening act Joe Walsh, said he had heard Branan’s story earlier in the day and was so excited to meet her.
Branan entered The Palace just as Reis was walking by the door.
“I got goose bumps (when I heard her story),” said Reis, 54, of Ohio. “That’s a God moment. I got to meet her. How cool is that?”
Bob Seger’s wife, Nita, and his son, Cole, also came to meet Branan as soon as she entered the room.
For a while all eyes were on Branan.
“It’s amazing,” Nita Seger said. “It’s a thrill for us as much as it is for you, I’m sure.”
At one point, Branan was speechless.
Cross was so touched that Branan was able to be a part of the whole experience.
“I want to cry. I really do. I’m so happy for you. You deserve it,” Cross said. “I love you.”
“I love you too,” Branan responded.
Right before Branan was taken to the concert floor she had a tear in her eye.