BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — For the past two decades, people across Southern West Virginia haven been waking up with the early morning Rizers on 103 CIR. But for several weeks, listeners haven’t heard Rick Rizer’s iconic voice after he suffered from a stroke
“I consider 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. when I am on air, that’s my sandbox. Beyond that, I have to work, do my job,” Rick said.
Rick Rizer and his wife, Lola Rizer, host the ‘Early Show with Rick and Lola’ on 103.7 every morning. Both have been a radio host for more than twenty years, but on August 1, 2018, Rick was forced to leave the airwaves because of a stroke.
“I had no numbness. Nothing. So I got dressed and came to work and the people here at work said you got to go to the hospital,” Rick said.
Rick then sent a text to Lola, who happened to be off work that morning.
“This is it. We are done. I was mentally preparing myself for this wonderful ride we had with the community to come to an end,” Lola said.
But that wasn’t the case. After only two days, Rick was released from the hospital with a mission to get back on the air. “That was the worst part out of it all is not working, and while I work out of the house, it’s not the same,” Rick said.
While Rick was home, Lola would post updates on social media. “So many messages, cards, letters, phone calls, text messages. I think he was a little overwhelmed from the outpouring of the community but we thank them sincerely,” Lola said.
Finally, on Wednesday, only two weeks after his stroke, Rick returned to the on-air chair. The only problem- the stroke affected his speech. “I know what I want to say, I just have trouble saying it.”
Rick said he knows his stroke was a result of his unhealthy lifestyle. “I am surprised I made it this far, but at the same time, I never thought I would have a stroke of 52,” Rick said. “I don’t want to leave my family with the burden of going on without me… not that I am so great, but I have a place on this team.”
But with a job and family as his number one motivation, Rick and Lola are now back on the airwaves together- just in time for the Early Show.