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For anyone who doesn't know Zac, he is a Senior at Lincoln County High School (Go Falcons!), scheduled to graduate in May of this year. He has worked for over two years at Gerald's Foodland (shout out to David and the whole gang - WE LOVE YOU)! There are lots more 'shout outs' in order and we will get to those later.
For those of you who know Zac you are probably aware that he has had allergy and asthma issues his entire life. So when he was out of school for a couple of days in the beginning of February, due to what we assumed was a sinus infection, it was no big deal. On the third missed day of school he went to Norris Creek Medical to get checked out. However, he thought the wait might be longer than he could stand so he went to the walk in clinic in Park City.
He had an ear infection and was given a prescription for antibiotics. Normal enough. Zac got better and returned to school. Several days after the antibiotics were out of Zac's system, his symptoms returned. One Saturday morning he awoke with his chest hurting and, because it was Saturday, returned to the walk in clinic he had previously visited. The ear infection had not healed and of course he had congestion in his chest. He was prescribed a 'Z Pac' which we felt would surely clear things up. Again, nothing unusual. However, just as before, the symptoms returned almost as soon as the treatment stopped.
OK, so now we worry. Since Zac had been very pale for several days and just generally lethargic, when the symptoms returned this time, we made sure to get him to his regular doctor. Not because the walk in clinic wasn't doing something right, but Dr. Barnes & Gail know Zac and his medical history. So the next Monday we went to see Dr. Barnes and he was immediately concerned about Zac's anemia and decided to do blood work. Zac returned to school very early on Tuesday morning to attend a Skills Competition in Nashville. By mid-day he was feeling pretty rough.
Early the next morning, Dr. Barnes called to say that there was indeed a problem and we scheduled an appointment to see a hemotologist in Tullahoma, TN. The following morning Dr. Barnes told me that after further testing, Zac's bloodwork pointed toward leukemia. He informed me that he had already spoken to the doctor we were scheduled to see the following Monday and together they had worked to get us immediately into the Sarah Cannon Cancer Center at Centennial Hospital in Nashville, TN.
Later that day at Centennial, a second diagnosis of bloodwork confirmed Zac's leukemia. Zac was admitted into the Sarah Cannon Center about 5 PM Wednesday March 4, 2009 and thus has begun the trek to fight this disease.