Terrence Duckworth Terrence Duckworth

First post: Dec 16, 2019 Latest post: Dec 26, 2019
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Sometime in October Terrence realized the need for Taylor’s basketball coach and team to have an assistant coach, and with his Master’s degree almost finished he decided he had enough time to volunteer. 

On November 4th he went to work with the girls for the first time, he was mostly observing and joined in some of the drills to help motivate his little girl,  he felt dizzy and out of breath so he stepped out of the court. 

I was home when I received the call from a teammate’s mom, “Nelyn your husband collapsed , we have called 911, you need to come to the school” 

I rushed in thinking he was dehydrated or maybe had not eaten enough causing his blood sugar to drop, when I arrived he was sitting up and his eyes were open but he wasn’t there; paramedics arrived, checked his vitals, they felt he was okay to stand up, they helped him up and without warning he fell straight down; EMS then decided he had to go to the hospital. 

Wellstar Paulding was the closest to the school, I left my kids behind and followed the ambulance, I called a friend for prayer and with God’s strength and made it there, he was awake when I saw him but again, he wasn't really there. 

That night he was admitted, he had short term memory loss, he asked me repeatedly “why am I here, where are my kids?”  MRI’s showed his brain was fine, lab work didn’t show any heart attack signs so they decided to other an echo of his heart, the next morning we were introduced to a cardiologist who told us he had a leaky mitral valve,  with severe regurgitation and would require open heart surgery. Just hours before this dr came in he was coaching girls basketball. 

Hours, turned in days, days into weeks, his family mom and brothers are rushed from out of state to his bed side to be with him for his surgery., my amazing co-workers provided daily meals for our kids and my parents drove around and cared for them in our absence. 

While we were at Wellstar I remembered an old friend of mine worked at St Joseph’s in the cardiac unit so O reached out to her to get a second opinion. 

I had already “googled” best heart surgeons in Atlanta, Dr Murphy was the first name I saw, then my friend confirmed it when she replied and said “Dr. Murphy is the best” I knew the same sounded familiar, it was the name on my google search, later that day my stepmom, said her close coworker had a spouse who had valve surgery, she would find out who had some it, and yes you guessed it Dr. Murphy was the surgeon. 

I knew God was directing us so I asked Wellstar to send his records to Emory, our appointment for open heart surgery consultation was cancelled and we were sent home. 

The next weeks proved to be the hardest on this process, we knew somethings but there was a lot we didn’t know, could we get an appointment with the famous doctor? Could his condition worsen while we waited? Could this surgery wait or would we have to just reschedule with Wellstar??? So many questions, what to eat, what not to eat, get rest, stay active, take the meds, don’t take that one med, we were able to get an appointment with Dr. Murphy but we were told he won’t be able to see you for another month and surgery might be next year, he is busy, if you feel your condition is more urgent than that you’ll need to call another doctor. Upon learning this I quickly called and made an appointment with a cardiologist, I made sure to stick with Emory this time, we met with Dr. Cutchins, I provided the cd with test performed at the previous hospital; she saw the video and personally called Dr Murphy before the end of our consult. 

Our appointment with the surgeon was moved up, he confirmed he was a perfect candidate for robotic surgery which meant no broken chest bones, faster recovery and lower chances of stroke, heart failure and infection. 

We had a couple of weekend trips to the emergency room (thank you Zed for driving) always in a panic, the wait was hard.

God in His infinite mercy saw our need, we were told Dr Murphy could perform the surgery on Dec 18th (it went from January, to the 23rd, to the 21st and finally the 18th, the journal entries on this page will walk you though our surgery experience. 

Thank you for caring and enough to keep up with iur updates.