The Great Ty Cobb in Gamecock Beast Mode
Ty in Gamecock Beast Mode
The little guy pictured here is my 10 month old son, Tyler “Little Ty” Cobb. I knew when I found out that he was my first boy (I have 2 other little girls), that he would be special or do something special. Well, I wouldn’t have to wait long to see that he was going to be special. The radiologist looked at his heart at the 20 week ultrasound and thought there was something wrong. Well, being in the Army at Fort Campbell, KY, we obviously don’t have the specialists required to really get to the bottom of this so, we were referred to Monroe Carrell Children’s Hospital at the Vanderbilt University Hospital System in Nashville, TN. A week later, we were sent for another ultrasound there and they discovered our child had a somewhat rare, yet fairly serious heart condition called hypoplastic left heart syndrome, a condition where the left side of the heart (the side that pumps blood to the systemic circulation) is underdeveloped. I was devastated as was my wife. However, we decided that this kid was going to do something great and pushed on through the pregnancy.
Everything was going fine until just after Thanksgiving, 2012, my wife went for a random OB and discovered her amniotic fluid was low, apparently from a rupture in the membranes (early water break). So, making a long story short, she had issues from that point forward and delivered the little guy nearly 8 weeks premature on December 26, 2012. Since then, he’s had a really tough time but always pulled through any serious events. He had 2 open heart surgeries, one that reconstructed his heart vessels in an attempt to make the heart 2 chamber heart that could pump blood to the systemic circulation. He came through it and fought really hard for a couple weeks, blowing through all expectations but then had an issue that kept him in the hospital. At that point, I took the motto, “Beast Mode” that was on a shirt that Connor Shaw wore at the press conference following the Capital One Bowl w/ Nebraska, and I used that motto to create a little poster for encouragement. The night it was placed, his nurse was a Clemson graduate. At any rate, let me back up, the day we met with his cardiothoracic surgeon prior to his first surgery, it was January 1, 2013 and the Outback Bowl with Michigan was on and his surgeon is a Michigan man; Providence, right? Well, I digress… So, Ty has lived by and went headstrong into all challenges as an infant in “Beast Mode.” He was doing well but just over 2 ½ months ago, we discovered he would need a heart transplant. During those last 2 ½ months, little Ty has fought tooth and nail to live. We prayed and prayed and prayed for God to heal him; at times, I prayed that if God wanted to take him according to His will, then please take him and stop the suffering but God has had other plans. Again, I have digressed.
I tell this back story to speak of the Missouri game. The Friday before the Missouri game, I was talking to a colleague of mine here in San Antonio (I’m at Officer Basic Course in Fort Sam Houston) about the upcoming game with Missouri (he’s a Tiger fan) and about how I had a feeling the Vegas folks were wrong and of course, he didn’t agree. Well, shortly after that conversation, I started thinking a lot about Ty. I felt like something was about to happen with him, though, I didn’t know if it was good or bad. I had about an hour conversation about that with my roommate that night and he agreed something was about to happen. Well, I got up the next morning and prepared to go golfing with my Missouri buddy and afterwards, we were going to watch the game; I never made it. Just 10 minutes before walking out the door, I received a call from my wife saying the boy was going to be given a heart that afternoon with the surgery starting around 4:30pm Central time. I hopped on a plane and flew into Nashville, arriving shortly after he went to the operating room. Well, they didn’t get stuff cleared up enough to be prepared for the heart until about half time of the game.
At the time in which Connor Shaw took over, we received a report from the operating room that the old heart was coming out and the new one was going in. As you know, the Gamecocks preceded to go onto tie the game and push it into overtime. Well, about 5 minutes after the kick bounced off of the upright, we received a call from the operating room saying the new heart was placed and had been pumping for about 5 minutes… So, do the math and you’ll discover the heart started working about the same time the kick missed and South Carolina, and Ty was given new life, albeit in different ways, but equally as impressive. I definitely feel it was divine providence for both to happen. Ty remains in Beast Mode and is meeting or exceeding all expectations for his transplant recovery.
Forever to Thee… Gamecocks and Ty in Beast Mode.
Special thanks to Gamecock Born & Bred
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1. 26 JUNE 2016: Tyler is doing well. Since his transplant on October 26, 2013, he has had a gastrostmy tube placed in his abdomen into his stomach for feeding as he has what is called oral aversion. The oral aversion happened because he was intubated for so long to help ease the stress on his hypoplastic left heart. He has also had his tonsils and adenoids removed and is currently undergoing physical therapy, speech/eating therapy 2 times per week. He has cardiology follow ups every 3-6 months, depending on what the cardiologist feels is warranted due to lab results and other diagnostics they perform monthly. Ty recently had a cardiac cath lab visit to biopsy for rejection of his heart. It was an impromptu visit because his annual biopsy last November showed some mild signs of rejection. This biopsy was clean so, looks like he will have another cath visit and biopsy next May; if that one is good, he will only have to have a biopsy 3 years later. All in all, he is doing extremely well