Coach Flatt (known to his family as simply, Terry) was a well-liked, well respected member of the Glasgow community. He was a Physical Education Teacher as well as a Basketball coach, inspiring his community to make healthy lifestyle choices during his Health Classes, and pushing his team to work hard to achieve their goals on the court!
As you can imagine, it through his family and his community for a loop to find out that their beloved coach was diagnosed with a horrible liver disease called PSC (Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis). With PSC, the bile ducts in the liver close, causing itching of the skin and extreme fatigue. In 2013 Terry even had to have his gallbladder removed! He was treated for years, having to go every 3-4 months to have a sample taken from around his gallbladder. As you can imagine, it was a grueling process, one not for the faint of heart.
In spite of all treatments, Terry’s condition worsened. Together with his wife Pam, they were informed that He would need to be put on the Transplant waiting list. After a week of physical and emotional testing, He was placed on the list at Jewish Hospital under the care of Dr. Davis and Dr. Jones.
On December 13th, they received the call that there might be a liver available. Pam, Terry, and Lou (Terry’s sister) rushed to the hospital to make sure they were ready when “game time” came! After several hours of waiting, they were informed that liver was not viable, and it was a false alarm. “It’s okay,” said Coach Flatt “this was just a scrimmage”.
About a month later, on January 6th, they received their second call. It was the coldest and most treacherous day to travel that year, but it was worth the trip. Lou made the journey for the second time from Anderson County, and Pat and Terrie traveled carefully with their family from Barren County.
As the entire family bundled up in waiting room, Terry got prepped for surgery. Before he went in, he wanted to see everyone. Once the family gathered he simply said “I’ll be alright” as they wheeled him into his 9 hour surgery.
Terry got through his surgery with flying colors and was even standing up only 2 days after! The itching stopped immediately which was the most notable difference on his first steps to recovery.
After months of doing everything his doctor told him to do (eating right, taking his medication, exercising…etc.) Terry was feeling back to himself in 6 short months post operation.
Today Terry is able to spend time with his 4 grandkids and watch them grow up into beautiful teenagers, and later, adults. “You just don’t give up hope…never”, said his sister, Lou when they shared his trials and tribulations on his road to transplantation. “We are forever grateful for or donor family”, says his wife Pam, “Terry is here today because someone said “YES” to Organ Donation, and he is grateful for every second he is able to spend with his family. Every extra second is a gift”.
Please follow Coach Flatt’s story on Facebook at: Cheering for Coach Flatt