Click here to see Coach Smith at the 1999 Breckenridge Reunion.
Click here to see Coach Smith at the 2006 BERLIN Reunion.
16 Feb 07
Old Coach Smith is back in the world of the living; I swear that the last few months were the toughest time of my life but now I can look back and live life to the fullest again. things are going slow right now but I have been golfing with son Randy a couple of times and am now waiting for the weather to warm up.
Last summer at the reunion was a super time for us, IT WAS SO GOOD TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLE AGAIN, I AGAIN SAY "WELL DONE ".
We are planning on going to Scotland this spring and China this fall. that is if our health holds up. We will be going to Washington State also this summer, looks like a busy schedule.
I again say thanks for your concern.
1 Dec 06
Byron has been doing great and his cardiologist gave him permission to drive again. He's been in cardio rehab for four weeks and each day they push him a little harder. He's also taken back the morning dog walk and is getting in a mile or more most days. His longest walk so far has been 2 1/2 miles. I'd say he's well on his way to full recovery. He was also given permission to swing a golf club, but not to play. A little chipping and putting, but no driving. He still gets a little dizzy upon standing, but it's just a momentary thing.
Several of the people Byron is in therapy with have had far harder times than he. But I think they either had a heart attack or are diabetic, or both. Byron had no other factors involved; he didn't have kidney disease, lung disease, didn't smoke, wasn't diabetic and wasn't severely obese. All those factors are considered when they speak of recovery.
Next Tuesday they are going to take him into the hospital and "jump start" his heart to correct atrial fibrilation that developed after surgery. If they can't correct it, it just means he'll have to remain on coumadin the rest of his life. We're hoping that won't be necessary.
Did I tell you we had a phone call from Robert Bourbo '76? It turns out he lives in the same town we do! Small world. Your network keeps a lot of people in touch that otherwise would not. You've done a great thing with your web site.
23 Oct 06
Byron is doing great and will come home Tuesday or Wednesday. All tubes removed and he's walking and eating well, and watching lots of football and baseball. Because of your website, we are hearing from many former students - some quite unexpected. It turns out that Robert Bourbo '76 lives in our little town! What a surprise. I've printed off their messages and taken them to the hospital, so he knows there are many people who are thinking and praying for him.
17 Oct 06
Byron's surgery went as expected today. They replaced the mitral valve with donor tissue (most likely a pig valve, so we'll be looking for pig jokes now), and one bypass. That means he will now have a sore leg from which to recover as well as the horrible chest pain. He looked pretty awful today because of all the tubes running in and out of him, but his color was good. They still have him on a ventilator to assist his breathing, and a temporary pacemaker to relieve the heart from having to work so hard. All of these things are not all that unusual and we have been assured that his progress is "normal. They expect to have him up by tomorrow. Hard to believe when you we saw him today!
I want to thank everyone for their prayers. They have truly worked a miracle. We have received many e-mails and I know they have been a comfort to Byron. All three of the boys were here to support him and that was great for both Byron and I.
I will try to send updates from time to time, but for now, thank you once again for your prayers and your good wishes.
Margaret, Randy, Keith and Marty
9751 Reflections Drive
Villa Rica, GA 30180
4 Oct 06
Byron was having difficulty breathing last week and was admitted to the hospital with congestive heart failure. They did several tests and discovered he has a leaky mitral valve. More tests were done and it was found to be "significant" and would require surgery to repair.
After three days in the hospital and a steady dose of diuretics, he lost 14 lbs of water weight which relieved a lot of pressure on his heart and his breathing. He feels much better, but is a bit dizzy. That's probably because he is on blood pressure medication and his blood pressure is quite low now. He has no problems taking it easy and resting. He's on a low sodium diet and isn't fighting it - so far.
Today he had a cardio catherization to determine whether he had any blockage in his arteries, and the good news is that he does not have any significant blockage. That means when they do the valve repair they won't need to do any bypass procedures as well. The doctor who will be doing the surgery does heart transplants as well so I'm sure he knows all there is to know about the heart. The other good news is that his heart is strong which allows them to do the surgery at all.
This is just to let you know what's happening, not to alarm anyone. However, prayers are welcome. I'll try to let everyone know when the surgery is scheduled and how it goes as well.
Please contact us at if you have any additions/corrections/deletions. And ideas!
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