By Kristi Reed
Nine years ago, Tommy and Stephanie Scott lived through every parent’s worst nightmare.
Six months into an uneventful pregnancy, Stephanie went to her doctor for a prenatal checkup. The routine visit turned into anything but when Stephanie learned her blood pressure had spiked to 220/120 – a potentially life threatening condition known as preeclampsia.
With Stephanie and her unborn child in danger, doctors wanted to perform an emergency caesarean section. Only 28 weeks pregnant, Stephanie knew her child’s chances for survival would be much improved if delivery could be delayed for a couple of weeks. Stephanie selected a new doctor who was willing to delay delivery and attempt to bring Stephanie’s blood pressure under control.
After learning that Northside Medical Center had the best neo-natal intensive care unit in the area, Stephanie chose to transfer from the hospital in Dalton to Northside just in case her baby had to be delivered prematurely.
For days, medical personnel worked to stabilize Stephanie’s blood pressure.
“It was a day to day thing,” she said “My kidneys, my liver were shutting down.”
For a while, Stephanie’s health began to improve. At one point, Stephanie thought she would be released from the hospital, but then her condition took a turn for the worse.
With Stephanie’s organs shutting down, both she and the baby were in danger.
“I was hooked up to a blood pressure machine that whole time,” she said. “It was me against that machine. I knew that my baby would have much more of a chance if it could just be a little later.”
Ultimately though, the doctors had no choice. Thomas Goodwin Scott V was delivered weighing just 2 lbs., 4 ounces.
Nicknamed Wyn, the baby was placed on a respirator in the intensive care unit. Stephanie and Tommy were unable to hold their son because he was completely surrounded by life support machinery.
A little over two weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, Stephanie and Tommy got a call from the hospital – Wyn was off the respirator.
For the first time, Stephanie had a chance to hold her son.
“He looked up at me and knew I was his mother,” she said. “I was so sure he was going to make it.”
A few days later, on December 2, 1999, Stephanie and Tommy got another call from the hospital – this time with bad news.
Wyn had developed necrotizing enterocolitis, a common, and extremely dangerous, condition in premature infants.
Wyn was rushed from Northside to Scottish Rite hospital for surgery. The prognosis was poor. Over 60 percent of Wyn’s intestines had been damaged.
“We had to make the choice to let him go,” Stephanie said. The only other option for Wyn was pain and suffering in the hospital, she said.
“I loved him too much to put him through that,” she said.
After 25 days of fighting, Wyn passed away on December 3, 1999.
From that point forward, Stephanie’s life changed.
Leaving the corporate world behind, Stephanie now spends most of her time doing volunteer work. Her husband Tommy and stepdaughter Nicki are her top priorities along with the newly incorporated Win for Wyn Foundation.
Two years ago, Stephanie and Tommy, defensive coordinator at Mill Creek High School, decided to honor their son by offering a scholarship in his name.
The Win for Wyn scholarship is awarded to a senior Mill Creek football player who has demonstrated the fight and determination that Wyn showed during his short life.
In 2006, the Scotts awarded a $1,000 scholarship to three Mill Creek players: Chris Tarver, Tyler Reed and John Certusi. Last year, hoping to make more of a financial impact for a single player, the entire scholarship amount was awarded to Jon Hull. Now, the Scotts are hoping to raise enough money to offer a full scholarship each year to a deserving student.
Stephanie said the foundation and scholarship are a fitting tribute to both her son and the young men in the Mill Creek football program.
“It’s not just honoring Wyn, it’s honoring these kids,” she said. “I know what a difference these kids go out and make.”
For more information about the Win for Wyn foundation, call Stephanie Scott at 770-401-3159 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.