"You look out for me in the long run and I'll take care of you in the end." (R.I.P. Timothy Q. Scott)
December 17, 2011 is a day that will be etched in the blueprint of memory forever. It was a day my world was turned upside down. Literally. On that very day, I experienced the death of my child. My 16 year-old son, Timothy who was bright, charming, intelligent, a student-athlete and an absolute joy to be around, unexpectedly passed away in his sleep during the early morning hours of December 17th. No signs or warnings were present the previous evening to foretell that he was in trouble. No bells or whistles went off in my psyche that I could remember that would prompt me to look at him more keenly as he told me good night and went to bed. That morning, I went to his room to wake him but decided to let him sleep in. My rationale at the time was that since he was a growing young man, he needed his rest so I chose not to disturb him. Timothy was found hours later, deceased in his bed. The paramedics told us there was nothing they could do to save him. It was too late. In absolute disbelief, I kneeled beside his still body and he looked as if he were peacefully sleeping. I remember his skin was cool to the touch and his eyes were slightly opened. I spoke to him out loud and in the spirit. I caressed the top of his head and kissed his face several times. I watched the medical examiner take my son from his room, from my home and from my life. Hours later, the questions began to religiously suffocate me. Why didn’t my motherly intuition kick in? How could death visit my home unannounced, uninvited and abruptly? How could I ever come to terms with what had just happened? Why did my first-born son have to die? And most importantly, did God think I was a bad mother? I spent many weeks after Tim’s death in a complete fog. I was on auto-pilot and the tears never stopped flowing.
The autopsy results for Timothy were released close to 3 months later. I had prayed that I would know something before Timothy’s 17th birthday had came around. God answered my prayer! It was explained to me that Timothy’s death was ruled a Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) where the heart just stops beating. I didn’t know much about SCD so I immediately went to the internet to learn more about it and I was surprised to see that SCD is ruled a natural death from cardiac causes. As I kept reading article after article, I was stunned to also learn that in cases of sudden cardiac death, the heart appears to be resistant to the attempts of resuscitation. Simply put, CPR does not always work. However, the use of a defibrillator has contributed to the survival of many people when used within minutes of the acute symptoms. I have so much more research to do on SCD, but knowing what happened to Timothy after he had gone to sleep has brought my family some closure. I know he didn’t suffer. I know there’s nothing we could have done to prevent this from happening. I know I can continue to educate myself, my family and others on SCD while the medical field continues to research and implement schemes to screen young athletes. Through Timothy’s close friends, I learned that his favorite saying to them right before a football game was this, “You look out for me in the long run and I’ll take care of you in the end.” How prophetic are my son’s words for me today! It gives me hope and comfort that brighter days are ahead while I continue my journey through the grieving process.
On March 17, 2012, the Timothy Q. Scott Foundation was born. Please visit the site for more information: www.tqsfoundation.org