Kevin Ward shares the story of his near death experience
This is part one of a three-part series. You can the second part here.
ALAMO, Tenn — Kevin Ward has been the head coach at Crockett County since 2010, but in August of 2016, his career nearly ended. Ward and his staff were set to prepare for that week’s jamboree when things took an unexpected turn.
“While I’m out there mowing, I’ve got this tightness in my chest again and I thought man this is weird because I just had this yesterday,” Ward said.
He didn’t know at the time but he was suffering from a heart attack. 90 percent of Ward’s widow maker artery was blocked, something he said 75 percent of people don’t even make it to the hospital with. On hand was assistant coach Kent Scott who realized something wasn’t right with Ward. The two went back and forth deciding if they should call Ward’s wife, Kim, who was out at the pool that day. Ward saying he didn’t want to call because he thought it was indigestion. But the two caved, and Kim convinced Ward to call for an ambulance.
“The way down to the hospital, I’m here fixing to have to pay a 900 to a thousand dollar bill for this ambulance ride to the hospital, and that’s what I thought about this whole time,” Ward said.
After going through various testing, Ward found out the next day he would need to undergo triple bypass surgery.
“The surgery part you know always is a question mark you know, so I was more concerned with that than I was ever coming back and coaching football,” Ward said.
But after nearly losing his life on a football field, his mother, Pat, and his wife made sure they kept his priorities in check.
“Football will be there when you get back, there’s no need in rushing it, when you’ve got four kids and a grandson to think about and we want to make sure you’re here for a long time to spend lots of time with them,” Ward said.
Next time we will look into the recovery of Ward and how his Cavaliers had to move on without him as their season was just four days away.