McCoy returns to RES

RIPLEY — Wednesday April 15, after a five-month absence to deal with a life-threatening medical condition, the familiar face of Sherill “Coach” McCoy was back at her usual post as physical education teacher at Ripley Elementary School. In November, McCoy underwent a total of 10 1/2 hours of emergency surgery to relieve pressure on her brain after she fell ill at school. McCoy even spent time on a ventilator before making a full recovery at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson. As McCoy was greeted with numerous smiles and hugs from students as well as teachers on her first day back, she was more than grateful for another chance to do what she’s done for the last 30 years. “It’s not that I got to come to school, but I get to come to school,” exclaimed McCoy. ” I’m just so thankful to God and the doctors and all the prayers that I made it back and didn’t have to have any physical therapy.” McCoy said the biggest reason she came back was to make sure the third and fourth grade students got a chance to participate in their annual basketball game. Each year for the past 14 years, students in those grades have been divided into teams for a night of basketball. McCoy didn’t want this year to be any different. “I owed it to these children,” said McCoy. “I told them we would have a third and fourth grade game, and I didn’t want to let these children down by not being able to have their game like the rest of the kids in the previous years.” McCoy said that they were expecting her to undergo four months of physical rehabilitation, but after the doctors and nurses saw her progress, it was determined rehab wouldn’t be necessary. After being released from the hospital, McCoy was ordered to rest and she was not allowed to lift more than 10 to 15 pounds. Any pressure to the brain would damage the work the doctors performed. Capillaries and blood vessels that were too small to allow blood to flow freely through them caused McCoy’s medical problem. McCoy said the condition was hereditary and that doctors put coils in the vessels to open them up and cauterized some of the bleeders. When McCoy was cleared by her doctors, she wasted no time in getting back to work, noting how hard it was to be away from the job she loved so much. “The hardest thing in the world is to do nothing and it was bad boring,” said McCoy. “I knew right then I had to be around people to be a productive person. I certainly did not like all that boring time off.” Ripley Elementary School Principal Nedra Nabors said that seeing McCoy back at school was exciting and something that she and the students had been waiting on. “I’m so excited that Sherill is back with us,” said Nabors. “We have missed her tremendously and the students have really missed her. They kept asking in the halls, when is Coach coming back? “It is wonderful to have her back where she belongs. She’s a part of Ripley Elementary School and she does an outstanding job. It’s just a blessing that we can have her back at school with us.”

Kedrick Storey/Southern Sentinel