On Sunday, Aug. 25, 2019, we almost lost LaTrice Currie. My friend and WRCB co-worker of almost 25 years, suffered a medical emergency that threatened her life. Doctors say she “coded” five times in a two-day period. In addition to a blood clot and a pulmonary embolism, there was severe internal damage due to multiple resuscitation efforts.
She is returning to work this week after one month of being “totally out of it,” followed by two months of recovery and physical rehabilitation, and three months of regaining her strength and stamina.
Since many of you have asked about her, here is her story, as told by LaTrice, her friend Deidre Clack, and her father James Currie.
LaTrice: “I had a blood clot on that Sunday morning. I was getting ready for church. I remember falling in the kitchen. I was trying to get my bearings, and thankfully I had my phone. I called my friend Deidre. I told her something was wrong, but I didn't know what was going on. The room was spinning. She kept me on the phone and called 9-1-1.
Deidre: “We were about to leave for church when she called. If I hadn't seen her name on the caller ID, I wouldn't have known it was her. It didn't sound like her. I thought she said, “Help me,” but I could barely understand her. I kept saying her name, and then she didn't respond. I was freaking out, and I told my husband to call 9-1-1.”
LaTrice: “I knew the EMT's would be coming, and I was afraid they wouldn't be able to open the front door. I somehow managed to get to the door, although I fell, and cut my face. I remember someone grabbing my hand, and touching my face. I remember them putting me in the ambulance, and that's the last thing I remember for about three weeks.”
Deidre: “We got her to the hospital, and they immediately put her in the Critical Care Unit. The doctor said she was by far the sickest patient in the hospital. We knew we had to call her dad, and he was in Nashville. He's 81 years old, but very strong.
James Currie: Deidre called, and she said LaTrice is very sick. You need to come NOW! I couldn't believe it. I had just visited her two days earlier, and she was fine. She eats right, she exercises, how could anything be wrong with LaTrice? This happened on Sunday August 25th. My wife had passed a year earlier, almost to the day. I said to God, you can't do this to me. I've lost my wife, I can't lose my daughter I can't take it! When I got there and saw her condition, she had already undergone one surgery, and I was told there would be many more. I just started praying. They prepared us for the worst.”
Deidre: “For about three weeks, she was unresponsive. We almost lost her several times. They even thought she had a heart attack once, but she didn't. Finally, one day I went in, and she was sitting up. Thank God, she recognized me, and she recognized her daddy. We were afraid it had affected her brain, so that was a blessing. A few days later she was sitting up working on a crossword puzzle. She was trying to eat, and was sipping on some juice. I'm like, wow, God, you heard our prayers.”
James: “She's a fighter. A lot of people don't know that, but she's always been a fighter. She was determined to get better. Those physical therapists, they would tell her to walk up and down the hall two times, she would do it four times.”
LaTrice: “The nurses said I would light up like a Christmas tree when my daddy walked in the room. If he wasn't there, I would ask about him. He is my rock.”
James: “People use the word miracle a lot. I actually saw a miracle happen with my own eyes. I saw her crying once. She said Daddy, even if I get out of here, I don't know if I'll be able to do anything. I said honey, God brought you this far, and he didn't do that to just leave you here. God will take care of you. I never saw her cry again.”
LaTrice: “If there's any doubt in your heart about miracles, you're looking at a walking, living, breathing miracle. People sent cards saying, “I'm praying for you.” I felt each and every prayer. I hope one of the things that comes out of this is, I'm just one example. If you know someone who needs help, I want you to dig down and say that same prayer you sent for me, let's send it up for them as well. Miracles do happen!”
David Carroll, a Chattanooga news anchor, is the author of “Volunteer Bama Dawg,” available on his website, ChattanoogaRadioTV.com. You may contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 900 Whitehall Road, Chattanooga, TN 37405.