Tammy Wynette was a victim of Adhesion Related Disease...( part 1 )

From: Helen Dynda (olddad66@runestone.net)
Tue Jun 19 23:15:57 2001

Bev asked me to share her comments about Tammy Wynette's long ordeal with adhesion related disease ( ARD ). Her comments are based on Jackie Daly's book -- "A Daughter Recalls Her Mother's Tragic Life and Death" -- which she wrote as a tribute to her mother, Tammy Wynette. Since Bev's comments were rather long, I decided to post her comments in three parts.

[]] Tammy Wynette was a victim of Adhesion Related Disease!!...( part 1 )

Tammy Wynette: "I want to be remembered as someone who tried to tell people what the truth was, as someone who tried to share what was in her heart." Tammy Wynette--a loving wife, mother and friend as well as a popular country singer--died Monday April 6, 1998 at the age of 55. Tammy, a world renowned celebrity, suffered no less the indignities than any other person living or dying from complications of "Adhesion Related Disease". Never fully diagnosed, never completely treated for the many symptoms of ARD, never fully understanding the reason for her suffering and pain, Tammy Wynette died at her home on Monday, April 6, 1998. Although her attending physician reported the cause of her death to be a blood clot in her lungs ( the result of what was described as a debilitating and painful illness ), in truth, her health had been bad for years. Tammy Wynette had undergone more than 35 operations in 25 years. She is survived by her husband, George Richey, five daughters, and a son.

The following excerpts are from Jackie Daly's book, " A Daughter Recalls Her Mother's Tragic Life and Death."

" The blood rushed to my head and, suddenly, everything was surreal: Richey's moans wafting down the hall; blurred figures moving in and out of the kitchen, drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes and talking in muffled voices; the constant metallic toll of the telephone; my dead mother curled into a fetal position facing the back of the sofa and the catheter used for administering painkillers and intravenous feeding bulging under the blanket that covered her; Tina, four months pregnant, stroking Mom's lifeless feet through peach-colored anklets.

" She asked Sylvia about it and was told that no local doctor had been notified.

" Nobody will come out because she doesn't have a doctor here," Sylvia told her.

" That's a crock of shit," Gwen snapped. " Davidson County has a medical examiner. He will come out."

" Well," Sylvia said, "Dr. Marsh is on his way from Pittsburgh."

" Dr. Wallis Marsh was a respected liver-transplant specialist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He had been treating Mom for a variety of ailments for about six years. He'd become more than her doctor: he was a friend and fan who sometimes went on cruises or performance tours, almost like a part of Mom's entourage.

" As far as we knew, he was an excellent physician and surgeon, but it made no sense to me or my sisters why he would charter a plane and fly all the way from Pittsburgh just to sign her death certificate. Nashville was full of doctors capable of doing that. Davidson County had a medical examiner who could have done that. Why send for a doctor nearly six hundred miles away?

" After Georgette was born in 1970, Mom had a couple of surgeries - first an appendectomy and then a hysterectomy. Apparently she didn’t heal properly on the inside. Adhesions and later, Keloids, formed in her lower abdomen causing a number of complications, including bowel obstructions and severe pain. Adhesions, according to my medical dictionary, are fibrous bands of scar tissue that bind together normally separated anatomical structures. Keloids are raised, red formations of fibrous scar tissue caused by excessive tissue repair.

" What that means to me is that the adhesions left by the surgery were causing tissue in her body that should have been separated to fuse together, and repeated attempts to correct the problem only made it worse by creating scar tissue that was just as painful. Over the next twenty-five years, Mom, would undergo more then thirty operations, none of which solved her problem!"

( Continued in Part 2 )

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