Sheldon teacher thankful for community support during COVID-19 battle

The road to recovery has been a long one for Scott Wright, but his gratitude for the outpouring of support from the Sheldon community has inspired him as he has inspired others.

Posted: Mar 20, 2021 12:34 AM
Updated: May 3, 2021 11:31 AM

Eugene, Ore. -- Scott Wright wakes up every day with gratitude.

"It still blows my mind to this day the love, support, the care, the outpouring of love and prayers that were going up were just absolutely incredible," he says. 

Scott contracted CoVid-19 in November. An able bodied healthy eater who ran marathons, he wasn't supposed to be someone at risk.

"I felt fine that Friday night [back in November]. We had games in the morning I had just a little bit of something going but nothing more than a minor minor cold, but they grew and got worse and worse."

"I went over Saturday to watch a Duck football game with him and he's breathing like this," says Scott's father Jim. "So I went and got an oximeter."

"So I put it on and my oxygen saturation was 24 percent," Scott explains. "Pretty soon they were already talking about being put on life support and that's when it sunk in like 'yeah I am really sick.'"

As Scott's condition continued to deteriorate, he was put on an ECMO machine, which pumps and oxygenates a patient's blood outside the body, allowing the heart and lungs to rest. The doctors said it was a coin flip.

"There are no alternatives after ECMO," says Jim. "This happens in the affirmative or he's gone."

"We weren't sure we'd ever see him again," Scott's mother Vay says. "His last call to us was 'Mom and Dad come they're going to intubate me' and I thought that was the last time I was going to hear from him."

For the first time in his life, Scott contemplated his mortality.

"I didn't think I was gonna die but I was okay with it. I didn't want it obviously but I know that people that love me and my family would've known that somehow it would've happened for a reason and that something good would've turned out from it."

Every day he hung on, his parents marked a W on their calendar meaning he won the day. Slowly, a miracle occurred in real time. Spurred on by prayers and well wishes from the Sheldon community, Scott regained consciousness and was able to see the mark he left on those around him.

"I'm not a crier. Not that that's a bad thing but I'm just not. And I coulnd't hold it together."

"He's been given this gift of giving back he's not done," says Vay. "He's not done yet. He makes a difference in the community."

"They knew I cared about them and that's all you can hope for as a teacher," Scott follows up. "I'm just so thankful they knew that. Hard to take when you're really sick. But to get that information is like I'm gonna fight like heck do what I can to give back."

Tomorrow, Scott Wright will wake up with gratitude. And after the journey he's had, it will feel especially gratifying to step on the turf at Dennis Ludwig Stadium and put on a headset again. 

"There's nothing better. It's part of the reason I got into teaching was because of some of the influence that teachers and coaches had on my life and how special they made it feel for me. Now I get to be on the other side helping players and doing my best to try and make it a special deal for them. I'm forever grateful and only wish I could return some of the love and support the community has given me."

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