Jump to content

Sam Wyche Needs a Heart Transplant


Recommended Posts

From King's mmqb:


Sam Wyche needs a heart transplant

The 71-year-old former coach of the Bengals and Bucs—and one of the most interesting and innovative minds in football over the past 40 years—is in the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte this morning, his case the highest priority among transplant hopefuls. In fact, Wyche is in the same room that Panthers owner Jerry Richardson was in when awaiting his new heart in 2009. When I spoke to Wyche over the weekend, he said he’d had an unexpected visitor: Richardson. Twice.

“He told me his experience, and he was incredibly encouraging,” said Wyche, sounding a bit worn. He’s in a hospital renowned for its heart care and transplants. “He told me not to worry about the surgery. And then he came again, to see how I was. It was really incredible. He told me not to worry—heart transplants are like changing a tire to the doctors here.”

Wyche came down with cardio myopathy, a disease of the heart muscles, from a virus in 2001. His heart has been steadily weakening, and now he said the left side of the heart has stopped working entirely. Two weeks ago, Wyche was working in his yard in Pickens, S.C., and noticed he was panting, and any little exertion took his breath away. After being examined and sent to the Charlotte heart facility, doctors discovered how seriously ill he was. They put Wyche with the highest-priority candidates for a transplant, meaning he’d be a prime candidate if a heart is found within a 500-mile radius.

His attitude is great. There’s no hard-and-fast timetable for when he has to receive a heart; his vital signs are good, and he’s in good spirits. He sounds neither morbid nor down for the count when he says: “I’m not afraid of dying, not at all. The main reason is because I have been saved. I believe there’s a better place.”

More to come about Wyche in the coming days. Of all the coaches I’ve covered—he was the rookie coach of the Bengals when I was the rookie beat writer for the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1984—he was the most open, the most diverse, and the one with the most interests. That Christmas, 1984, I arranged an event at a Cincinnati orphanage with Cris Collinsworth and backup quarterback Turk Schonert as special guest. I told Wyche about it, and he came too, and did a magic show. Yes, he was a magician in his spare time. A good one too. I have seen the man pull a rabbit out of his top hat.

I know you’ll join me in sending your best wishes his way

Get well soon, Sam!

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hope all goes well for him and his family, was the best coach I've ever seen in the jungle, seemed to have a great rapport with the the fans and players, and was so far ahead of his time in so many ways. Deserved a superbowl win too ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hoosier, thanks for posting this. Saw it and meant to post her but failed to remember.

i think all Bengals fans, football fans, hope he gets the chance he needs and can live to a ripe old age. The man is a football genius and football owes him quite a debt of gratitude for all his innovation and commitment to the game. I know I do.

best wishes to him for his recovery!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...