He was presented with extreme pain in his back between his shoulder blades, which started on Monday (November 7, 2011) at approximately 8:00 p.m.
Jym recounted, “After a restless night, Dad went to work at Vanderbilt University/Chemistry Dept Glassblowing Shop, still with extreme back pain. After the pain did not subside, he decided to call his doctor who advised him to go to the Emergency Room. He walked 1/2 mile to the ER. Can you believe that? After examining him, he was advised that his pulse rate was 40 and dropping fast, and that he was having a heart attack. The ER cardiologist directed the nurses to bring the paddles in case they were needed. His pulse dropped even further -- down to 30. Further testing showed he was going to need bypass surgery (3 grafts), which was scheduled for Friday at 8:00 a.m. This would allow his body to rest some before the surgery. However, after having a severe episode of pain, three nitro pills, and two additional EKGs, the surgery was moved up immediately. Surgery lasted just under five hours, and he received five grafts instead of three!”
Tommy is recovering well and visiting with family and friends. He walked his first steps approximately 12 hours after the surgery. The surgeon said there is very little damage to his heart, and he is expected to be released from the hospital on Tuesday of this week.
Many Southern Gospel fans will remember Tommy filling in for Jake Hess and James Blackwood with the Masters V, for Ed Hill with J.D. Sumner & The Stamps, and filled some dates with Hovie Lister & The Statesmen.
“All our fans sent tons of support to me and prayers up for my family and especially father,” mentioned Jym. “The support shown to my family during this time has been so amazing. We appreciate your continued support and prayers!”
More information will be posted periodically to Mark209’s website at www.mark209.com or on their Facebook at www.facebook.com/MARK209 .
Mark209 is one of the most exciting Gospel quartets touring the country today. The intricate harmonies, detailed arrangements, energy, and versatility place this group in a league of its own. In a time when mediocrity is widely accepted, this group has raised the bar and exceeds everyone's expectations. The group consists of Jym Howe, Nathaniel Justice, Joe Armstrong, and Jimmy Reno.