~In Loving memory of a Wonderful Son~ Johnny died in Nashville, TN. at Vanderbilt Medical Center while waiting for a heart transplant. He had one son, Jacob Shane Atkins. Also survived by brothers, Gary and Justin Winstead. Von was previously married to Rita Epperson Winstead Miracle. Together they had two daughter's, so Johnny is also survived by two step sister's, Lisa Michelle Winstead Miracle and Kristi Dawn Winstead Fultz. Lisa has one son, Shawn, Kristi has two beautiful twin daughter's, Angelica and Chelsea. Mother and stepfather, Judy and Von Winstead. Von raised Johnny as his own. Grandmother, the late, Mary Scearce. Chester and Ina Atkins. Johnny had his first OHS when he was five years old. The Doctors repaired two holes and put in a shunte. Johnny had several severe heart defects. He had pulmanory valve stenosis, ventricular septal defect, transposition of the great vessels, dexicardia, mesocardia, cardiomyopathy and in 1988 when he had his second OHS, They replaced a valve. Johnny contracted Hepatitis C when he had his second OHS from a blood transfusion. This was noted in his chart but we were not told until about a year before he died. As he was being transferred to Vanderbilt from Knoxville (Tenn Care refused to pay to fly him to Nashville) His chart was left in the back of the rescue squad and I read it. That is how I found out and it was documented as to when he contracted it from the blood transfusion. He had a pulmanory emboli. By the time we found out he had Hepatitis C he was already in liver failure and heart failure so he was to weak to take the medicine for the Hepatitis C. I have been told by so many Drs., that he was a medical miracle. He only, by, the laws of medicine, should have lived a few short hour's. I have yet to meet anyone with the same heart problem's that he had or know of someone who does, that survived as long as he did. I have had several argue with me, as I waited at the ER with his chart's, saying he could not have all the defect's that he did, and him be alive. Over time, I have met a few people, or family member's who have had someone with some of the heart defect's, but not to the extent that Johnny did. He was truly amazing! He was very strong willed. When he was six year's old , he wanted to sponser "The March of Dime's." We had to walk five mile's and I was worried about him, but I WAS the one lagging behind! Usually he accomplished what he intended to do. He loved martial arts. I am trying to encourage Jacob to do the same. He loves it. A young man who was at Vanderbilt, had got his heart, the weekend before Johnny died. The nurses were excited. They came to tell Johnny, as they were getting the young man ready for surgery. I held my son in my arm's, as he cried, and said, "Mom, I am so glad that he has a chance to live." That was on Sunday and Johnny died Wednesday morning, during a code. Those few word's say's everything I need to say about what kind of person my son was. Johnny could not run alot because he got tired and his color was very cyanotic. He alway's attended public school. But he wanted to go. He didn't want to feel different. He wore long sleeves and would hardly go without a shirt, because he did not want anyone to see his scar's. We tried to tell him it was "battle wound's." He told me not to cry when he was gone and not to have any regret's, because I had been a good mother. This was about two week's before he went to Heaven. He was ready and he knew and he thought he was making it easier for me. A terminally ill patient alway's know's. I will see my son soon enough, when I finish up here. I still have a boy to raise. I made a promise. I took Jacob to the cemetery with me right after Johnny died and I had placed new flower's. The flower's had glue spread on them to look like dew.. Jacob said "What's this" I said, "That's dew." He thought for a minute and he said, "No nana, that's tear's." How much insight a child has. He was four year's old.Once when Johnny was in the hospital at Nashville, I asked a Dr. "How many people do you know of like Johnny.?"His reply was 64 and 20 of them are dead and I can't locate the other's. He was doing research. So I give thank's everyday to God for letting me keep Johnny. The last four month's he was really bad. He had to sleep sitting up because the heart failure was so bad. But I never heard him complain. Not one time. This was a special young man. God kept him here for a reason.Johnny always made friends easily and was always willing to help anyone. He did have a son and he was so proud of him. I know that I had a miracle for 26 years. I thank God for the time I had him. Judy (Johnny's mom.)Johnny professed Christ at an early age and was a member of Thorn Hill Missionary Babtist Church. His favorite country song was "Don't take the girl." Then he would jokingly play "97 Bonnie and Clyde." Due to his ex-wife, I guess. (smile)
I would also like to thank DR. CHARLES WENDER, who has retired, of KNOXVILLE, TN. at UTMRC for taking care of my Angel while he was here on earth. I pray for you often and will never forget your kindness to this special young man! I would love to thank everyone for the flower's and Johnny would be very proud. God Bless.. Love, Judy
~SEND THEM TO BED WITH A KISS~
O, mother's, so weary, so discouraged, Worn out with the care's of the day, You often grow cross and impatient, Complain of the noise and the play; For the day bring's so many vexation's, So many thing's going amis; But mother's, whatever may vex you, Send the children to bed with a kiss. For someday their noise will not vex you, The silence will hurt you more. You will long for their sweet childish voice's, For a sweet, childish face at the door. And to press a child's face to your bosom, You'd give all the world just for this! For the comfort 'twill bring you sorrow... Send the children to bed with a kiss.
Don't be discouraged if your children reject your advice. Year's later they will offer it to their own offspring. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all thing's. 1 Corinthians 13:7
~To my son~ A million times I've thought of you A million times, I've cried, If loving could have saved you, You never would have died. It broke my heart to lose you, But you didn't go alone, For part of me went with you, The morning, God called you home. Forgive me God, I'll always weep, For the son I loved, but could not keep.
The Shepherds had an Angel
The Wise Men had a star,
But what have I, a little child,
To guide me home from far,
Where glad stars sing together,
And singing Angels are?
Christ watches me, His little lamb;
Cares for me day and night,
That I may be His own in heaven
So angels, clad in white,
Shall sing their "Glory, Glory"
For my sake in the height.
Lord, I will give my love to Thee,
Than gold much costlier,
Sweeter to Thee than frankincense,
More prized than choicest myrrh;
Lord, make me dearer day by day,
Day by day holier.
~DEBBIE QUEEN LEWIS~THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SPONSERING THIS MEMORIAL!
~REMEMBER ME AS YOU PASS BY,
AS YOU ARE NOW, SO ONCE WAS I,
AS I AM NOW, SO YOU SHALL BE
PREPARE FOR DEATH AND FOLLOW ME.~
Judy Ann Scearce Atkins-Winstead