Tommy Long (TJ) is a son, brother, father, husband, a local coach, and friend. He is married to Lindsey Long and has two children (daughter) Stormy Long, junior at Airline High School and (son) Cayden Long, 7th grader at Greenacres. Tommy has been coaching football, basketball, and baseball (both league and travel ball) for the last six years. He is good at motivating the boys and has a way of getting something out of them without all the yelling and screaming.
In early April 2017, Tommy was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in his tibia. After his fourth chemotherapy treatment, he became very ill, when he was taken to the hospital and admitted. After a week in the hospital, his condition took a turn for the worse and he was moved to ICU where he was placed on a ventilator and EGD tube. They ran several tests, including a spinal tap, which discovered that Tommy had west nile meningoencephalitis. Unfortunately, there was no specific treatment available so they could only treat the symptoms and let the virus run its course. West Nile caused its own set of obstacles to overcome on top of the already difficult battle he was facing. Tommy spent 46 days in the hospital (14 of which in ICU on the ventilator). Afterwards, Tommy was moved to Promise Rehabilitation Hospital where he worked to regain his strength along with speech, occupational and physical therapy before being released. Once released, he was sent to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas to undergo surgery to remove the osteosarcoma (cancerous bone tumor) from his tibia, which included a full knee replacement. He spent four days in the hospital before being moved to Baylor Institute of Rehabilitation (BIR), an inpatient rehab. During his stay, he worked on average five hours a day regaining his strength and mobility in his knee. They also worked on everything from his speech and memory, lifting his arms (which he could no longer do) to dressing himself…all things that West Nile had stripped of him. After completing 23 days at BIR, he was released to come home on September 23. What a joyous day it was being home and reunited with our kids! But it was short-lived, we immediately started chemo the following week (back on every 21-day schedule) and just completed his eighth and what we thought was his final chemotherapy treatment. We have been informed by his oncologist that due to his type of cancer, he will need more treatment after the first part of the year. This next phase of treatment will require Tommy to be hospitalized for a week at a time, while he receives his doses, so he can be monitored closely. Due to the rarity of Tommy’s cancer, all of his doctors and treatments are at Baylor Medical Center. We see them weekly for labs, etc., plus in the meantime, Tommy continues to receive occupational and physical therapy here three times a week in hopes to regain mobility. He has made huge strides so far, but we still have a few hurdles in our way.
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