First District Commissioner Terry Caywood returned to his commission seat Monday night following what he described as a “humbling” few weeks after having heart bypass surgery.
The commissioner underwent his surgery less than two weeks ago and the welcome back was full of good humor and affection.
“Commissioner Caywood has mentioned he looks forward to a stress-free meeting tonight and I assured him, and others did too, this would be,” said Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis who sits next to Caywood on the commission dais.
Fifth District Commissioner Jeff Yarber, who has been pushing his issues with the Road Committee, kept to the promise.
“There’s a Road Committee meeting in the morning and to keep from stressing out Commissioner Caywood, I’ll wait until then,” Yarber said, bringing a laugh from the room.
All of the commissioners welcomed Caywood back with well wishes and collegial friendship.
Even Caywood brought laughter as he told of what happened after the commission meeting of June 23, saying some of the details that had been reported were not quite right.
“One of my friends called and said, ‘What did you all discuss at that commission meeting that put you in the hospital?’” Caywood recalled.
Looking at his fellow commissioners he said, “You’re not the ones who did that.”
He said a heart catheterization test had already been scheduled for the next day.
“I left this meeting and went to Walmart to get six dozen ears of corn for my wife and I to work on,” he said.
Caywood said when the tests were finished at Memorial Hospital in Chattanooga, the doctors found he had seven blockages.
“We had the surgery the next day,” Caywood said. “The Lord has blessed me.”
“This is a humbling place to live,” he continued. “The outpouring, the contacts, the visits, gifts, cards, emails, texts — I just can’t tell you how humbling it is to me.”
He said he appreciated all of the prayers and asked they continue.
“There’s some swelling in my feet and they’re not sure what’s causing it,” Caywood said. “The Lord took care of the heart surgery. He can take care of that.”
He also recognized his wife, Arlene, saying it was the first county commission meeting she had attended since he took office.
“I said it’s terrible you have to go through heart surgery to get your wife to come,” he said with a smile. “But, they won’t let me drive for a month and it’s a real treat to have my wife chauffer me around.”