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Byrds Johnson, family to share turkey at WK facility
November 28, 2015, 6:57 am

 Sitting in a small foyer just outside the lunchtime-infused, frenetic cafeteria at Willis-Knighton North, Rusty Johnson was a man pulled in a multitude of directions.

Staff at the facility stopped by to ask questions about Johnson’s wife, Carolyn, offer updates on what they knew or to just offer a bit of support. Johnson nervously checked his phone when a text or call arrived, while answering questions without a flinch. He was also trying to think through how he would prepare his Byrd basketball team for a second-round game in the Lakeside Basketball Tournament just a few hours later.

Meanwhile, the vast majority of his thoughts, prayers and worries were directed toward the woman lying in the hospital room four floors above where he was sitting. Carolyn Johnson is not winning her latest bout with a metastic cancer that started in her breast 12 years ago before moving to her lungs and now into her brain.

She entered the hospital system in June and hasn’t left. She hasn’t walked since that time and scarcely talks. That’s taken a toll on the family, which includes sons Tyler, the head basketball coach at Atlanta, and Todd, Rusty’s assistant at Byrd. There are also daughters Ali and Lauren, a senior and sophomore at Byrd, respectively.

“It’s been very hard on all of us,” Rusty said. “She was basically head of the family. She took care of things like the groceries and the finances, and just let me coach. There are a lot of things I don’t know and she has been unable to tell me.”

Click here to read the rest of The Times article.



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