SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - In the high school world, he's one of the most familiar faces in the Carolinas. Scott Young has led the West Rowan Falcons to three state championships in the last few years, but now finds himself facing his greatest challenge.
Simply, Young has a bad heart and needs a transplant. On Tuesday he underwent open-heart surgery as a stopgap until a transplant can be found.
"Doctors were very up-front and honest, and in a roundabout way, said 'Your heart doesn't have but so much left in the tank,'" Young said Monday.
Young has had two heart attacks since 2011 and recent symptoms were troubling. On Tuesday he had open-heart surgery to install a ventricular assist device to help his heart until a transplant can be found.
"There's no guarantee when we can get to that next surgery, but there is no next surgery if we don't take this important step," Young added.
"We've heard that he's getting along very well after the surgery and is hopefully going to recover," said Kim Hartsell Pryor. Pryor runs the West Rowan Grill, just up the road from the high school. She says folks here have been very concerned about Coach Young. "He is very well respected, very well thought of. He's coached many kids over the years and has been highly thought-of."
The community is showing support through prayer and even a gofundme.com page that as of Wednesday evening $8000 raised towards a $50,000 goal.
This week the spirit rock at West Rowan has been repainted so that it says simply "Coach Young," and on the side "Get Well Soon."
And in a community that proudly proclaims its pride by saying 'it's all about the U,' right now, it's all about the coach.
"It really does my heart well, literally," Young added.
West Rowan basketball coach Mike Gurley is planning a benefit basketball game featuring former basketball and football players in a few weeks to help cover some of the costs being faced by the Young family.
To visit Young's fund-raising page, click this link: http://www.gofundme.com/ScottYoungWR