COLE ALLEN PURYEAR
August 14, 2002 – December 19, 2009
Cole's Life Has Touched
The family is in awe of the support, prayers, and stories others have shared, and how their little fighter is bringing others, even still, closer to the Lord.
The Facebook prayer page had over 6,000 members.
Donation of Cole's organs saved 7 lives!
‘Cole’s Christmas for Children’ was set up through his school, Riceville Elementary School. To date this fund has accumulated thousands of dollars in donations and provides games each Christmas to underprivileged children.
Over 2,000 people attended Cole’s receiving of friends on December 21.
Over 500 attended the bit more “private” funeral, with at least 6 souls being led to Christ during the service.
Basketball games in two counties were cancelled the week of Cole’s death due to the shock in his community. When games resumed, and for the remainder of the season, players and referees were sporting patches with Cole’s picture, and the phrase “For the Love of the Game” to honor Cole. Local baseball teams later wore the patch in Cole's memory.
Cole was a perfectly healthy, very active, academically gifted young man with a bright future ahead of him. He was active in church and school activities. Cole was outgoing and loved by people of all ages. He EXCELLED in athletics.
On December 15, 2009 Cole suffered a sudden and massive stroke.
Cole was tossing a football with his Daddy Glen and his older brother Cade after school.
Suddenly Cole lost his ability to speak, the grasp of his right hand, and was having vision troubles.
Glen and Cade rushed Cole to the local hospital and were met there by his mother Cayci.
Cole was treated for a possible seizure at the hospital in Athens, TN and was then transported via ambulance to Children’s Hospital in Knoxville, TN where family members began to gather in prayer. He was initially diagnosed with a severe migraine, and it was expected that he would regain his speech and mobility by early the next morning.
Throughout the night, Cole showed no improvement. The next day an MRI was performed confirming massive damage to the brain due to a stroke. This was caused by a congenital defect that was previously undetected.
The congenital defect made having a stroke a certainty, but had waited until just this moment to strike. The damage was so extensive that, had he lived, Cole most likely would have never walked or talked again.
One doctor stated: “It was a miracle he survived past infancy. It was a miracle that he was such a gifted little boy.”
Why did it take almost 24 hours
and 2 hospitals to obtain
a correct diagnosis?
Strokes are seen as an affliction of the elderly.
Warning signs are often overlooked.
Doctors often do not consider childhood stroke to be a possibility.
HOWEVER, childhood strokes are on the rise; and it is crucial to obtain a quick diagnosis and treatment for a positive outcome.
“You know, Mama, God gave his only son to save all of us. If giving up my son can save even one, then I am willing. But OH! Mama, why is he asking this of me?”
Glen Puryear, father of Cole, to his mother Cecelia on December 17, 2009.
“You know, Steph, the more time that passes, the more I can see that this really HAD to be God’s plan. The blessings that are coming from his death are boundless, and just proof that this was meant to be.”
Glen Puryear, father of Cole, to his sister Stephanie soon after plans for the building of Noah's Ark were announced.
As a result of Cole's death, Children's Hospital in Knoxville, TN has developed a protocol for handling young patients who arrive in the ER with symptoms of stroke. To quote one of Cole's doctors, "If we are not the only children's hospital with such a protocol, we are one of a very few. The new protocol could not have saved Cole, but it will save the lives of children who arrive in our hospital in the future."