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Northside-Jax coach Marshburn recovering from heart attack

January 15, 2012
North Carolina

By Chris Miller
Jacksonville Daily News

JACKSONVILLE - After suffering a heart attack during practice, Northside High School boys basketball coach Tony Marshburn said Friday he was feeling better as he recovered at Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern.

“Everything is fine. I have a great team of doctors and the EMS was great. They have done an unbelievable job,” Marshburn said in low tone of voice. “When I arrived, they took me straight into surgery. The doctor said the timing was the key. The good Lord, I can’t say enough about him. He was looking out for me.”

The 54-year-old Marshburn suffered a heart attack after walking outside the Northside gym for the second time during practice around 8 p.m. Thursday. He said assistant coach Rick Hammond joined him outside before calling 911.

“I had chest pains yesterday afternoon and I just thought it was indigestion. I got to practice and I was fine,” Marshburn said. “I talked to the guys for 30 to 45 minutes. I just had some shortness of breath, but nothing major.

“But it intensified. I walked out because I didn’t want the boys to see me. I told Rick that I didn’t feel well. I walked out to get some fresh air and came back in and I could tell I had (sweat) on my forehead. I went straight to Rick and said, ‘Call 911.’ I went outside and laid on the ground.”

Marshburn said EMS arrived at the school within 10 minutes and that the perimedics decided to transport him to Carolina East after they realized it was a heart attack.

“They started hooking up a monitor and one guys said, ‘Call Craven immediately,’” Marshburn said. “I was worried to death. This was totally unexpected. The doctor said I made it in time for them to save my heart.”

Marshburn was moved from the cardio intensive care unit into a regular patient room. He and Northside athletic director Angela Buchanan said Marshburn should be out of work for three weeks.

“He had surgery. They put a stent in to correct the flow and he’s doing well,” Buchanan said. “The doctor said because he was in such good shape, that will help in his recovery.”

White Oak High athletic director Greg Grantham visited his longtime friend Thursday night.

“He’s doing a lot better,” Grantham said. “He’s still weak and tired, but he’s doing a lot better.”

Grantham said Marshburn was back to his usual self. He said Marshburn, a coach and teacher for 30 years and Northside’s only head boys’ basketball coach in program history, was giving assistant coach Kendrick Pollock behind-the-scene details of his coaching duties.

Pollock will coach the Monarchs’ while Marshburn is sidelined.

Former Northside AD Mike Smith also went to the hospital to check on Marshburn.

“Mike Smith said he was listening to me give Kendrick the game plan, but I don’t remember that,” Marshburn said. “Kendrick will do a great job. He’s a fantastic person and the kids love him. He will do a great job. I don’t worry about that. The biggest thing I’m thinking about is the kids.”

Pollock, who was Jones Senior’s head coach from 2008 to 2010, said the team’s players and coaches will keep Marshburn in their thoughts heading into Friday night’s East Central 2-A Conference game at Clinton.

“Of course coach Marshburn is going to be on our minds. He is Northside basketball,” Pollock said. “We will continue to play hard and try our best to represent the school and coach Marshburn to the best to our ability.”

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