Restaurateur with Stanly ties in ICU with unknown condition

Editor’s Note: The following story is about Scott Teeter, who is the son of Nicky and Brinda Teeter of Stanfield and nephew of county commission chairman Bill Lawhon and his wife, Gail.

By Chandler Inions, Salisbury Post

Scott Teeter, of Sweet Meadow Cafe in Salisbury, went to the hospital with pneumonia symptoms last week. While his condition has been up and down, Teeter remains in the ICU.

According to several of his friends, doctors at Rowan Medical Center have been treating his symptoms, but multiple tests have come back negative as they seek to determine what is causing them.

Initially, he and his wife, Heather, were suffering from the flu, but Heather got better. Scott’s symptoms, however, seemed to get worse.

After being admitted to the emergency room on Nov. 25, he was intubated shortly afterward. His personal breathing capacity has fluctuated throughout his stay at the hospital, and a persistent fever has hampered his recovery.

On Wednesday, family friend Ashley Jo Farmer provided an update on Facebook about his condition. She has been using the social media platform to offer multiple daily updates throughout Scott’s stay at the hospital.

“Scott Teeter is hanging in there!” Farmer’s post began. “He tolerated the prone position well overnight, and it helped him increase his oxygen saturation. They will be turning him soon back over to his back. They expect body agitation and an increased need for oxygen when they do.

“They are reintroducing an antibiotic because his white blood cell count is up and he still has a fever. They’re also keeping him on Lasix around the clock to help get the fluid off his lungs and out of his body.”

Doctors ran a full autoimmune panel on Wednesday but told Farmer and those at the hospital that it would take a couple of days to get results.

“They’re still trying to grow a culture, and they’re sending out new cultures for possible growth,” Farmer’s post said. “We are so frustrated that we still don’t know what is causing all of this.”

While the uncertainty of the cause lingers, Farmer’s Wednesday post provided some promise after a bleaker Tuesday update left many increasingly concerned.

Farmer’s Tuesday update indicated that Scott had developed Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome. The post said, “Scott had a pretty rough night. We have now turned a corner, and it’s not in the direction we were hoping for. The next 24 hours are critical, and we have been told anything can happen.

“His lungs are starting to stiffen up again, and he is back up to 90 percent forced oxygen. They are trying to control his breathing by making him use the machine and not his lungs to do the work, so his lungs don’t sustain damage from him over-breathing.”

Scott and Heather Teeter (Photo by Tim Coffey)

As she watches her husband battle whatever is making him sick, Heather has been right by his side.

“I feel like I have been on a very long walk,” Heather said on Tuesday. “I just have to keep walking because if I stop walking, I feel like I will fall down.”

Heather has not been alone, as friends like Farmer and Sam and Rob Ring have joined her in the ICU wing of the hospital to help shoulder the load any way they can.

“We’re the kind of crutches that don’t hurt your armpits,” Ring said with a smile. The friend troupe surrounding Heather acknowledged that they have tried to find humor as they navigate the difficult waters in which they find themselves, making sure, above all, that they can be there to provide the strength that Scott needs as he fights for his life.

Heather said of her husband, “He is my human. He is my person. He has been by my side for nearly half my life. He makes me laugh … he makes me cry. He gets me through this life and makes me want to be the best person I can be. I don’t know what I would do without him.”

A lot of people have been asking about how they can help the Teeter family. In one of her Facebook updates, Farmer outlined how:

• Pray and send your well wishes. The power of positive thinking has reverberations we can’t begin to understand. And the power of prayer is undeniable. Please don’t stop.

• Patronize Sweet Meadow Cafe. Heather’s staff is ready to serve you. OR buy a gift certificate from Sweet Meadow for someone. Your patronage will help keep Heather and Scott’s restaurant floating during this time.

• Donate to Heather’s Cash App ($HeatherHopkinsTeeter) to help her pay for her family’s expenses while they go through this crisis. If you do not use Cash App, you can always drop off or mail a check to Sweet Meadow Cafe at 105 E. Fisher St., Salisbury, NC 28144.

A benefit concert to help offset Scott’s medical expenses has been scheduled for 8 p.m. Dec. 16 at SHUG’s at Brooklyn South Square in downtown Salisbury. According to the event’s Facebook page, “Singer/Songwriter Courtney Puckett and Ashley Jo Farmer, along with members of No9Coal (Tommy Farmer, Eric Webster, Keith Earnhardt, Dave Myers and Louis Bodak), will be teaming up to perform some of their favorite Holiday songs.”

Chandler Inions is editor of The Salisbury Post, sister publication of The Stanly News & Press.