Braves pitcher visits sick woman and Braves fan - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Braves pitcher visits sick woman and Braves fan at local hospital

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Thursday was a big day for a special woman at Memorial Hospital. Melody West, 36, has been in the ICU for more than 48 days and dreaming of her next trip to Turner Field.

Melody is a big Braves fan. Thursday, as she continues recovery, a player paid her a special visit. For Rhea County native and Atlanta pitcher, Cory Gearrin, it's his experience off the mound that's making the biggest impact.

"If the Atlanta Braves can help brighten her day and I can be a part of that, then I want to be," he said. "I got to come here and it's definitely special."

Melody West has been in the ICU since Nov. 30 with Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome, or RDS. Although she's had some scary moments, doctors say she is improving. And the surprise visit from Gearrin went a long way in boosting her spirits.

"It's so exciting to see how well she's doing and if the Braves and the Tomahawk chop can be a part of that, then it's something special," Gearrin said.

Melody is on a ventilator and a feeding tube and can't speak. But she can smile. And she can mouth words. And one of her doctors described the scene as "magical" when her "new favorite player" walked into the room.

"It was absolutely precious and I'll never forget that look as long as I live," said Dr. Lee Hamilton.

"She's just overwhelmed with gratitude. It's really nice," said Carolyn West, Melody's mom.

As part of Melody's rehab, she's even been practicing the Tomahawk Chop in bed, resting up for her next trip to see her favorite team.

The Braves organization promised to pay for Melody and her family to make it to a game this year.

Melody hopes she'll be out and in rehab by her birthday Jan. 29.

As for Gearrin, he's getting ready to join the Braves next month for Spring training.

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