Tribune Tribute: McCree Wilson Gentry, Jr.

Anthony Gonzalez Staff Reporter

September 6, 2013

A stunning comeback has been achieved by a State Road resident who has recovered from a major car wreck that practically left him lifeless.

The State Road wreck happened six months ago.

According to police, a silver Grand Prix traveling northbound on U.S. 21 in State Road allegedly veered off left of center and collided with a black Dodge Intrepid driven by McCree Wilson Gentry, Jr. heading southbound.

Police said William Rivera Acosta of State Road was the driver of the Grand Prix. Acosta has not come forward since the accident. Gentry, Jr. said he has not heard from the driver.

Gentry, Jr. was rushed to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital where doctors performed lifesaving operations on him.

“It’s been nothing short of a miracle,” said family, friends, and medical staff that surrounded Gentry, Jr. who’s been recovering at Unihealth Post Acute Care (formally Elkin Healthcare).

Gentry, Jr. was discharged on Wednesday morning.

The Gentry family expressed gratitude to the complete staff of Unihealth stating that they were the anchor needed for Gentry, Jr. to recuperate.

“This is a successful example of how a wonderful group of people work as a team for the well-being of people. It was a great pleasure for us to serve this great family,” said Jason Lindsey, administrator for UPAC-Elkin.

In a private moment with Gentry, Jr., he revealed what he remembered from the Tuesday accident that nearly cost him his life.

“I left for work about 6:00 a.m. I don’t remember much about it. I don’t remember about the accident and I don’t remember how I got to the hospital. I don’t remember any surgery,” said Gentry, Jr.

“When I was told about the accident I couldn’t believe it. It’s still hard to understand. What I do remember was that I tried to get to my phone, but I couldn’t get to it. I was pinned, and then I went blank,” he said.

Gentry, Jr. indicated that he has received many comments from friends who stated that his wife, Scottie Gentry, was frantically on the phone calling everyone asking for prayers.

“I guess that means that God was looking out for me. He’s done a lot for me. The wife and kids… they’ve been there from the beginning,” he said.

“I have a favor to ask. This is an important point. If it were not for my wife, I do not know where I would’ve been. I can’t express enough on how much she means to me,” said Gentry. Jr. who needed to pause as he was overcome by emotion. “Not a lot of women are like that. She just doesn’t know how much I appreciate it. Please help me make that point known. She’s the special one.”

Gentry, Jr. is optimistic on his long recovery.

“I still have to walk in a walker and still have to move around in a wheelchair, but I can go home now. It might not be comfortable, but I’ll take it,” said the father of four who was interested in seeing his kids, getting back to work, and attending church on Sunday.

When asked to count how many bones were broken in his body, Gentry, Jr. said, “Golly!”

He stopped counting at 19 broken bones.

The physical therapy staff jumped in and exchanged an emotional goodbye. Gentry Jr. took a moment for hugs.

“Let me tell you he’s been my baby since day one. When he first got here, I went right to him. When I first walked in the room to look at him, I took ten minutes to figure out where to touch him,” said Emily Norman. “It was a lot like the Operation game, figuring out how to move him. He was in such pain and it took four of us to get him up. We had a lot of milestones along the way. He made it though. He calls us his daughter, but we were kind of like his mama.”

“This is a good day. It’s also a sad day because all of these people here became like my family,” said Gentry. Jr.

“God brought him through it,” said Scottie Gentry. “It wasn’t his time. God has plans for Junior.”

Gentry’s wife indicated that at home its going to be difficult, but God has seen them through tougher times.

“I can’t say enough on how his words about me make me feel. It makes me feel good. It was important to me to nurse him back to health, for all of us, and for my kids,” said his wife.

Gentry, Jr. has a daughter, Madison Gentry, who is also a student at Elkin High School. The fifteen-year-old said she has been looking forward to the day when her father would return home.

Taking it all in, and soft spoken, signs of a teen who has been through a serious emotional roller coaster from the wreck, Madison placed her hand on her father’s shoulder. Father and daughter glanced at each other both expressing words without speaking. Madison showcased her braces in one large smile.

“Daddy is coming home,” Madison told The Tribune. “I can stop trembling.”

Reach Anthony Gonzalez at 336-835-1513 or email at agonzalez@civitasmedia.com