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Community rallies around athlete
FCHS star faces lengthy recovery
The Forsyth community is rallying behind Forsyth Central athlete Caylin Davenport after she fell seriously ill prior to routine surgery. - photo by File photo
On the Net

Updated information on Caylin Davenport's condition can be found online at or on Facebook through the "Pray for Caylin Davenport" group.
People from Forsyth County and beyond are rallying around a local high school athlete who fell seriously ill prior to a routine surgery.

Caylin Davenport, a star on Forsyth Central's girls basketball team, remains hospitalized this weekend following a sudden turn of events that began with scheduled tonsil surgery the week after Christmas.

The situation has become what her mother described as a bad dream.

Mickey Davenport declined to go into great detail about her daughter's ordeal, but related a few events.

On Dec. 28, her 17-year-old daughter was scheduled to have her tonsils removed. At some point during pre-surgery prep, it became clear something was wrong.

Caylin Davenport was moved from the surgical facility, which her mother declined to name, to Northside Hospital for testing.

X-rays showed her daughter had two collapsed lungs, while a CAT scan indicated she had also suffered two strokes.

In the coming days, the teenager suffered swelling of the brain and remained unconscious in the ICU ward of Egleston Children's Hospital in Atlanta. Medical staff said her life hung in the balance.

On Jan. 3, she seemed to turn a corner. She started talking and asked what day it was. Told it was Sunday, she cried at having slept a week.

The teen has since been moved to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite for physical rehabilitation, where she will remain for the immediate future.

She is talking without difficulty, her mother said, although her voice remains weak. She has started walking with a walker, but likely faces at least a year of intense physical therapy to regain her motor skills.

Mickey Davenport is amazed at how far her daughter has come in two weeks.

"I'm still kind of in awe and in a daze right now," she said.

"Basically right now with her walking and talking, I feel like she's almost back to [normal] ... If you passed her sitting somewhere, you wouldn't know anything had happened to her."

A major source of inspiration has been support from the community, Mickey Davenport said.

A prayer vigil at Northside Hospital drew students from every high school in the county, she said.

"These are all kids that Caylin has grown up playing sports against," she said. "Some were teammates, some were rivals, and it was just amazing through the community how much they had pulled together."

Web pages on Facebook and at provide updated information on her condition. Mickey Davenport said well wishes have poured in through the Internet, from as far away as Belgium.

"I read the messages to Caylin in the evening and I think that gives her strength," she said.

Another source of motivation is the game of basketball. Caylin Davenport's No. 24 jersey hangs in her hospital room. One of the senior's first concerns when she regained awareness was the games she would miss.

She won't be able to play again this season, but coach Andy Martin hopes his leading scorer will have recovered enough to be with the team on senior night next month.

Playing perhaps the best basketball of her career, she was closing in on 1,000 career points, with 934. She also was drawing the attention of college coaches, with a scholarship somewhere seemingly assured.

"As far as our team goes, it's such a tough blow, because Caylin had always been such a central figure for us," Martin said. "It was such a shock to the girls.

"They were kind of numb, [but] they've come back and they've realized that the best thing they can do for Caylin is to try to make this team and this season as good as possible."

The Lady Bulldogs have not taken the court since she fell ill.

A Dec. 29 nonregion game against Model was cancelled. Snow and ice then pushed back Friday's region meeting with Lithonia to Tuesday.

When the they do play again, it will be in honor of their teammate "C.D."

Her initials and jersey number have been stitched into patches the team will wear for the rest of the season.

Martin said Caylin Davenport's mental tenacity, one of her hallmarks as a player, could be crucial now.

"She was just a tough girl, one of the toughest girls I've coached," he said. " ... And I think that has served her well, her toughness, in this whole thing, and she's going to need it."

Mickey Davenport believes the outpouring of community support has played a role in her daughter's progress.

"Our main focus has been on her attention and her well-being and her recovery through all this, and the doctors are pretty amazed," she said. "... Through the prayers and just the community itself, Forsyth County is just unbelievable."