‘Coach’ on the mend

Published 8:52am Saturday, August 17, 2013

Atmore City Councilman Cornell Torrence and his wife, Mavis, recently celebrated their 59th wedding anniversary in a place they are not likely to soon forget.

The long-time councilman, known to many as “Coach,” and his wife are both recovering in a Pensacola, Fla., hospital after two separate incidents last month. Family friends have said they are both making big strides in their rehabilitation.

“Coach is doing so much better,” Mayor Jim Staff said of the councilman’s progress. “I don’t think he’s going to be (in the hospital) as long as they first thought.”

Torrence was first hospitalized in late July after a fall at his home and was expected to remain in physical therapy for months in order to address back problems and injuries sustained from a blow to the head. Only days later, Mavis Torrence was also hospitalized after an apparent stroke. Weeks later, however, only a few feet of hallway separate the Torrences, and each is improving rapidly, according to friends.

Friday, Torrence himself said he was feeling better, but was still unsure when he or his wife would be released from the hospital.

“I feel pretty good,” Torrence said, while taking a break between therapy sessions. “I’ve been in therapy all this morning and have to go back this evening.”

Torrence said his wife is also on the mend, adding that having her close by has eased some of the stress of the situation for them both.

“There’s one room between us,” he said. “She’s bouncing back pretty good.”

Staff said that while Torrence is not currently able to physically attend council meetings, he remains very active in city decisions.

“He knows exactly what is going on,” Staff said. “I take the council packets to him when I visit and we talk about what is going on. He still submits his vote and gives us his opinion on city matters.”

Staff said that if a situation arises that would make Torrence’s presence at a meeting a necessity, the city would organize a teleconference with the hospital in order to receive the councilman’s vote.


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