Remembering Patrick Sharrock

Patrick Sharrock 2001-2017

Obituary information:  Patrick Blake “The Phoenix” Sharrock age 15, of Lakeview passed away at his home Friday – September 15, 2017. Patrick was born in Fort Oglethorpe and was a lifelong resident of Northwest Georgia. He was a sophomore at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High School where he was the class president and known as The Phoenix. Patrick was known and loved by thousands of friends. Some people would say; you may not be smiling before Patrick came in the room, but you were sure to be smiling while he was in the room from his humor and contagious smile.

He was very active at school and in the community. He was a programming intern with Mojang for Minecraft, in the honors and gifted class, a member of the Miracle League of Whitfield County and helped start and form the Miracle League of Chattanooga, a poster child for The Alhambra Shriners, honorary member of the Dark Empire and Rebel Legion of the 501st Costuming Group. The featured and honored guest of Extreme Makeover Edition in 2011. He enjoyed giving back to the community by supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, the annual Riverbend Festival, the Shrine Circus, the Creative Discovery Museum and the Chattanooga Zoo.

He is preceded in death by his grandfather: James David Pedigo and aunt: Jamie Pedigo Crowder. Patrick is loved by and will be missed by his parents: Michael and Cynthia Sharrock, sister Karey Taylor all of Lakeview, sister: Katie Taylor of Chickamauga, GA, grandparents: Bobby and Shirley Sharrock of Fort Oglethorpe, GA, Gail Tinney Pedigo of Chickamauga, GA, aunt: Stacy Sharrock Yakimowich, cousins: Alex and Nicholas Yakimowich all of Fort Oglethorpe, GA, uncle: James McArthur of Lakeview, GA, several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends at the funeral home (Wilson Funeral Home,555 W. Cloud Springs Rd. Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742) Sunday from 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm, Monday from 10:00 am – 3:30 pm. Funeral services will be held at the Northwest Georgia Amphitheatre (Please provide your own seating) located behind The Colonade at 4:00 pm Monday – September 18, 2017 with Brent James and Billy Christol officiating. Burial will follow Tuesday – September 19, 2017 at 12 noon in Lakewood Memory Gardens-South – Rossville, Georgia. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation at P.O. Box 824061 Philadelphia, PA 19182 or the Alhambra Shrine Temple Bus Unit at 1000 Alhambra Drive – Chattanooga, TN 37421.

Sad update: September 15, 2017:  Patrick Sharrock has passed away at the age of 15.  He was a proud student of Lakeview Fort Oglethorpe High School, where he was freshman class president last year.  He was an inspiration to those who knew him, and those who followed his story.  His laughter and determination will never be forgotten.  

UPDATE July 21, 2017 from Mike Sharrock:  “Patrick is headed home!”

UPDATE July 16, 2017:  Here is a post from Mike Sharrock’s Facebook page (Patrick’s dad):

To the many people offering us kindness while we help Patrick fight his latest battle, Thank You! I do not have fb on my phone or fool with it while we are by his side in the hospital. Just home to grab a few things and head back to him. Update: Patrick is repeating an episode from 2 years ago, with sudden fractures while sleeping, followed by steadily failing lungs. He is on life support in critical condition. When the meds allow, he is lucid and interactive. When they don’t he is miserable. There has been slight improvement, rather than worsening. His spirits are very down (mostly due to effects of meds and limits on what he wants to do.) He is amazingly strong and has beaten this before. We suspect a chronic lung or breathing condition has caused all of this. Tied to his bone condition. Again, Thank you for all of the kindness!

UPDATE July 13, 2017: Patrick Sharrock is back in the hospital battling pneumonia and some unexplained fractures, including a broken femur.  His mom Cindy tells me the situation is similar to the struggles he faced in 2015.  He is having serious breathing problems and other respiratory issues.  He is in intensive care, and the angels at the Ronald McDonald House are helping Cindy and Mike with their daily needs.  Please keep this family in your prayers.  Patrick has been through so much.  Here is a link to a GoFundMe page that has been set up to help them with their financial challenges.

UPDATE Sept. 16, 2016:  I’m proud to announce that Mr. Patrick Sharrock has just been elected president of the freshman class at Lakeview-Ft. Oglethorpe High School!  

Original story from Nov. 26, 2015:

I’ll never forget the Extreme Makeover of the Sharrock family home in Rossville, Georgia.  In February 2011, the team from the ABC show, along with thousands of local volunteers tore down a tiny home, building a beautiful new one in its place.

Extreme Home Makeover at Sharrock home, February 2011

Extreme Home Makeover at Sharrock home, February 2011

Michael and Cindy Sharrock’s then 8-year-old son Patrick was born with brittle bone disease.  In the old house, he struggled to get through narrow doorways in his wheelchair.  Bathroom facilities were not handicap-accessible.   Tripping hazards were everywhere.  Light switches, sinks and shelves were far beyond his reach.  During his short life, Patrick had broken more than sixty bones.

During the incredible one-week rebuild, the old home was demolished and a modern 3,000 square foot went up in its place.  I had never seen this community come together in such a display of good will.  In addition to the massive volunteer building effort, thousands showed up to cheer for the workers and the family.  It was one of the most positive experiences of my broadcasting career.

More importantly, Patrick now had plenty of space to navigate, a room in which to study, and an indoor therapy pool.  For more than four years, life was good.

Patrick playing baseball, 2014

Patrick playing baseball, 2014

Then, earlier this month something went wrong.  Cindy woke up one morning to an unusual sound: silence.  Patrick was not scooting through the house.  She found him on his bed, unable to move.  He told her something must have happened in his sleep.  He was in pain, unable to get into his wheelchair.

After rushing him to the hospital, it was determined Patrick had a seizure overnight.  He didn’t fall out of bed.  In his fragile state, any sudden movement can result in broken bones.  He had broken both legs, several ribs and a shoulder.  Local doctors made the decision to send him to a children’s hospital in Lexington, Kentucky which was better equipped to treat him.

Thus began a two-week journey that would take this family through a roller coaster of emotions.  What started as a mission to heal Patrick’s broken bones became a life-and-death battle.  X-rays revealed spots on his lungs.  As Patrick struggled to breathe, doctors told the family he had a collapsed lung.  He was put on oxygen, but Patrick told the doctors it was not enough.  He was sedated in an effort to ease his pain, and to buy some time.  As his heart began to weaken, he was put on a respirator.

Doctors called in the Sharrocks and told them to prepare for the worst.  “It’s time to think about end-of-life care,” they were told.  “There’s no way Patrick can endure surgery.  His body just can’t take it.”

Cindy did what any mother would do.  She prayed, and prayed hard.  She informed friends via phone, email, and social media.  Within hours, it was on the news: that little guy we had come to know and love was fighting for his life.

I won’t even try to explain what happened two days later.  I’ll let Patrick’s dad tell you. “They were doing a cardiogram,” Michael said.  “I’m nosy, so I went in to watch.  During the scan, one of the doctors said that his heart is starting to work again, almost getting back to normal.  The doctor kept saying, this does not happen.  This does not happen.”

Cindy said, “The doctors were just standing there in amazement.  I said to myself, I’m not going to cry.  I’ve seen this before.  This is so Patrick.  When he was born, we were told he would never make it.  They said he would not leave the hospital alive.  And today he’s 14!”

Cindy, Patrick and Michael Sharrock

Cindy, Patrick and Michael Sharrock

By today, she means Thanksgiving day, Patrick’s 14th birthday.  Two weeks ago, they were told he would not live to see it.  Even as he improved, the family expected to spend the holidays in the hospital.

You’re welcome to call this a Thanksgiving/birthday miracle.  As I visited with the family,  Patrick was Patrick.  Yes, he has a cast on his leg, and he’s a bit hoarse from having a tube down his throat.  But the quick wit is alive and well.  “What do you want to say to the people who’ve been praying for you?” I asked.  “Tell ’em I didn’t die!” he said with a big smile.  “I was under sedation for a while, and then I woke up, looked around and said… what the heck happened?” Turning serious for a brief moment, he added, “I’m thankful to have so many friends, and I get to be home for my Thanksgiving birthday.  The doctors and nurses gave me VIP treatment, and it was great knowing everyone was thinking about me.”

Patrick reads constantly, and Robin Williams is his comedy hero.  “He has a lot of Robin in him,” Cindy said. “You never know what he’s going to say.”

Always the funniest guy in the room, and the brightest light in the house, Patrick Sharrock continues to surprise and amaze us all, especially the doctors.  “He’s always been such a strong spirit,” Cindy said.  “I think they underestimated his will to live.  When he puts his mind to doing something, it’s going to happen.  That’s just Patrick!”

Patrick Sharrock, Thanksgiving 2015

Patrick Sharrock, Thanksgiving 2015

Happy birthday Patrick.  Enjoy your turkey, your cake, your Minecraft games and your Legos.  And thank you for your determination, your perseverance, and your love of life.  You’ve given us all another reason to give thanks.

BONUS!  At the end of the interview, Patrick said he was going to get a Mariachi band to wish us a Merry Christmas.  He went to his bedroom, came back, and lived up to his end of the deal.  Watch for his great smile at the end.  Enjoy!


About David Carroll

David Carroll is a longtime Chattanooga radio and TV broadcaster, and has anchored the evening news on WRCB-TV since 1987. He is the author of "Chattanooga Radio & Television" published by Arcadia.

10 thoughts on “Remembering Patrick Sharrock

  1. Roger Brown

    David, thank you for this wonderful Thanksgiving story! As you remember, I and several other UTC staff had the privilege of attending the Extreme Makeover Reveal show to present Patrick and his Dad scholarships to attend the university along with a large basket of Mocs gear. Like you, I will remember this family and Patrick’s courage and wit among my warmest memories of community goodwill and joy of giving.

    Happy Thanksgiving to you, Cindy, and your family!

  2. tutti harris

    David, Praise the Lord for Patrict and his love and attitude. We all should have what He has in his heart, such a beauty of love. Thank you for the story, and I am thankful God is there answering prayers for us. Thank you. Thank you Patrick, if he is reading this also. Blessings.

  3. Angela Lemons

    I am so glad that Patrick is out of the hospital. My birthday was also on Thanksgiving this year. I would love to meet this little guy,that was my wish,but I thought he might not be up to it! I do hope he had a great birthday??????

  4. Debra Cooper

    I am so glad Patrick got to be home for his Thanksgiving birthday. I love his spirit and his will to survive. I wish we all could have his drive to make it through. Thank you David for sharing this wonderful story with us and I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  5. Lydia Witt

    Mr. and Mrs Sharrock,
    Words escape me. When I first saw this posted this evening I just stood there in shock. I was thinking to myself, he wasn’t supposed to pass away. He was supposed to live. He wasn’t one that was supposed to be gone. I will stand here still in shock praying for you 2tonight. It’s gonna be a struggle without “our little shining light ” but you have prayers of 100’s of friends you have never met,and may never get to. Just know we love y’all and are going to be praying very hard for the next days weeks and months and months. Love and much prayers

  6. Arlos Dempsey

    My prayers for the many friends and family and his buddy David Carroll.
    Eternal rest grant to him O’Lord, May his soul and the souls of all the faithfully departed forever rest in peace. Amen
    I’m sure you rest in peace little buddy


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