South East Farm Press Logo

​​​​​​​There are stories of hope out there if you care to look.

John Hart, Associate Editor

November 25, 2020

2 Min Read
Ali Weathers, left, Tobin Woodard’s nurse at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, shown with Ty and Tracy Woodard, son Tate and twins, son  Tobin and daughter Tyson, in December 2019.Woodard Family

If anything is needed in this decade, we need hope: Hope this pandemic will end and life will return to the way it was before the demands of social distancing and wearing masks when we go to the grocery store; and hope that we will no longer look at our political opponents as enemies.

There are stories of hope out there if you care to look. A powerful story of hope is told in Nov. 4 issue  of Southeast Farm Press about the Woodard family of Darlington, S.C., and  the miraculous recovery of young Tobin Woodard from the often-deadly disease of bacterial meningitis, when he was just 3 months old back in December 2015, and the resulting creation of a new business, Covered in Cotton, where the family makes baby blankets, throws and towels from the cotton grown on their farm.

The story begins when Tobin, the son of Ty and Tracy Woodard, on the day before Christmas Eve that year, began to have seizures which prompted an MRI showing Tobin needed immediate brain surgery to relieve the fluid pressure on his brain and treat the infection. The surgery was a success, a true answer to prayers and a sign of hope. Tobin, now five, has been released from every specialist and has passed every follow-up test and evaluation.

“Doctors have told us we've experienced a true miracle, as a follow-up MRI has shown a whole and healthy brain. Sandy brown hair now covers the scars on his scalp — the only physical reminders of that season. Now, you only see a fun and smiling boy who loves to play with his collection of toy tractors, play with his sister and big brother, sing songs and make us all laugh,” Tracy writes on the Covered in Cotton website.

During  their time at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital in Columbia, a caring nurse gave the family a gift — a blanket. It was this gift that was the epiphany for the Woodards creating Covered in Cotton in December 2017. Today, the business is profitable and successful. Tracy devotes full-time to Covered in Cotton, in addition to her full-time job as a mom.

This too is a story of hope because it proves that cotton goods can still be made in the United States. There are a number of textile companies in a 150-mile radius of the family farm in Darlington which work with the Woodards to make their cotton goods.

So there is hope. Hope that miracles occur and God does answer prayer and delivers children from devastating illnesses, and hope consumers can still buy products made entirely in the United States from cotton grown at home.

About the Author(s)

John Hart

Associate Editor, Southeast Farm Press

John Hart is associate editor of Southeast Farm Press, responsible for coverage in the Carolinas and Virginia. He is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Prior to joining Southeast Farm Press, John was director of news services for the American Farm Bureau Federation in Washington, D.C. He also has experience as an energy journalist. For nine years, John was the owner, editor and publisher of The Rice World, a monthly publication serving the U.S. rice industry.  John also worked in public relations for the USA Rice Council in Houston, Texas and the Cotton Board in Memphis, Tenn. He also has experience as a farm and general assignments reporter for the Monroe, La. News-Star.

John is a native of Lake Charles, La. and is a  graduate of the LSU School of Journalism in Baton Rouge.  At LSU, he served on the staff of The Daily Reveille.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like