by Marcus E. Howard
June 15, 2011 12:00 AM |
David Massengill, 34, poses with his wife, Suzi, right, and his daughters, 14-year-old Julie, left, and Abbie, who is now 17 months old.
The department is collecting donations for Officer Suzi Massengill, who works on the community policing team, as her husband of nearly six years fights for his life after being diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer.
After suffering migraine headaches, David Massengill was diagnosed in April with Stage 4 brain cancer, the most malignant form of brain cancer. An MRI revealed a tumor about the size of a softball near his nasal cavity that was pushing against his brain, Suzi Massengill said.
“I was terrified,” said Suzi Massengill, 33. “It was very overwhelming. I couldn’t believe my husband, at 34 years old, had a softball-size tumor in his head.”
David Massengill’s father died at age 49 from brain tumors when he was 18 years old. Before his diagnosis, David Massengill worked as a machinist at a bookbinding company in Marietta. The Massengills, who live in Paulding County, have two daughters, Julie, 14, and 17-month-old Abbie.
“They mean everything to me, which is the reason why I’m fighting and trying to go through it regardless of how hard it gets on,” David Massengill said.
Suzi Massengill said doctors told her that the prognosis of a full recovery for her husband is 60 to 70 percent. David Massengill is undergoing aggressive chemotherapy and radiation treatment at WellStar Cobb Hospital in Austell.
“It just limits my ability to be able to do anything,” he said. “There are days when I’m pretty drained and tired. Some days I feel pretty good and can move around a little more.”
In addition to her husband’s treatment, Suzi Massengill recently had surgery to correct a shoulder problem.
“She was immobile and that left her unable to pick up the little one,” said KSU Police Chief Ted Cochran, who oversees 35 officers. “We’ve had people from our department sort of taking turns going to Suzi’s house to help out with the house work, the cooking and so forth.”
Cochran said Suzi Massengill is a great representative of the KSU police department.
“I’ve never had anybody say anything ill about Suzi,” he said. “She is just a delight to be around and work with.”
In 2005, Suzi Massengill joined the department as a dispatcher and as a student, studying criminal justice at KSU. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 2007 and decided to become a police officer.
“I thought it was the logical next step,” Suzi said.
“We talk to kids a lot about alcohol awareness and domestic violence to help the students grow into adults. Technically they are adults, but there is a lot to learn between college age and career age.”
She said she is hopeful that her husband will pull through.
Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal - Officer’s ailing husband gets local support
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