Mother shares a cautionary tale after the unexpected death of a son

  • The Wood brothers, from left, Zachary (24), Jordan (29), and Lucas (27).

  • Zachary Wood

He was just a country kid — just like so many other kids from the area.

He graduated high school, got a job in a local factory, was working hard, raising a family, being a good husband, father …

Then Zachary Wood started feeling … Sick?

He had what he told his family was a “low fever.” He was a bit “achey.”

He just wasn’t feeling “good.”

He thought he might have a sinus infection — something along those lines because he was your average, healthy 24-year-old.

Then he died.

Zachary Wood did what a lot of high school graduates do if they aren’t going to college or going in the military: He found a factory job.

A good one, too.

Because he died of unknown causes an autopsy was performed. The full report won’t be ready for several months, his mother, Malinda Wood of Clinton, said, but preliminary findings has left the family stunned.

“He had Strep-C and Meningitis-C,” Malinda Wood said. “He had been losing weight and having some trouble with insomnia because he was on third shift. Unfortnately, this was jus the perfect storm.”

What has shocked the family is Zachary’s death might have been prevented.

“There’s a vaccine for meningitis,” Malinda said. “There are five strains and it’s good for all of them. But how do you know to ask for that.”

You don’t.

Not really, Malinda Wood found out.

Zacharys older brothers, Lucas (27) and Jordan (29) had received the vaccine.

Lucas when he went to college. He’s an attorney living in Virginia.

Jordan received the vaccine when he entered the United States Marine Corps.

Jordan worked with Zachary at the same factory in Clinton after he left the military.

“I urge every parent to ask about this vaccine,” Malinda Wood said. “Talk with you doctor and see if it something that your child might need.”

Zachary leaves behind two children, a son Corbin (2) and daughter Sara (6).

Jeff Wood, Malinda’s husband, works in the medical field. He was the trainer for the 2005 University of Tennessee baseball team that made it to the College World Series.

Because of his strong ties to the UT baseball program, it has set up a GoFundMe page, “For Woody.” All proceeds will go to Zachary Wood’s childen.