By Ken MacLeod
Grace Shin, a sophomore golfer at the University of Central Oklahoma, is being treated for pneumonia and acute leukemia at St. John’s Hospital in Tulsa.
Shin’s health deteriorated suddenly over the course of the spring season, first with a chronic back injury and later blurred vision, causing her to see an optometrist. She was sent to an eye surgeon, who suggested she check into the emergency room for further tests last Friday, when the leukemia diagnosis was made. She began chemotherapy treatments Monday, according to UCO women’s golf coach Michael Bond.
Bond and Shin’s UCO teammates visited her in the hospital Tuesday night while returning from the Central Region Preview in Springfield, Mo. Shin was in a medically induced coma to aid in recovery from the pneumonia she contracted last weekend. Bond drove back to Tulsa Thursday to visit Shin and her family.
“I can tell you it was only the grace of God that got us through that visit,” Bond said. “Grace is a quirky, fun-loving girl and for her the girls to see their roommate, teammate, sister in that condition was tough.”
Bond said family is waiting on results of further tests before a complete diagnosis and prognosis can be determined.
Shin, who signed with UCO after a successful career at Union High School, helping lead the Redskins to three straight 6A championships, was a starter for the Bronchos as a freshman and through the fall of her sophomore season.
Pat McTigue of GolfTec Tulsa, Shin’s teacher, also was saddened to learn of her illness.
“In working with Grace over the last two years, she always had a smile on her face when I saw her, no matter what was going on in her life,” McTigue said. “She was learning how to play golf within herself and how she needed to play to compete. Learning of her diagnosis was extremely difficult news to take in, and my sincere prayers go out to her, her family and the medical professionals that are entrusted with her care. Keep fighting, Grace.”
A Go Fund Me site has been set up by a family friend to assist with her medical expenses. Golf Oklahoma will provide more information as it becomes available.