DARLINGTON COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - In 2015, a Darlington County family farm was devastated by the floods.
2016 was another bad year because of Hurricane Matthew, and so was 2018. But the last great year at the Woodard Farm - 2017 - was wonderful.
It was good enough to produce thousands of extra pounds of cotton that is still being used and woven into tokens of gratitude – 100 percent Woodard cotton blankets.
The vision goes back to December 2017. While at Tracy Woodard's parents, young Tobin, who was three months old at the time, spiked a high fever. He got worse overnight and was admitted to the children's hospital the next day.
"It wasn't long that he was there they did a spinal tap and found that he had bacterial meningitis,” Tracy said. “The type he had was a very destructive one."
On Christmas Eve, Tobin underwent brain surgery. He was ultimately in the hospital 35 days. Doctors told the family his illness could keep him from developing past three months old, but like a Woodard in a tough season, they kept their faith.
“Before we left the hospital he had another MRI. He had so many tests and procedures along the way and the neurologist looked at us and said this was a miracle," Tracy said.
Thankful for Tobin’s health, the family didn’t forget the blanket that wrapped them in comfort and care. Now, 5,000 pounds of Woodard cotton is weaved through beautiful cotton blankets to cover others.
Today, Tobin is happy and healthy, keeping up with his sassy twin sister and older brother.
“That's really part of being a farmer and being resilient and continue to work hard even when everything seems to be against you,” Tracy said.
They’re learning the twist of the yarn the way they know the turns of their land. Like the seasons and the farm, the blankets are now part of who they are, from the cotton gin to the spinner, the thread plyer and the weaver; each is a part of their story.