Woman killed in Gulfport crash was 'silent hero' for patients

 Scotty Barfield next to her '65 Mustang
COURTESY TERRY BARFIELD Scotty Barfield next to her '65 Mustang

Terry Barfield likes to say country legend Razzy Bailey and a faulty limo brought him and his wife together.

Barfield met his wife, Scotty, when she won a contest at a country radio station in Alabama back in the early ’80s. She came to the station to pick up part of her prize, a Razzy Bailey album, and Barfield was smitten.

Later, when he and his date chauffeured the winner and her friend to the concert, he could feel sparks. But not from the limo. It wouldn’t run.

During the wait for help, he and Scotty got to know each other better, which led to a first date and eventually a 33-year marriage.

Scotty Barfield was killed Sunday in a traffic accident at U.S. 49 and Mississippi 53 in Gulfport. She was 65.

Her uncle gave her the unusual first name when her parents thought they were having a boy. When they discovered their he would be a she, they decided to keep the name anyway.

A native of Tallassee, Ala., Scotty wore her crimson proudly. She loved Alabama football, Yorkshire terriers and a cat she named Bonkers.

She took pride in her job as a pre-certification specialist at Memorial Hospital at Gulfport, where she’d worked for 12 years. Prior to that she worked with Dr. Harry Danielson for 14 years.

Danielson had been the Barfields’ daughter’s physician. Their daughter, Jennifer, was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor at age 12 that was so rare, doctors told them she was the first pediatric patient with it. They wanted to try something new to attack Jennifer’s cancer, but insurance wouldn’t pay for what was considered experimental treatment.

Scotty Barfield didn’t let “no” stop her.

“She went to battle with them,” Terry Barfield said. “She battled them tooth and nail.”

After a TV spot about their daughter’s plight aired, the insurance company agreed to pay for the treatment.

Sadly, Jennifer died during treatment, but Scotty’s determination would eventually help others in similar situations.

She stayed behind the scenes, never meeting the patients she helped, her husband said.

“She touched so many lives,” he said. “People didn’t even know about it. She knew the ways to make her case and get approval so patients could get the surgery they needed. She was a silent hero, figuring out ways to make it happen.”

Her husband said she was fiercely protective of her family, and would do anything for her kids: son and daughter-in-law Jason and Michelle Taunton; her six grandchildren, Kristian, Cody, Kaley, Christian, Camryn and Chase; and the two littlest, great-grandchildren Zayne and Blake.

The couple loved vintage cars and were the husband-and-wife team behind “Terry Mason’s Hot Rod Show,” traveling the car-show circuit selling merchandise and spinning the classics. Cruisin’ The Coast was one of her favorites.

His wife’s claim to fame was her personality. “They tolerated me and loved Scotty,” he said. “She had a heart of gold.”

One of his wife’s last Facebook posts she shared gives Barfield comfort: “Sometimes the best thing you do is not think, not wonder, not imagine, not obsess. Just breathe, and have faith that everything will work out for the best.”

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