(2/16/10) The rumor world under the Gold Dome is always rife. For the record, here is what happened several weeks ago to our CEO, Matt Towery
Almost three weeks ago he began what was planned as a simple two-day rest and relaxation trip with a friend. As his friends know, Towery is subject to vertigo caused by air travel. As he deplaned without a jet breezeway, his head hit the tarmac at his destination with a strong force. Towery’s very close friend, former UGA coach Vince Dooley, described it as “as bad as any hit any player I had has ever taken.” He was rushed to a hospital where he underwent emergency surgery.
He made it back to the United States late that week. He returned with direct help of Harold Bevis of Delta, former Economic Development Commissioner Craig Lesser, and Ed Holcombe, Chief of Staff for Governor Perdue. Former U.S. Senator Mack Mattingly, who considers Towery close family, coordinated the effort.
Towery, according to his doctors in Georgia, suffered a very severe concussion. Doctors this week, under the direction of the state’s top internist, Steven Marlowe (Thrashers, Braves, Hawks, and others) will direct the diagnosis.
Towery’s facial wounds are healing up quickly said his plastic surgeon, the renowned Harvey “Chip” Cole. While Towery is scheduled for minor surgery in April, Cole says viewers will see notice no difference and Towery will rejoin WSB in the next week.
Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (for whom Towery served as political chairman during his years as Speaker), former Senator Mattingly, and current Senator Johnny Isakson (with whom Towery is very close) have basically joined legislators such as former Speaker Mark Burkhalter and former Rules Chair Earl Ehrhart to see to it that Towery makes a full recovery. Former Governor Roy Barnes intervened as well to assist Towery as did Attorney General Baker. Speaker Ralston and former Speaker Richardson also both assisted.
“We almost lost him” said one of the sources close to the story. “He’s the most honest and one of the brightest guys we have….so we had to fight like hell to keep him.going.”
Towery was the first Republican to actually serve as Speaker of the House when his close friend, Tom Murphy, shoved the gavel in his hands in1996 when an emergency arose on the House floor. Towery presided for over an hour and a half as Speaker. Murphy, nor any other Democrat, had ever allowed a Republican control of a debate until that time. Towery reportedly held Murphy’s hand in the hospital years later as the former Speaker lapsed into his second stroke. The two were known to have a very close bond.
It is not known if Towery’s other close political friend and partner in McKenna Long & Aldridge, former Governor Zell Miller was aware of the medical emergency. Miller has been recovering from his own medical issues in recent months.
Towery has resumed a light schedule, but will “take it day by day until my friends say otherwise.” He does however intend to keep his promise to moderate a Leadership Atlanta forum later this week.
Along with his role as pollster for InsiderAdvantage and political analyst for WSB-TV, Towery writes a national syndicated column which runs in newspapers across the nation as well as Newsmax, Town Hall, and Human Events. The column is based out of Jacksonville’s Florida-Times Union. InsiderAdvantage President Chuck Clay made the following statement:
“No single individual I know of has crossed the bridge between Newt Gingrich and Bill Clinton, known every governor since Lester Maddox and is still of a youthful age. Matt is a loyal friend who would help anyone if in need. We thank the many who helped rescue him from this near tragedy.”