A college baseball player had part of his leg amputated after he was seriously hurt in a North Carolina boating accident, his mom said.
“His complete calf muscle was dead and he had to go a bit higher to the knee than he would have liked to,” Mitzi Lee Byrd wrote in a Facebook post that referenced her son and his doctor. “The area right below the knee doesn’t have great blood supply ... it’s there but not great. He isn’t confident that he won’t have to go back and do an above the knee amputation.”
In response to a request for information about the case, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said two people were tubing July 23 in Eastern North Carolina when a rope became caught in the propeller and pulled one of the tubers toward it. Both of his legs were cut during the incident on Bath Creek.
“He was immediately grabbed by his friends on the vessel and taken out of the water,” wildlife officials told McClatchy News in an emailed statement. “They applied a tourniquet.”
His friends received help with another tourniquet after flagging down a boat that had a nurse on board, officials said.
Mitzi Lee Byrd, who didn’t respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment on July 25 but was identified in news reports as the ECU player’s mom, said her son came close to losing his whole leg. While he initially required surgeries, his doctor’s positive update was shared on July 28.
“He says that P will be able to walk, run, and live a normal life,” his mom wrote on Facebook. “I know many have asked and wondered about his baseball future. He said he couldn’t guarantee it but that it was definitely a possibility that he would get back on the ball field with intensive therapy and hard work.”
But Mitzi Lee Byrd later posted that the experience has been “the biggest roller coaster,” with her son’s condition taking a turn on Aug. 3. She reported that his calf was in “unmanageable pain” and discovered he might have part of his leg removed.
“This is hard. I’m not going to lie, this is REALLY hard,” she wrote. “Parker is trying to process it and we are trying to process it. I begged God to provide a miracle but we have to trust his plan.”
After the amputation, Mitzi Lee Byrd said her son “did well” and would need a follow-up surgery.
“This all still seems so surreal, like a bad nightmare I’m waiting to wake up from,” she wrote on Aug. 4. “I know we will get thru it but I still can’t believe it’s reality.”
Parker Byrd was an infielder for Scotland High School in Laurinburg before committing to ECU, which has a campus roughly 80 miles east of Raleigh. The school’s baseball team had a 46-21 record last season and finished ranked 13th in the country in Division I.
“My thoughts and prayers are with Parker Byrd and his family,” Jon Gilbert, athletic director for ECU, said in an emailed statement. “Our focus is on him and the recovery process. Coach (Cliff) Godwin and our baseball staff have been supporting the family during their time of need.”