Wounded Warrior Saves a Game

The last time the three of us went ninety miles per hour en route to a hospital, his mom was the one in pain. This time, our ten-year-old son was in pain.

Fifteen minutes prior, his tackle football team, the Warriors, faced its fifth loss in six games. That is, until this now-wounded Warrior spun down an end zone-bound opponent at the one yard line. In the process, our son landed awkwardly on his left forearm.

“Dr. Stahl, we need you!” came the call from the field. I was sitting next to Dr. Stahl in the stands, discussing football injury statistics, I’m sure.

The seriousness of a sports injury is inversely related to the amount of time before medical personnel is called. In this case, an assistant coach made the diagnosis within seconds of the fall. “We’ve got a broken arm here!”

That’s when I quit walking toward the field and began sprinting toward the parking lot, keys in hand.

By the time Dr. Stahl splinted my son’s crooked arm, a stadium maintenance crewman unlocked two fieldside gates to let a grimacing free safety lumber through to my amateur ambulance, his mom by his side.

You know you have great friends when you can leave your three uninjured children in tears along a chain link fence while you leave with their injured brother. We knew they were in good hands.

Other good hands retrieved an insurance card and a change of clothes from our house. Still more good hands would bring a condolence tray of Chik-fil-A nuggets before day’s end.

Upon doctor’s orders, we bypassed the ER in Boerne and bolted straight for the operating rooms of Methodist Children’s Hospital. Every bump seemed to jolt the dislocated bones.

“When are we going to get there?” the ballplayer cried every few miles in between groans. “Is that it?” he asked as we passed by the The Center for Athletes located on Spurs Lane. One would think, especially one still in full pads.

Once stabilized at Children’s, other questions arose during the five hour wait for surgery. “Can I have a Krispy Kreme doughnut?” No, son, I’m sorry. “How about a sip of water?” No, I’m so sorry.

All common hydration knowledge goes out the window when an anesthesiologist is around.

The wait gave us plenty of time to be thankful. For as bad as this day was, it was our first ER visit in 43 childhood years of parenting, 37 of which were boy years.

The wait also gave us time to quiz the pediatric ER nurses. It turns out their slowest times are during Spurs and Cowboys games, while their busiest times are the two hours following Spurs and Cowboys games.

Evidently, a lot of parents put off their kids’ emergency medical treatment until after the big game. Maybe I should have stayed for the final minute of the Warriors’ game.

A goal line stand and a “pick six” interception runback gave the Warriors their second win of the season, and some redemption for their first casualty.

A day later, his teammates delivered a signed game ball along with cookies and a multi-tooled pocket knife from The Alamo gift shop. “Tough Guy” was engraved on the side.

It was clearly the thought that counted. Have you ever tried opening a pocket knife with one hand?

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2 Responses to “Wounded Warrior Saves a Game”


  1. 1 raydkoatx@aol.com November 7, 2016 at 10:24

    Great article Kevin.  Hope he’s doing well now.

    Ray

  2. 2 jessestroup November 7, 2016 at 12:33

    Kevin, you are such a grand writer; and when you are very emotionally involved you are over-the-top. You nailed it! Thanks for that; I really like your article. We are looking forward to seeing all of you during the Thanksgiving Holidays.

    Jesse

    Jesse Stroup Director of Spiritual Care

    JesseStrouplive@yahoo.com 6300 Harry Hines Blvd. BKB 101 Dallas, TX 75235 (888) 767-6363

    >


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