When we hear a story about someone else who has gone through a traumatic moment, most of the time we can say we are the ones that are lucky. This is the case with Nate Winters who is a High School baseball player in Winter Park, Florida. Nate has played baseball all of his life and hoped one day to make it to the big leagues.
About twenty months ago in a dramatic boating accident, Nate lost his leg. He was out on the water during the summer and was cruising around with his brother Zach when he saw a patch of saw grass dead ahead. As he came upon the patch of grass he turned the power boat sharply to the left and was tossed in the water. The power boat rolled over him and the screws or propellers severed his leg.
We see these types of accidents on the nightly news or in my case, I have seen these types and worse when I was in search and rescue in the United States Coast Guard and I can tell you from experience; most of the time the final outcome becomes a tragedy for the victim.
Not in Nate`s case. Just after the accident happened, Nate recalled, My whole body was numb " (Winters, Nate, 2010). I looked down and my leg was all cut up. (Winters, Nate, 2010). About 99.999 percent of the time when someone suffers this type of trauma to their body, the body goes into shock immediately as a precautionary measure. If shock Trauma is not administered immediately that person will more than likely die, especially if there is significant blood loss as in the case with what happened to Nate.
Nate lost about eighty-percent of his blood. What saved his life is the immediate response from the people around him. As Nate came to the surface, he saw a large amount of blood in the water. Blood attracts many critters such as sharks if you are in the ocean or alligators if you are in a swamp or lake in Florida as Nate was. Nate started swimming back to his boat and was pulled in by Zach.
A tourniquet was immediately applied to Nate to prevent further blood loss and 911 was called. Nate recalls, I kind of blacked out," I was in some pain, but I think I went into shock. (Winters, 2010). A rescue helicopter was called and landed on the nearby soccer field where Nate was put on the helicopter and rushed to the trauma unit.
According to Nate`s father who is a physician, Nates chances of surviving were about one in one-hundred of even making it out of the water alive. With the large amount of hemoglobin he lost with the large amount of blood loss, his chance of surviving went down to even slimmer odds.
Nate now has a prosthetic leg. Last week he pitched two scoreless innings for Winter Park High School. His fastball was clocked at around eighty-miles an hour which is good for Junior Varsity High School baseball.
I think a lot of people can take some positive elements from this story. Nate`s life has changed in many ways the last 20 months. He`s developed into a talented musician and performs in a band, playing the piano and guitar. His grades have improved, he was elected junior class president, and he`s playing ball again (Ecker, pgcrosschecker.com, 2010).
People can read this story and say, hey, maybe I am pretty lucky. Sometimes it does take something this traumatic to wake us up and kick us in the rear to bring back the determination and motivation that gets us all going in the morning and keeps us tough throughout life.
Ecker, Jim, Incredible Story: Nate Winters is Pitching Again, 2010. http://www.pgcrosschecker.com/articles/DisplayArticle.aspx?article=2244
Winters, Nate, 2010 - Incredible Story: Nate Winters is Pitching Again, 2010. Quotes from his interview on this story.