Editor’s note: Sister station WBTW covers the Scotland County area and got an interview with Parker’s parents along with some others who have helped along the way.
UPDATE: Mitzi Byrd said in a Facebook post Tuesday night that Parker’s hyperbaric therapy sessions went well. He continues to take pain medicine and even ate three meals on Tuesday. He has more therapy scheduled for Wednesday and another surgery on Thursday.
SCOTLAND COUNTY, N.C. (WBTW) — A former Scotland County baseball star has had his lower leg amputated after a boating accident.
Parker Byrd committed to East Carolina University before he started high school. This school year was supposed to be his first year as a collegiate baseball player at ECU. Byrd moved into his dorm at ECU on June 23, and one month later his life would take a turn.
Byrd was tubing on July 23 at Bath Creek when he attempted to get back on the boat. His ski rope got caught in the propeller and pulled Byrd toward it. Byrd was hit by the propeller and severely injured.
Parker has had multiple surgeries since the accident. His right leg was amputated last Thursday, and his mother, Mitzi Byrd, said in a Facebook post that his entire calf muscle was dead, leading doctors to amputate more of his leg than they thought.
Jeff and Mitzi Byrd said this is the toughest time of their life.
“As a parent, the most important thing is that he is alive because it was so close to death, we are just grateful for that,” Jeff Byrd said.
He said Parker was excited to be in Greenville and start his first year as a college athlete.
“Parker has been so driven for so long to be here and Parker was here to play baseball. That was his goal, and it’s always been his dream to play collegiate baseball,“ he said.
Despite Parker only attending ECU one month before his accident, his mother said the support from Greenville and Scotland County has been “mind-boggling.”
The Byrds were lost for words when they discovered a stranger had created a GoFundMe page for Parker.
The stranger was Jared Plummer, an ECU baseball fan who has been following Parker’s baseball journey for the last three years.
“It hit close to home knowing that he was a guy that I was already going to be supporting,” Plummer said.
The GoFundMe has already raised almost $70,000 in a few weeks, with an original goal of $5,000. There is also a South Charlotte Panthers GoFundMe. Parker played for several seasons with the South Charlotte Panthers.
“There are literally hundreds and hundreds of people that have never met him that are supporting them, and I think it is important for him to know that not just now but for the future for this recovery,” Plummer said.
The Byrds said they are grateful for the support.
“It makes us feel more at peace to know so many people through social media are supporting us and we get so many messages each day telling us that they are praying for us and sharing stories of similar situations about their loved ones,” Mitzi Byrd said.
Parker’s parents said doctors are currently preparing him for a prosthetic leg.