GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Incoming East Carolina University freshman Parker Byrd underwent a successful below-the-knee amputation Thursday evening, his mother announced.
Byrd has now undergone eight surgeries after suffering serious leg damage in a Beaufort County boating accident in July.
“Parker did well through surgery,” his mother, Mitzi Byrd, wrote in a Facebook post. “Dr. Zeri did a below the knee amputation to his right leg. His complete calf muscle was dead and he had to go a bit higher to the knee than he would have liked to. 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. He said it was a stretch to try to save the knee but that if it were him, he’d want someone to try…so he is trying. It’s hard to perform an above the knee right now because his muscles in his thigh are still not healed. He said it was just a complicated case because of all the injuries.”
Mitzi Bryd said Parker went back for surgery No. 9 Friday morning to clean up the area where the amputation was performed. “He has two amazing plastic surgeons working on him today. We pray that there is enough healthy tissue with blood to keep it below the knee.”
Mitzi Byrd said, “Parker’s surgery went well today. The doctors cleaned up some areas and sutured the fascia around the muscles. They seemed more optimistic today that the muscles below the knee may in fact make it, allowing him to keep the knee. Still not out of the woods yet but definitely more optimistic. His next surgery will be Monday morning if all goes well the weekend. Thank you for all your prayers!”
Doctors entered Thursday’s surgery planning to do a mid-calf amputation, although they wanted to see which muscles were salvageable before doing so.
“So we are praying hard that the blood perfusion to the area below his knee increases and he is able to keep that knee,” Mitzi Byrd continued. “We have had 2 fabulous anesthesiologist that have gone the extra mile to ensure pain control after surgery and we are so thankful. He will have to go into surgery in the morning at 7:30 to clean some areas up and close some areas.
“This all still seems so surreal, like a bad nightmare I’m waiting to wake up from. I know we will get thru it but I still can’t believe it’s reality,” she added.
Parker is a Laurinburg native who attended Scotland County High School. A standout player on his travel baseball team, the South Charlotte Panthers, Byrd verbally committed to play baseball at ECU before the start of his freshman season at Scotland. Both of his parents attended ECU.
“We can not begin to express our gratitude for the overwhelming amount of love and prayers,” Mitzi wrote. “From calls, texts, messages, cards, care packages, donations and meals. We’ve had friends to drive hours to just visit with us for 15 mins. We’ve had pastors make multiple trips just to pray with Jeff and I. Thank you to our friends and family that rushed up here to sit with us during the surgery today. They knew this was a hard one and they showed up.”
Mitzi Byrd also shared photos and videos from the prayer vigil for Parker that was held Thursday night at McCoy Field, where he played high school baseball in Laurinburg.