GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Challenged Athletes Foundation has supported thousands of athletes with physical challenges. Recently, they featured East Carolina University’s very own Parker Byrd.
Byrd, a member of ECU’s baseball team, was hurt in July of 2022 when he was in a boating accident. He later had to have his right leg amputated at the knee. In the 54 days following the accident, he had at least 22 surgeries and lots of rehab.
The Foundation reached out to Parker’s family and was able to give him a grant to support the cost of his prosthetic leg. Now, he is finally back to practicing and getting into the groove of baseball again.
The foundation asked him to do an interview on MLB Network that included two other young athletes who had prosthetic left legs. Byrd said he is aspiring to be the first amputee to wear a prosthesis and play Division I baseball. When asked how he plans to do this, he said he’s been able to do a lot of physical therapy and training.
Near the end of the interview, when asked if he could give any advice to the younger athletes, he said, “Just keep pushing, just because tragedy or something bad in your life happens, just keep going and your life is not over no matter if you lose a limb or get paralyzed, you’re still living and just to live every day and get 1% better, and just be grateful.”
He also said he’s learned how to use his new leg to his advantage, but spreading awareness is his main goal.