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Back in the Game: Parker's Story

Back in the Game: Parker

In the blink of an eye, young Parker’s life would forever be changed. Parker, his mother and younger brother were involved in a car accident that resulted in the loss of much of Parker’s right leg. It didn’t take long for Parker and his family to find Shriners Children’s Greenville and their prosthetic and orthotic specialists. With the help of a prosthetic limb, Parker is back in the game and playing the sports he loves.
View Transcript

Wayne:

It's a Friday morning I was off I wasn't at work and Parker called me and I missed the call.

Winifred:

I remember her saying mama check on parker just check on Parker.

Sharonda:

I woke up and I was in the trees I was in the bushes and I heard the baby in the back seat screaming and I heard parker screaming get me out of this car before I die and they finally got parker out of the car and they put him in the ambulance and they just took him away from

Winifred:

My family are very close every Sunday we come together we cook we eat we sit around and talk we support each other I mean we are a very close family. 

Sharonda:

My parents lived on the outskirts out in the country part of Oxford maybe 10, 15 minutes from the town. My dad had a large plot of land and we rode bikes we had four-wheelers everything we were always outside playing and everything.

My freshman year at UNC Greensboro I found out I was pregnant with Parker and I called my parents and I said, hey I’m pregnant and I was like what am I going to do and my parents said you're going to finish school. I was like okay.

Winifred:

Parker called us mama and daddy we had Parker while she was at school, so we practically raised parker. 

Sharonda:

He was everybody's baby, everybody, cheerful playful happy just all over the place wow funny life of the party 

Wayne: 

He was a great kid we still have that closeness now as we did when he was a child with us. 

Parker:

I’m parker I’m 13 years old I like to play basketball. I admire my grandfather in basketball and Ja Morant, LaMelo Ball and Kevin Durant but my favorite team is probably the Knicks. Yeah, I would say my grandpa probably introduced me to basketball one day he was watching the game and then I started watching it with him and then it just got interesting to me and I just wanted to do it myself

I play point guard or shooting guard. 

Sharonda:

He's always done sports like that, baseball flag football basketball. He was always involved in the red department. 

Mike Hobgood:

I’ve been coaching parker since he was like five parkers’ always been the one who excels he got the heart of a line I wish I had the drive he had.

Elyscia Von Brown:

When you first meet Mr. Parker he's this big ball of energy. He can't sit down he's got to touch everything and then when you just peel back some layers you realize like he's such a genuine soul and he wants to help out every single person. Parker wants to push everyone to first place and just make sure that they're all at the same like position in life and he shows a sense of caring that you don't really see in a lot of children is particularly in his age and he's just a delight.

Sharonda:

The morning of the accident was like any regular morning. It was the first Friday of the school year, so it was still exciting we were like all right let's get ready let's take a picture you know
so, as we're traveling from our house we got past the high school and Parker said we were just talking in the car and he said I kind of started stumbling over my words and he said that I just, I wasn't responding to him.

Parker:

I remember having a conversation with my mom and then she just stopped speaking to me admit in response. 

Winifred:

She had a seizure behind the wheel Parker saw it coming he released the seat belt and guide the wheel and that when she hit a tree.

Parker:

I remember grabbing the wheel steering away from the arm traffic and then from there it's just like a few moments I remember I remember screaming I remember seeing my brother my eyes felt foggy and I remember looking down and I saw that my ankle had broken.

Sharonda:

I knew something was wrong when we got to the hospital and I kept saying where's parker where's parker and no one every time I said where's parker no one would say anything to me they just got quiet and that's when his dad and my brother came in and said he's hurt really bad.

Wayne:

You know I always think about it what if you know they're always the body of if I had gotten a call could I have coached him through preventing the accident.

Sharonda:

I had broken my fingers the baby had to have his head stitched so we were all in the ER trying to get ourselves fixed and then they told me about Parker they finally let me up to his room and I just saw my baby laying on the bed on life support with a neck brace on and all these tubes coming out of his stomach and his mouth and it was bad. They took the pins out and put a cast on they cut a square out and every day they came in and they would just put their fingers as if they were checking his pulse on his foot and he had a pulse every day so everything was good no blood thinners they stopped the internal bleeding and I think this was like day three or day four boom no pulse and they said well don't worry about it we'll check again tomorrow. The next day you can see his foot turning a little gray and then the next day it was black and the doctor came in and said okay it's time for us to go ahead and amputate it and so they pull the curtain the whole family stands behind the curtain and I have to sit on the bed with parker and tell him that he's going to be amputated and he just cried out and he was so afraid and terrified and I just had to reassure him everything was going to be okay.

Parker:

I was concerned about sports. I knew that it would take some time to get back in so they said they'll provide a prosthetic as the time progresses and after I heard that I said okay I know that it's not gonna be the same as before but I’m going to try everything I possibly can to live the normal life that I was supposed to.

Winifred:

We found out from Shriners through the hospital when we first went to Shriners I mean we had a ball they make you feel so welcome.

Parker:

The first time I went to Shriners Children's, I was blown away by how big it was I remember meeting the doctors for the first-time meeting Crissy, Nate all of those guys. 

Crissy:

When Parker first came to us after his accident it was from the get-go can I run now is it it was never um a slow transition back to just being a kid and he has this can-do attitude. He's so happy and fun he's just you know Parker's always waiting to do the next thing whatever sports event um he's just a superstar.

David Westberry:

So, he went a underwent a bellow knee amputation which was a cut through the the leg bone there's two bones in the leg the tibia and the fibula and so there was an um the leg was removed at the level of the mid tibia which is what we call below knee amputation.

Nate Carter

So, I’ve known Parker since he came to us at Shriners after his accident he's been here three or four years now so he was initially fit um with a supracondylar prosthetic design which means that it the suspension comes above the condyles with the knee and that's how it stays on while you're walking and running 

Crissy:

We were kind of getting Parker acclimated to getting up and moving again and transitioning back to just doing everyday things of course he quickly progressed and so now we have him in some newer technology with higher end components to help him really be competitive in sports. The technology how the prosthesis suspends on his residual limb is such an intimate fed that he's able just to not worry about the prosthesis itself but just continue to be a competitive athlete that he is.

David Westberry:

Parker wants to be active he wants to play sports he wants to play baseball and and basketball he wants to do things with his friends and you know we want to provide him with the care and the devices that he needs to enable him to do that they're very good prosthetics now that allow children to get back into regular activities and be very active in sports and and are here to kind of walk alongside these families to enable that to happen.

Sharonda:

The roadrunner space is great found out that a lot of the road runners are just regular people from the community that I’ve grown to love. 

Winifred:

Shriners are the best we support Shriners for everything. 

Parker:

I don't think without meeting the people there I would be as kind and well as a person that they make me from the words that they say from the actions that they do put all together would humble me the way that they do. For three months I was not able to walk at all but when I first took my first step with my prosthetic it was like it was an amazing moment of my life and it opened a new chapter for me. 

Sharonda:

He plays basketball that's his favorite sport and this year he went out for baseball as a child he played baseball all the time but this is his first year playing baseball in middle school.

Parker:

Every time I possibly can I can pick I want to pick up a basketball and just go and get as much work in as I possibly can.

Mike Hobgood:

I wish I’m all successful I mean a kid like that who endured something so young you can't wish nothing but the best one if he wants to be in the NBA I want him to be in the NBA and I want to be there every step and hope that one day when he gets that he'll remember me as the first coach he had to push him to that spot.

Elyscia Von Brown:

I mean he really is an amazing kid that when I like think about teaching he's one of those kids that make me realize like I love my job and I love what I do and I just hope that he makes everybody's day brighter. 

Parker:

I want the next child to know that might be going through the same situation I made going through to know that it's people there to support you and you're not alone.

Sharonda: 

I tell people all the time I live with a real-life hero his younger brother calls him Peter Parker all the time because they look at Spider-Man, well you don't understand Bryson. He's a real-life hero he not always saved mama's life but he saved yours too. 

Parker:

Hero to me means like a person that no matter what does as much as they possibly can to make sure everything stays intact and that's exactly what I want to make sure I do for not only just my mom and my brother but for everyone that's ever around me I want everyone to know that no matter how big of a person he became in life he always made sure that everyone around him was okay and was in great care. 

Sharonda:

He hasn't let anything stop him yet just keep going the sky's the limit. 

Parker:

With Shriners Children's they allowed me to work with the process of getting back to playing sports and activities I did before that happened and just making sure I was living life as a record child. Thanks to Shriners Children's I’m back in the game.