GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Incoming ECU freshman Parker Byrd underwent a successful below-the-knee amputation Thursday, 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 the muscles in his thigh are still not healed. He said it was just a complicated case because of all the injuries.”
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 anesthesiologists 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.”
A prayer vigil for Parker was held Thursday night at McCoy Field, where he played high school baseball in Laurinburg.