The journey has been long, arduous and painful, but Koni Dole is back on the football field about a year after having his leg amputated.
The Big Lead reports on the remarkable story of a high school football player who continues to play despite the use of a blade prosthesis and the continued pain he feels because of his injury.
The Missoulian recounts a harrowing moment last October, which led to a complication and subsequent amputation of his lower right leg.
During a Huntley Project High School (Montana) football game last season, Dole suffered a compound fracture and was rushed to the hospital. The only question the young man had for doctors was when he could get back on the field.
The report takes an awful turn as surgery couldn't stave off the eventual compartment syndrome that forced doctors to take the leg:
Then infection set in. His temperature reached 105 degrees, and the pain was unbearable. Surgeons operated again, cutting open both sides of his leg to reduce the pressure caused by swelling.
As Dole talked about that morning, he grew silent and fought back tears.
“I had never seen my dad cry until that day,” he said.
Surgeons told Nancy and Andy Dole that the trauma to their son’s leg had developed into compartment syndrome, a potentially life-threatening condition in which pressure builds from swelling, depriving tissue and muscle of the blood flow that carries essential oxygen and nutrients.
According to the report, the day after he left the hospital Dole met with a strength coach to begin his grueling road back to the field.
If there is one thing we can take from all of this, it's this is one amazing young man who has a high tolerance for pain and a gift for tackling lofty goals.
Here he is, not even a year later, back to playing the sport he loves, eager to play in his team's season opener on Friday. KRTV reports Montana State University even gave a "preferred walk-on football scholarship" to him.
According to The Big Lead report, Dole returned to his wrestling team in January, just three months after the amputation.
Dole was hit with an awful blow but worked hard and is back to where he started. It doesn't get much better than this.
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