PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A Clarion County boy has received thousands of well wishes after surviving a freak accident that severed one of his arms.
Seth Apel, 12, of Knox, Pennsylvania, is being treated at Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh where doctors were able to re-attach the injured arm.
Now, as he recovers, Get Well cards and emails are pouring in as family, friends and strangers show their support for him.
The accident happened on Saturday while the 12-year-old was cutting firewood with his dad and brothers. He went, by himself, to unload a pile from the tractor when something went tragically wrong.
“For some reason this time, he got down and there’s a, it’s called a PTO, and it rotates and his sleeve got caught in that. And it took his arm,” said Angela Apel, Seth’s mom.
Seth’s grandfather, who lives next door, heard the screams and called 911. Medics put the arm on ice and flew him to Children’s Hospital.
His mom rushed home from a baby shower, praying Seth was still alive.
“That’s what was in my mind,” she said. “I can’t describe the horror and the relief that I had even though his arm was gone. He was alive.”
“That’s one thing that kind of broke me down. He never lost consciousness. He was conscious the whole time, and he was just screaming, ‘My life is going to change. I just want to go see Jesus,’” said Josh Apel, Seth’s dad. “I was like, no, he’s not done.”
Seth’s surgeons had the same mindset, determined to save his life and his arm. The same arm he uses to pitch with in his beloved sport of baseball.
“He was in surgery for eight hours, and they came and said they reattached the arm. I just couldn’t believe it,” said Angela.
Now, the young Pirates fan has a growing crowd of supporters himself.
“Keep the faith Seth,” wrote one well-wisher. “There are so many people out here praying for you and for your mom and dad, too.”
And it’s one battle this family is determined to win.
“Life is going to change, but we pick ourselves up and do what we have to,” said Josh.
“We’re excited to see how God writes his story, ‘cause that’s what he’s doing,” added Angela.