Clarion Co. Boy Makes Remarkable Return To Baseball After Gruesome Injury

KNOX, Pa. (KDKA) — A local boy who had his arm severed in a gruesome accident last fall made a remarkable comeback to the baseball diamond Friday night.

Seth Apel, 12, of Clarion County, was playing Little League baseball Friday night at Knox Community Park.

It was the team’s first home game of the year, and a very special night for Apel and his family.

The boy’s right arm was severed last November when his sleeve got caught in a machine while unloading firewood near his home. His arm was completely severed.

About 20 minutes after the mishap, he was in a helicopter, being flown to Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. EMT Joseph Schmader was at the game Friday night.

Schmader recalled the day of the mishap, telling KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “It was a nice, cool day, that’s good because that helped us. We gathered him up, bandaged him, and put the arm on ice.”

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Also present at the game, Dr. Lorelei Grunwaldt, a plastic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. She was part of the surgical team that worked on Seth when he arrived.

“In terms of nerve recovery, regeneration and physical therapy, Seth is doing well,” Grumwaldt said. “Plus, he’s motivated, and all those things play into.”

Seth’s dad and brothers built a new press box at the ballfield where the Little League team plays in a show of appreciation.

Seth calls the ball field his second home.

“I want to thank everybody that has done so much for me,” he said.

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