PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A young boy who had his arm ripped off in a log-cutting accident has undergone several re-attachment surgeries and is doing well.
But the 12-year-old had a big day Wednesday when he had the chance to meet his baseball hero.
Seth Apel, 12, of Clarion County, and Sean Casey, former Pittsburgh Pirate, share a love of the game, and in no time, after their first meeting, Seth was showing off his newly-acquired skills.
A one-armed game of catch that requires a lot of talent.
“Oh my gosh, that’s awesome, that’s unbelievable,” said Casey. “How long have you been doing this man?”
Since his doctors would allow it would be the answer.
In early November, Seth’s right arm was severed when his sleeve got caught in a machine while unloading firewood. Doctors at Children’s Hospital were able to reattach it.
But regaining feeling and use of the arm is going to be a long process. But his family is confident that Seth will make a full recovery, fueled by faith even in moments of doubt.
“I started to get discouraged, and the very night that I just felt really discouraged was the night he moved his wrist,” said Angela Apel, Seth’s mom. “So, to me, God was just encouraging me. And that, what I can’t see doesn’t matter because he is still working in his arm.”
In many ways, baseball is Seth’s motivator. Tryouts are Saturday.
“I know I’m going to make it on the team because in Knox, all the kids make it on the team,” said Seth.
He says he will be a factor on the team, so you can understand why playing catch with a major leaguer was a special moment for both.
“Very inspiring when you can take a negative and turn it into a big-time positive, and you have a great attitude, too,” said Casey.
That’s a point that has been a blessing to his parents as they work together through rehabilitation.
“He gets into it. He has fun. He’s willing, and we do stuff at home, too,” said Josh Apel, Seth’s dad.
Seth says his skills at fielding and hitting one-handed are just fine.
“I’m able to catch and throw with one arm, a lot of people are going to be intimidated,” he said.