By Julie Grant

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KNOX, Pa. (KDKA) — A teenager whose arm was severed in a farming accident and reattached underwent a special surgery in St. Louis to restore movement to his hand.

Seth Apel and his family are asking for prayers that this latest surgery does the trick. KDKA’s Julie Grant spoke to the family after Seth was released from the hospital.

“Hey everybody! I just got released from the hospital today. Thank you for all your prayers. I’m doing fine. Just a little bit sore getting around and all that. I have a checkup on Friday, and I look forward to being back soon,” said Seth Apel in a short video message sent to KDKA after his release from the hospital.

Apel is in good spirits, spending the day at the zoo with his family, after surgeons in St. Louis moved a nerve from his leg to his arm. The goal is to increase Apel’s strength and movement in his right hand.

Exactly two years ago, Apel was unloading firewood when his sleeve got caught in a machine and his arm was severed from his body. Doctors at Children’s Hospital reattached it and Apel has continued with rigorous physical therapy ever since.

“He has excellent bicep muscle and he has great elbow movement and his flex and range of motion in his shoulder is great. But his forearm, his wrist, and his hand hasn’t gotten a whole lot of movement in those areas,” said his mother, Angela Apel.

She told KDKA the outpouring of prayers and support has been tremendous and has inspired her son to give back.

“Recently, he spoke at another church and he’s been making visits at different times,” said Apel.

He is doing some motivational speaking. His message is simple: encouraging others in whatever struggle they may be facing.

“He wants people to know that there’s always hope and that things happen and life goes on. And it is what you make of it,” said Angela.

Seth Apel’s attitude is what inspires his family every day.

“His faith and his positive outlook, and he’s not going to let this get him down,” said Angela.

On Friday, Apel will have his pain pump and wound drain removed. Then, it’s back to his Knox home in Clarion County for lots more hunting and baseball.