Amputee Back On the Football Field for Season Opener

By: Jessica Cunnington Email
By: Jessica Cunnington Email

September 7, 2012

After a serious leg injury in a pre-season scrimmage last year, Jacob Rainey, a senior at Woodberry Forest School, had to get part of his right leg amputated. He took to the field Friday as starting quarterback

"No one does what Jacob is about to do today," said Woodberry Forest School's varsity football coach, Clinton Alexander to the team before the game.

Jacob has pushed all year to get back on the field, throwing a football and regaining strength to run. After the injury, not many people thought he would ever be able to play again.

"As soon as it happened, I just knew it was not going to be just a get up and walk around, you'll be fine, type situation," Woodberry Forest School's athletic trainer, Jeff Johnson said. He rushed to Rainey's side on the field as he screamed in pain.

"As soon as I found out about the leg having to be amputated, I would have never bet we would be here a in a year," said Johnson. "But that was before I knew the Rainey's."

Jacob's mother Kathy said because of her son's spirit, it made it easier for the whole family to get through the past year.

"Just knowing him as a person, believing in him and supporting him," she said. "I told him he can do whatever he wants until he proves himself wrong."

And he showed that today, not letting his new leg get in the way of throwing a touch down pass at the beginning of the game.

She said just when no one thought he would be able to play again, Jacob got out of the hospital.

"He got out there with his teammates, was on the sidelines and it was just, 'I'm gonna play again'" she said. "He just loves football and imagining his life without it was, well, unimaginable."

"He's the same but he's not the same. He lost a leg but he didn't lose the heart, or the arm, or the athleticism," Johnson said.

Even though the team lost on Friday, Rainey is looking up for himself and for his whole team.

"I just think of it this way - it could have been worse. I could have died but I lost a leg and it's just a bump in the road," he said. "I just have to keep fighting to get where I want to be."

And for right now, he'll be right next to his teammates on the field for his senior year season.

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