Competition fuels Green Hope senior following gruesome leg injury
Posted April 18, 2014
Updated April 19, 2014
Cary, N.C. — Compound fractures are often life-altering events, so when Green Hope quarterback Chris Tutwiler broke his leg in two places in two places last August during the HighSchoolOT Jamboree, he knew his athletic career would never be the same.
It was immediately apparent that Tutwiler would miss his senior football season. But he knew he wanted to compete again for the Falcons.
That spirit pushed him through several months of intense rehab, work that has allowed him to return to the field – or diamond, in this case – for Green Hope's baseball season.
Tutwiler said his injury put things in perspective.
"You take stuff for granted until it's really gone. Baseball was a side sport for me until I was done with football," Tutwiler said. "When I got hurt playing football, baseball was all I had left in high school."
Tutwiler spent the better part of five months rehabbing his shattered leg, and doctors cleared him shortly before the start of Green Hope's baseball season.
"I got out here quicker than I thought I would," he said.
Green Hope baseball coach Michael Miragliuolo said he had doubts about whether Tutwiler would ever play high school sports again after his injury.
"I can be honest now. The first time I saw him, he said he would be back," Miragliuolo said. "Inside, I didn't believe it."
Tutwiler is back, even though he's not the same player he was before.
"Essentially, he's had to re-learn how to run. You are watching a top-notch athlete re-learn to run," Miragliuolo said.
Teammate Stephen Pittara said he's equally surprised by Tutwiler's speedy recovery.
"I'm surprised he's walking and running. He's not just playing, he's playing well," he said.
Tutwiler said he's more than happy to deal with some pain as long as he can compete.
"Yeah, it hurts. Some days are worse than others," he said. "You just take some Advil and a couple of painkillers. No complaints as long as I'm playing."