On July 17, 2018, the summer before his freshman year, freshmen Landon Padgett, Dexter Brown and Bladen Patton had an ATV accident in Padgett’s backyard. As a result of the accident, Patton had a broken ankle and arm. Through six surgeries, emotional turmoil and missing out on multiple sports seasons, the experience is something Patton will never forget.
“I have had a rod placed in my right arm and two screws put in my right ankle. The screws later had to be taken out because they were too long. I also had an emergency surgery on my arm because of a blood clot,” said Patton.
Patton has had a slow recovery, but to him, how far he has come is a big deal.
At first, Patton started off in a wheelchair and had casts on his arm and ankle. He was barely able to move his arm on his own. By January 2019, Patton was able to straighten his elbow out, and the feeling in his fingers was starting to come back.
“Now, I am back to being independent on most things, but I think the biggest difference for me is that I can finally sleep on my stomach. I couldn’t do that at the beginning,” said Patton.
Though Patton is not far enough along in the recovery process to know of any permanent restrictions, some temporary ones include playing certain sports, writing, tying his shoes and lifting weights.
Patton is also unsure of when he will be fully recovered, but he is still determined to play basketball and football as soon as he is released to do so. One major milestone Patton has accomplished is the fact that he is now able to play baseball again.
Because of all the obstacles that have been put in his way, having a good attitude is extremely important.
“I could’ve very easily given up by now, but that’s not me. I want to get back to doing the things I love. I look at life in general quite differently now. It can be over in the snap of a finger, and you have to be very careful. I understand that anything can happen so fast and change your life, but I know God always has a plan,” said Patton.
Story by: Gracie Walls
Photo by: Addison Wells