Bradshaw Christian (Sacramento, Calif.) assistant football coach Casey Cagle went in to a hospital for a fairly traditional heart procedure. He came out some 100 days later without both of his legs and a hand.
Somehow, Cagle is still happy, content and energized about the future.
Now full-time in a wheelchair, Cagle returned to Bradshaw Christian football practice part time last month. He continues to advise the team, particularly the defensive lineman, who he hopes to return as a full time assistant coach in 2020.
“You realize you’ve got to be the same person you were. I can’t bring them down and I can’t bring myself down or else it’s going to be a long life,” Cagle told San Diego Fox affiliate KSWB. “I’d rather go about this the way I used to. It makes me feel like I am still the person I used to be.”
One tribute the team has developed for Cagle comes after each touchdown, when the entire team holds up a pinkie, then the scoring player races over to Cagle to give him a hug.
For Cagle, that celebration is emblematic of the support he has received from the Bradshaw Christian community, which has been critical to his recovery and future plans.
“Those are the kinds of things — the support from your family and the people you know in the community — that’s what really makes you go forward and want to live,” Cagle told Sacramento Fox affiliate KTXL.