Flower Mound (Texas) High School senior wide receiver Carson Winters is enjoying his final high school season, but he may appreciate the journey more than most of his classmates. That has everything to do with what he’s had to go through just to get back on the field.
In 2019 spring training, Winters was finishing up a practice with his teammates when he caught a pass and was taken down by a direct hit to his midsection.
While Winters and others on the team immediately assumed he had the wind knocked out of him or possibly even suffered a rib injury, the truth was much worse. As reported by Dallas-Fort Worth NBC affiliate KXAS, Winters was rushed to a hospital emergency room, where it was determined he suffered a deep bruise on his lower intestine, which later ruptured while he lay in the hospital.
The scenario was extremely rare — typically seen only in gunshot wounds or car wrecks, and never in sports — and it was dangerous, as the impact of that rupture posed a serious threat to Winters’ health.
“There was a gallon of intestinal fluid that had spilled out into that cavity,” Mark Winters, Carson Winters’ father, told KXAS. “So all of that acid, basically, is washing all over his organs and intestines and it’s burning everything.”
Winters underwent emergency surgery, then spent a full three weeks in recovery in a hospital bed. When he was eventually released he had lost 50 pounds, with questions about how and when he would be able to return to everyday activities like walking, not football.
Yet Winters wouldn’t be denied, and now is back on the field with his teammates, hoping for one final playoff run with Flower Mound.
“It’s who he is and he loves it,” Winters’ mother, Beth Winters, told KXAS. “Deep down inside, I believe he fought extra hard so that he could do this. I don’t know how I can take that away from him.”