Amputee Wrestler Tries to Ease His Rival’s Pain

The New York Times recently published a story that was just heartwarming and should another side of coping with becoming disabled that isn’t normally discussed with any great length in media.

Read the New York Times story, After Amputation, Wrestler Tries to Ease Rival’s Pain, by Dirk Johnson, here.

Heriberto Avila

Heriberto Avila getting a push to class Tuesday at Belvidere North High School. Photo by John Konstantaras/Chicago News Cooperative. Image via

High school wrestler Heriberto Avila lost his leg after opponent Sean McIntyre’s legal take-down broke Avila’s leg. The broken bone caused a reupture in a blood vessel that then led to the necessity to amputate Avila’s leg.

Avila woke up in a hospital bed with a shocking struggle to deal with the loss of his leg. It was Avila who reminded his family and his pastor that though he was struggling, he was not the only person who needed solace.

Avila, known as Eddie to family and friends, said, “We need to pray for Sean too, because he needs to have peace in his heart.” [Source]

How beautiful a sentiment. When anger and grief are the first emotions that most are quick to latch onto, creating a whirlwind force of lawyers and legal destruction in the wake of its winds, the Avila family, on the encouragement of Eddie, sought to comfort the young rival who also was dealing with the accident that changed both the young men’s lives.

The article is incredibly heartwarming. The courage and compassion that Avila, the son of Mexican immigrants, shows his once rival and now friend is something that we should all take away a piece of goodness from and spread into the world. He harbors no ill will or hard feelings for the situation or for the young man who many would be quick to simply lay blame on, wooden cross and all.

You can read the full story here.

Johnson, Dirk. “After Amputation, Wrestler Tries to Ease Rival’s Pain.” New York Times. Chicago News Cooperative, 5 Mar. 2011. Web. 8 Mar. 2011.

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