Overcoming all odds: PVCC softball player returns to play after amputation

Something special is happening in north Phoenix and the Paradise Valley Community College softball team is turning heads.

The Lady Pumas have had quite the year on the field and off.

"We hit a bump in the road and then the front of the car shifted left."

The shift for softball outfielder Emily White happened Memorial Day weekend last year.

"It was the most random freak accident. We were doing a night time.. kind of cruising through the forest.. we corrected it.. just a hair.. moved into the mountain.. and rolled three and a half times.. and then I got thrown from the car."

The vehicle White was in landed on her leg, crushing it. The crash happened in the Munds Park area of northern Arizona when she was with friends. She broke many bones, arteries, tore tendons, and was facing at least six surgeries.

"I decided to amputate, because I had the conclusion I had to choose my foot or my lifestyle."

Her life is inspiring. She uses a prosthetic now and had to give up playing outfield for second base.

"I tried.. I stuck it out and gave it a good try, but it didn't work out for me because my blade wasn't able to move through the grass as well.

Head coach Nick Candrea said, "It's definitely something that the rest of the girls players see and say you got to be kidding me, she's out there.. people who get to see her play, make an impact, especially young girls who play softball."

Was it hard to learn how to ground a ball again?

"So, yes, moving from outfield to the infield was a lot more of an adjustment than people would think," she replied.

White was up for the challenge though. Doctors told her it would be at least 10 months before she'd walk again.

"Being an athlete, being competitive, when you give me a time, I try to get it faster than when it's supposed to be, so that was a challenge and I was like, you know what, I'm going to overcome this. I started walking within two months and I started running around two and a half, maybe three months and from there, I started going into the gym."

The struggle is real as they say. Still, White gives it her all, every single day.

"She's not afraid to dive for balls. I'm still shocked. There are things that make you emotional and this situation with Emily, I do get emotional because it's dear to my heart and everything she's done," said Candrea.

Everything she has overcome, the odds she has beat -- with a positive attitude anyone would be fortunate to have.

"Not everyday is going to be bright and sunny and you shouldn't let one bad day ruin the rest of your week," said White.

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