Senior to miss rest of regular season with spinal compression

Taylor Mitchell By Taylor Mitchell

April 5, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Updated April 5, 2013 at 11:06 p.m.

Victoria East senior Jodie Garcia will miss the rest of the regular season after suffering a spinal compression during Thursday night's loss to Gregory-Portland.

"She can move her toes, but doesn't have feeling below her waist," said Ernie Garcia, Jodie's father, on Friday afternoon. "We just want to thank everyone for their prayers and support."

"It's a huge loss for us," said East coach Lee Price said.

Garcia suffered the spinal compression fracture when she collided with teammate Whitney Garley in the outfield. The two were chasing down a fly ball in the seventh inning when Garcia's head hit Garley's chest and Garcia fell to the ground awkwardly.

"I felt like mostly it was my fault, but my teammates assured me it was just a freak accident," Garley said.

The senior center fielder will hopefully return home on Saturday and will begin therapy next week. The therapy will last at least three weeks, according to her father. No surgery is required, but Garcia will be confined to a wheelchair.

Thursday night, Garcia attempted to get up, but immediately fell back down.

"I thought she just had the air knocked out of her and she would be okay," East first baseman Sabrina Suarez said. "When she didn't get up is when I got really scared."

"When they collided and I saw she didn't get up, everything stopped," senior Monica Salazar recalled. "She is very important to us. When she didn't get up it stopped everybody. It was scary."

Garcia was transported to Citizens Medical Center by ambulance from the Victoria Youth Sports Complex where doctors confirmed the injury after taking an MRI of Garcia's back. The game was paused for 20 minutes in the top of the seventh inning.

"We were just praying for her during that time," Suarez said.

Garcia held several roles with the Lady Titans, playing center field and leading off the batting line up. However, she was also one of the senior leaders other players counted on for advice and help.

"She's very important, especially to me," Garley said "She is one of the ones that helped me, and still helps me, because we've played together. Now that I'm on varsity, she is one of the ones I look up to because she knows what to do and what not to do."

Garcia's absence at Saturday's East-West softball game will be felt by both teams.

"I feel so bad for Jodie," West senior Suzette Garcia said. "I won't be the same with her not out there. She's a really good friend."



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