PITTSBURGH - Seth Apel found himself lucky to be alive when he severed his arm in a farming accident in November.
Apel, whose arm was subsequently reattached, was able enjoy the experience of a lifetime by playing catch with one of his baseball idols, former Pirates player Sean Casey.
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“I just thought it was a regular day going in to checkup,” Apel said.
But it wasn’t. Casey greeted Apel at the hospital, bearing gifts.
“I brought you a bobblehead, some batting gloves and a baseball,” Casey told Apel.
“I wanted to know that he was alive and all I heard was that it was going to be OK,” Angela Apel, Seth’s mother said.
Dr. Lorelei Grunwaldt said that Seth Apel's arm was severed just below the shoulder, but the limb wasn't mangled. That allowed her to restore healthy blood flow to the limb during eight hours of microsurgery.
"I think when I put the blood vessels together it had been about an hour and a half since the injury. That's really quite amazing considering how far they live,” Grunwaldt said.
The Clarion County boy's parents, Josh and Angela Apel, said he was helping his father and brothers unload firewood when his right arm got caught in a tractor mechanism being used to power a belt-driven trailer that hauled and automatically unloaded the wood.
Now, on the road to recovery, Seth Apel told Channel 11, he is on the road to recovery.