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Nash teen returns to game after life-threatening baseball injury

Posted March 5, 2013
Updated March 6, 2013

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— A Nash County middle school student is stepping back onto the baseball diamond about a year and a half after a wild pitch nearly killed him.

Lee Winstead was hit in the head with a baseball during pre-game warm-ups in September 2011. Doctors had to perform emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage.

Less than four months later, he returned to school. 

Now, as the Nash Central Middle School baseball team prepares for its first game of the season on Thursday, Lee is playing harder than ever before.

"He worked hard at overcoming all of his obstacles. He worked hard at rehab," said his mother, Lori Winstead. "I think he's proving to himself, 'I'm still normal, just like before.'"

Coach Mark Wooten said Lee is an asset to the team.

Lee Winstead Nash teen playing baseball again after severe head injury

"He's got good hands at second base," Wooten said. "I think that's his No. 1 strength."

Strength is definitely a word Lee's family uses to describe him.

"He's a whole lot stronger than I thought he would be," said his father.

The family is ready to cheer him on this season, though Lori Winstead admits she's a bit nervous.

"It's, for me, very scary," she said. "The closer it gets, the more panicked I get."

But Lee is determined to have a new beginning.

"(He wants) closure to all the bad stuff, 'I've done it. I've overcome it. Here I am now,'" his mother said.

Lee will wear a protective helmet during Thursday's game.


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  • 75Tarheel Mar 6, 2013

    Good luck Lee. My Head Coach and I went through a very similar scenario with one of our kids 4 years ago. It's so very hard on the kid and his parents but the Coaches are suffering too thinking what could I have possibly done different to protect him. The answer is: Nothing. God protected him from the most serious injury. And we thank Him everyday.

  • westernwake1 Mar 6, 2013

    Good positive story. I hope Lee has an awesome season!

  • baldchip Mar 6, 2013

    God bless you Lee-HIT ONE OUT OF THE PARK!

  • Sweet summertime Mar 6, 2013

    Good to hear that.

  • 82d Airborne Mar 6, 2013

    Saw a kid get hurt in a game 3 years ago and he is still dealing with many issues from being hit on the head with an aluminum bat, God blessed him with great parents and community, I see the same in this story, wonderful to see.
    Good luck this season and every season young man!

  • mayhem Mar 6, 2013

    You're a gamer, Lee!

  • greymomma Mar 6, 2013

    Love to see good stories like this with a happy ending!

  • leecountymama Mar 6, 2013

    Best wishes Lee! You got this ;)