Oregon decathlete injured in javelin accident: 'I thought I lost - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon decathlete injured in javelin accident: 'I thought I lost my vision completely'

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Parker Kennedy's eye was pierced by a javelin in a freak accident at a track and field event. (Image: KPTV) Parker Kennedy's eye was pierced by a javelin in a freak accident at a track and field event. (Image: KPTV)
Image: KPTV Image: KPTV

The last two weeks have been nothing short of miraculous for Parker Kennedy and his family.

The 18-year-old from Hood River is now home and recovering remarkably well after being critically injured in a freak javelin accident.

“I’m doing great, more excited for life than I’ve ever been,” Parker told FOX 12 on Thursday.

But not too long ago, that outcome seemed nearly impossible.

He was at Jesuit High School in Portland on June 24 for the USATF State Junior Olympic Championship, and was warming up for the javelin when something went terribly wrong.

“I just released a little too late and threw it straight down in front of me and then went like this (leaning forward) and it just went straight in my eye,” he said.

He pulled back, removing the javelin from his eye in the process, and fell to the ground, yelling.

“It was kind of an extreme yell and I could tell something was happening,” said Parker’s 15-year-old sister Katie. 

Katie had also been competing that day, and their father, Barry, was there, too.

“For some reason, I had the feeling that everything was going to be okay,” Barry told FOX 12. “I’m not sure why, the sound of his voice, I think. The way he was talking kind of reassured me that it was going to be okay.”

Parker was flown to OHSU in critical condition, where he spent five days in the trauma ICU and another two in the neuro unit. His brain was bruised and bleeding, and doctors were monitoring a clot.

“I thought I lost my vision completely and didn’t know if I was going to make it or not. But if it was my time, I was ready to go right then.” he said of those first initial moments at the track. “I felt like it was down and into my throat, but I guess it went back and close to my brain and hit some nerves that caused my throat to hurt. But yeah, it was scary.”

But, against all odds, his family continued to get positive updates from the doctors.

“It just changed to tears of joy of just good news and more good news,” his mother Carrie said. “He’s lucky.”

“It’s just a miracle he’s okay,” Barry added.

Now, Parker is back at home in Hood River resting. Doctors are still monitoring the clot and he has some double vision in his injured eye, but otherwise he’s OK.

And he’s not leaving the javelin behind.

The new graduate of Hood River Valley High School plans to continue training as a decathlete at the college level at the University of Washington in the fall.

One day, he sees himself in the Olympics.

“I told my mom today that I was feeling 100 percent and felt like I could go 100 percent in life,” Parker said. “So hopefully everything’s 100 percent inside.”

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