Minnechaug wrestler perservering on the mat after scary diagnosis
WILBRAHAM, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - One of the state’s top wrestlers from Minnechaug High School is speaking about a terrifying medical diagnosis and the ability to persevere.
“The first question I had was in my head if I was going to be okay, if I was still going to go to come back to the mat and wrestle this season,” said Calvin Stiles.
Stiles, Minnechaug’s senior wrestling captain, told Western Mass News about a head injury during a football game in his junior year.
“I hit my head really hard and I was on the field and I got really dizzy and I thought I was going to pass out,” Stiles noted.
Stiles said he did not think much of it at the time.
“A month after November, I had a seizure and I was rushed to the hospital and they gave me a scan and they told me I had a tumor,” Stiles explained.
Stiles told us he had a cavernoma, also known as a non-cancerous tumor, and he needed brain surgery to remove it.
“If we didn’t get rid of it, it could’ve kept seizing out and had a condition, but luckily, we got rid of it and it’s not a problem anymore,” Stiles added.
The surgery was a success and it took no time for him to get back to what he loves.
“The first thing he said when he came out of surgery was, ‘Hey, am I still going to be able to wrestle?’” said Minnechaug High Assistant Wrestling Coach Mike Ice.
Ice told us the impact that Stiles has had on the team.
“We use Calvin as an example all the time.
‘Look guys, this guy just had brain surgery and he’s back on the mat, never in our wildest dreams we think he was coming back,’” Ice explained.
Now that he is back, the team is looking to win states after finishing in second last year.
“Calvin, along with Cam Ice and Elliot Humphries, they are all the number one seed heading into the division to state tournament this weekend. That is a huge accomplishment,” Ice noted.
Regardless of what happens at the state tournament, Stiles said he will wrestle in college and wants to stay connected to the sport for life.
“I thought about coaching. I don’t know what I would do without it because I have been doing it my whole life,” Stiles said.
Stiles added that he has a clean bill of health and has walked away with a new outlook on life.
“Anything can happen on any given day, whether it’s driving your car or if you recognized something bad can happen, take every day as a gift,” Stiles noted.
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