TROY, AL (WSFA) - On Jan. 2, 2018, then Troy freshman baseball player Bobby Spitulski and his family were traveling back home from a vacation in North Carolina when Bobby drifted off to sleep in the back of his father’s car. Four days later, he would awake at a hospital in South Carolina.
“The first thing I heard, he [his father] was holding my hand and he told me everything was gonna be okay and be all right,” said Spitulski.
The Spitulski family was involved in a 12-car crash on their way home. Bobby’s father, mother, and two siblings were all injured in the crash, but it was Bobby who suffered the worst.
Bobby suffered severe head trauma including swelling of the brain and a fractured skull which required immediate surgery and doctor's were unsure if he would survive.
"It was quite emotional,” said Spitulski. “I couldn’t imagine the reaction they had hearing that. If I become a parent one day, that would be the last thing I would want to hear that my child isn’t going to make it due to something like this.”
Spitulski did make it through that surgery, but he was left paralyzed on his left side and unable to speak.
"I never would’ve thought I would have to relearn how to walk ever again in my life,” said Spitulski. “Going to the bathroom, I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t put my clothes on. It was a struggle. Probably one of the most difficult things I’ve had to do in my life.”
After just nine days in the South Carolina hospital, Bobby was transferred to a hospital closer to home in Florida to begin therapy.
What happened next could only be described as a miracle.
Less than two months after the horrific crash that left him paralyzed, Bobby was released and walked out of the hospital.
After six months of intense physical therapy, the goal for Bobby was to make it back to Troy to play the game he loved.
"My goal was to get back to baseball,” said Spitulski. “I knew it was going to be a long journey, but you have to take it day by day.”
Fast forward to February 2019, Spitulski is gearing up for his first season with the Troy Trojans.
"I am blessed and grateful that I’m still here and I can do that this year,” said Spitulski. “I’m so happy to be back and I couldn’t do this without the support I’ve had along the way.”
Troy Head Coach Mark Smartt is still in awe of Spitulski's recovery.
"He was thrown, not a curveball, he was thrown the most challenging pitch ever,” said Smartt. “His life was threatened. He was fortunate to get through the accident and at every turn he cleared every hurdle that was put in front of him.”
As for Bobby, he has a little ways to go before he's back to 100 percent, but the Troy third baseman is relishing at his second chance not just on the field but in life.
"You can get through anything that is thrown at you as long as you stay positive and believe in yourself and trust in God,” said Spitulski.