STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Padgett Back on D1 Path After Life-Threatening Blood Clot

Skylar Padgett is one of the top prep athletes in Grants Pass, but a medical nightmare following a torn ACL nearly cut her career short.

Posted: Oct 18, 2018 7:31 PM
Updated: Oct 18, 2018 7:31 PM

GRANTS PASS -- In October of 2017, standout Grants Pass shortstop, Skylar Padgett committed to play for Division-1 North Dakota State starting in 2019. Three months later, the future she'd worked so hard to reach, suddenly seemed uncertain.

In a late January basketball game against Sheldon, Padgett was bumped in the knee and was injured, but didn't think anything of it. At practice the following week, that injury was made even worse. 

"I stepped to the side and it felt like on part of my leg went one way, the other part stayed," Padgett explains. 

It was every elite athlete's worst fear: a torn ACL. Not only, that, but she had torn both her menisci. 

"It's common to tear one meniscus," orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Robert Bents said, "Tearing both is a much bigger deal. It definitely prolongs the recovery quite a bit." 

Dr. Bents was Skylar's softball coach when she was younger, along with her mom, Bev, a former Fresno State softball player. He is also the doctor who performed Skylar's ACL repair surgery three weeks after the incident. 

"This one was really personal," Dr. Bents said of performing Skylar's surgery, "When she tore her ACL, it really kind of hit home." 

The surgery was a success, but within a few days of the surgery, when Skylar started to regain feeling in her legs, she had tremendous pain in her calf. Bev, a 10-year professional in the orthopaedic industry, knew that wasn't a good sign. 

"We went immediately to the ER, had the ultrasound and within an hour of the ultrasound, we knew exactly what it was," Bev Padgett remembers. 

It was a blood clot, something that can happen after ACL surgery, although it's relatively rare. If left untreated, it's also extremely dangerous. 

"It's actually very urgent when we find a blood clot," Dr. Bents said, "We always worry about a blood clot spreading to the lungs, which can be fatal." 

Skylar was put on a regimen that forced her to undergo stomach injections every 12 hours for more than three months. 

"We were waking up at 2:30 in the morning to prepare her," Bev recalls, "It was 3 o'clock in the morning we would give an injection and 3 o'clock in the afternoon, we would give the second injection." 

"She [Bev] would get out her little alcohol swab, swab my stomach and then open up the needle and poke me," Skylar says now with a half smile, "If you went too fast, it burned and then stung and then I'd cry and my mom doesn't want to see me cry." 

After roughly 200 injections, the family brought Skylar back in for re-examination. 

"They couldn't even find the blood clot. It had totally dissipated," Bev remembers excitedly, "It was the best news we ever received. It was like having her born again." 

She had been rehabbing through the blood clot, but once the treatment for her blood clot was finished, she was able to turn her attention solely to healing her surgically repaired knee. 

"She's been pushing the limits of what she can do and ever time it's, 'Okay, what can I do now?'" Skylar's physical therapist, Chad Dybdahl said. 

Dybdahl's bigget challenge was in making sure Skylar didn't do too much too soon. While frustrated, Skylar stuck with the plan and by October, she was ready to return to the field for her travel team. 

"She was scared at first," Skylar's dad, Gary, said, "Wondering, 'Am I going to be able to play at the same level I played at?' We've already seen since she's been back that she can."

In her first tournament back earlier in October, Skylar let everyone know she was more than back to normal. With a protective sleeve on her recovering knee, she put on a show. 

"I get this inside pitch and it was just like, 'I see it, I see it perfect,'" Skylar said, practically still licking her chops, "I just take a turn on it and over the fence it went." 

In her first weekend back, Skylar slugged a home run over the left field fence, a lined shot that got out in a hurry. It's that ability that has many thinking Grants Pass High School could have their most successful team in quite some time this Spring. 

"We feel Grants Pass is going to have one of the best teams they've had in years," Gary Padgett said, "They should win their conference hopefully or even got after that state title." 

"It's going to be great having her back and being able to throw her right in the mix," Grants Pass head softball coach, Donnie Bellum said, "I'm pretty excited about it." 

The Padgett family said her recovery wouldn't have been possible without Dr. Bents and the tremendous work of Dybdahl to get her back into playing shape in less than nine months even through her blood clot scare. Having seen her future flash before her eyes and get another chance at it, like an inside fastball, Skylar isn't letting another opportunity pass by.

"I had it taken away from me one time, I'm not going to have it taken away from me again," Skylar Padgett said, "I'm going to work twice as hard.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 31503

Reported Deaths: 538
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah6938136
Marion452292
Washington436959
Umatilla292841
Clackamas231461
Malheur157525
Jackson10914
Lane105916
Deschutes78912
Yamhill74514
Jefferson5168
Polk51115
Morrow4906
Linn48013
Lincoln47513
Union4352
Benton2886
Klamath2772
Wasco2733
Hood River2480
Douglas2213
Josephine1942
Columbia1551
Coos1470
Clatsop1270
Baker912
Crook611
Tillamook510
Curry310
Lake280
Wallowa281
Sherman180
Harney120
Gilliam80
Grant80
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 796436

Reported Deaths: 15291
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2633336423
Riverside576951173
San Bernardino53121908
Orange525381176
San Diego45425767
Kern31647357
Fresno27944362
Sacramento21800393
Alameda20839395
Santa Clara20648300
San Joaquin20060434
Stanislaus16425342
Contra Costa16156202
Tulare15782257
Ventura12507146
Imperial11658317
San Francisco1090199
San Mateo9664144
Monterey964570
Santa Barbara8952111
Merced8803140
Kings754477
Sonoma7225120
Marin6620114
Solano623260
Madera442465
Placer352343
San Luis Obispo345327
Butte277640
Yolo277355
Santa Cruz22838
Sutter168610
Napa165213
San Benito131411
Yuba11337
El Dorado10784
Mendocino88718
Shasta75114
Lassen7360
Glenn5683
Tehama5294
Nevada5256
Colusa5226
Lake51611
Humboldt4906
Calaveras31414
Amador28716
Tuolumne2264
Inyo18714
Mono1652
Siskiyou1630
Del Norte1381
Mariposa752
Plumas500
Modoc250
Trinity150
Sierra60
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Few Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 71°
Brookings
Clear
65° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 54°
Feels Like: 65°
Crater Lake
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 63° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 63°
Grants Pass
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 55°
Klamath Falls
Scattered Clouds
63° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 63°
More showers possible tomorrow
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events