Westmoreland speaks about recovery
Red Sox prospect Ryan Westmoreland was upbeat in a conference call today with reporters, speaking about how he is feeling in his recovery from brain surgery back in March.
What is his therapy schedule like these days? “It’s four days a week. The therapy consists of physical therapy, occupational therapy, which is your everyday kind of things, and then speech therapy also. four days out of the week I’m doing those three and so far, so good and I’m excited to continue it.”
How is he feeling? “I feel a lot better. If you asked me three months ago, the progress has been amazing. I heard from a bunch of doctors and the progress has been remarkable. I’m just excited to keep it going.”
What is it like going to Red Sox games and Minor League games? Is it tough at all? “Yes and no. I definitely enjoy going to the games and getting to watch them. they’re my favorite team anyway, besides the fact that I’m playing for the minor leagues, it’s just great to go out and watch baseball. At the same time I do miss it, getting to see those games, and then to picture yourself out there, it’s tough to see yourself on the sidelines. At the same time, I’ve come to terms with what I’ve gone through and I know it’s going to take a while but I’m ready for it.”
Westmoreland has been touched by all the support.
“It’s been amazing, it really has,” Westmoreland said. “Ever since we kind of released what was going on, I’ve been getting non-stop messages and e-mails from people I do know, as well as people I don’t know.”
The emotional aspect of all this?
“Well, initially, to be honest, I didn’t really know what was going on. I knew it was a serious situation but before that situation, I felt great going into Spring Training, I felt really strong and when that news kind of hit, I didn’t honestly know what to expect and things kind of went on from there and I learned more, I gained more knowledge about the whole situation I was going through and it started out not knowing much and it really kind of went downhill just knowing everything and knowing all the risks and what was going on, but I tried to keep an even head about it and stay positive.”
Ron Westmoreland was also on the call. What has all this been like for him?
“There was certainly some, at the beginning, some very tough days and nights and tough weeks but once the surgery happened and he came out of it OK and over the next few days in ICU, we saw some progress and even the second day in ICU, he actually got up and walked down the hall,” Ron Westmoreland said. “From that day forward, we got to a point where it just became an everyday positive where we could see the progress and nowadays, seeing what he’s doing and actually being out on a field and doing some running and throwing and things like that, every day is positive. Every day I can’t wait until after therapy to talk to him about what he’s gone through. Even though at the beginning, it was very, very difficult, horrifying for us as a family, it got to a point where it was just positive. Every day was positive from that point on.”
Does Ryan Westmoreland know when he might get back on the field?
“From the doctor’s point of view, not one of them has set a time-table as to when I’m going to get back to playing,” Westmoreland said. “I can think in my head, I’m really confident. And going to see the Portland games and the minor league games and the boston games just gives me that extra motivation and confidence that I’m going to get back again but as far as the time-table, I’m not really sure. I’m just really focused on the next day ahead and just trying to get better every day.”
As an organization, the Red Sox have been inspired by the way Westmoreland and his family have handled a difficuilt situation.
“The thing that stands out from our end is just how proud we are of Ryan, the courage he’s shown, facing the initial diagnosis and the surgery, and the determination he’s shown in his recovery. It’s been really awe-inspiring,” said Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein. “We got to know Ryan and his family pretty well during the signing process. We knew we were getting a great kid from a great family,we knew we were getting someone who could handle adversity, but the type of adversity we were thinking of was a long slump or something like that.
“You never imagine one of your players having to go through something like this.
But every step of the way, he’s showed really incredible maturity and bravery, and for us I think right before the initial diagnosis came. It was really intersting to see how the entire organization reacted like a family.You look at your players and you think of them as having bright futures,but then when something like this happens that’s life threatening, and you
see how it impacts all of his teammates, all of his friends, all of the people in the organization who care for him on a personal level. it really makes you appreciate what we have in this organization as a family, and Ryan obviously is a big part of that family.
“So going through this with him was a pretty emotional thing for many people in the organization. We’re proud of him and with him and his family every step of the way. And we’ll be here for him when he’s ready to return to organized baseball.”