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Tiger player looks ahead to athletics after amputation

Some of the toughest decisions most teenagers face extends to what they’re going to have for lunch or who they’ll sit next to in class.   

Following a serious car accident earlier this year, Dripping Springs High junior football player Trey Aldridge made the decision to have his leg amputated below the knee.

As Aldridge continues his path toward recovery, support from not only his teammates but also from the Dripping Springs community continues to pour in.

Aldridge, along with one of his friends, was returning from a hunting trip in South Texas on Oct. 1 when the accident occurred on U.S. Highway 290. 

Aldridge said one of his first memories following the collision was being extricated from the vehicle. For Aldridge, it was a surreal moment.

“I told myself, ‘this has to be a dream. This isn’t real. There is no way it happened,’” Adlridge said. “When it hit me it did, I was kind of in a panicked state. I wasn’t sure what to make of it.”

Jesse Aldridge, Trey’s father, said he received a call around 9:30 p.m. regarding the accident. He and his family were informed that Trey had been transported with an open fracture of the ankle to St. David’s Hospital in Austin.

Trey went through a surgery to repair the injury that evening, then went through two additional surgeries over the next few days, Jesse said. During that time, Trey said many of his teammates and Dripping Springs athletic coordinator and head football coach Galen Zimmerman visited him.

“He’s part of our team. Helping him out is an expectation. A couple of his best friends are offensive lineman with him,” Zimmerman said.

But doctors informed Trey and his family that saving his foot meant going through several more surgeries. There also wasn’t a guarantee he would have mobility in his foot.

The second option was to amputate the leg below the knee. The caveat, however, meant the chance to have a more active lifestyle. 

Allowing Trey to make the decision was an important factor for Jesse and his family.

After gathering all available information, Trey chose to amputate.

“There was definitely a lot of excitement. They said with working hard that I could get back (on the football field),” Trey said. “But I’m also losing a part of my leg. It was in between exciting and depressing. It was a hard choice to make for sure. It wasn’t an easy choice.”

Following the surgery, Trey went through rigorous physical therapy sessions.

He was eventually released from the hospital Nov. 3. It allowed Trey to prepare to join his teammates in the final game at Tiger Stadium the next day.

“There’s no way to describe how excited I was,” he said. “Coaches and players were giving me hugs and high fives. It was so exciting, I almost broke out in tears.”

Finding a suitable prosthetic leg that would support Trey on and off the field is the focus. Such a leg, however, would cost roughly $17,000.

The community, led by Cindy Reynolds, started a gofundme to assist the Aldridge family with the expense.

Jesse was thankful for the support given by the community. He has confidence Trey could regain his mobility, and perhaps one day return to the football field.

Zimmerman lauded Trey for having a mature attitude toward a difficult situation.

While Trey aspires to return to the field next fall, he was struck by the outpouring of support.

“Dripping Springs is an amazing community. I would have never thought there was this much support,” Aldridge said. “Dripping Springs is a great place to live.”

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