Kiski Area’s Reid set to return after pulmonary embolism

Tuesday, January 16, 2018 | 12:18 AM

At perhaps his darkest moment as he dealt with a pulmonary embolism in his lung, Isaac Reid wondered if he would ever wrestle again.

That worry is gone along with the clot.

Reid, a Kiski Area senior and the returning WPIAL and PIAA Class AAA runner-up at heavyweight, will return to the mat Tuesday when the Class AAA No. 2 Cavaliers host Class AA No. 1 Burrell in their annual rivalry match.

“Truly, I believe it was through faith and prayer and just staying positive,” Reid said. “I truly felt when I first got the bad news I was going to crumble and just fall apart. But I found a way to stay positive through it, and staying positive helped my body recover.”

The pulmonary embolism diagnosis came in the fall after Reid dealt with pain and shortness of breath. He spent a week in the hospital, and he was sidelined from wrestling until the clot could be healed.

A regimen of blood thinners caused the clot to clear, which he learned in late December. Doctors cleared him for competition last week.

“I'm just going to give all glory to God for this one,” Reid said. “Just the fact that I'm alive and doing well and doing what I love to do, it's a blessing.”

Before the diagnosis, Reid was expected to anchor the starting lineup for Kiski Area, the defending WPIAL Class AAA team champion, and now he'll get his chance to do that. A Lock Haven recruit, Reid holds a 106-24 career record and was the Valley News Dispatch Wrestler of the Year last season, when he finished 43-6 and was the WPIAL and PIAA runner-up to Canon-McMillan's Brendan Furman.

With Furman now graduated, Reid figured to be the favorite to win both WPIAL and state titles this season.

“Obviously we're very excited to have him back,” Kiski Area coach Chris Heater said. “You get the No. 1 heavyweight in the state back, obviously that's a very nice gift at this point. But we're just very happy for him that he's healthy and he's been able to work through this issue and he's getting the opportunity to get back on the mat and do something he loves very much.”

Heater described Reid as a “caged animal” since he rejoined practice last week as he worked on getting back in wrestling shape.

“It's like letting the lion free from the cage, that's how I'd put it,” Reid said. “I felt like a caged lion, and now I'm set free and ready to get into the wild.”

Reid's return comes as the WPIAL wrestling season begins to ramp up. After Tuesday's match, Kiski Area (9-1) will face Section 1-AAA rival Armstrong on Wednesday and will host Class AAA No. 5 Connellsville on Saturday. Team wrestling sectionals take place Jan. 24, with the WPIAL playoffs and championship the following week.

“Right now, I'm more focused on the team's goals and how I can help them out and see how the team can do,” Reid said. “That's what's in front of me right now. I'm going to take it one day at a time, just stay positive with the team. The team's staying positive, and the coaches are doing a great job.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.


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