Kiski Area’s Reid sidelined after pulmonary embolism diagnosis

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | 7:03 PM


Isaac Reid expects to cap his high school wrestling career as a PIAA champion.

For now, those plans are on hold.

Reid, Kiski Area's senior heavyweight and a returning WPIAL and state runner-up, is out indefinitely after getting diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, or blood clot, in his lung earlier this month.

“It was heartbreaking more than scary,” Reid said. “I'm just trying to get the strength to get up and figure something out, like what I'm going to do about this. It is a huge setback. But that's what's so awesome about it because I feel I can make a great story and stuff if I come back and win a state title.”

Reid said he began coughing up blood and also was experiencing breathing problems and chest pain before the diagnosis. He spent six days at UPMC East before getting released last week.

“It's just a miracle. It could have killed me,” he said. “I'm very grateful to be alive. It's a very serious thing.”

Reid is taking blood thinners and can't participate in the physical activity of wrestling because of the risk of bleeding and bruising. He has no current timetable for his return but is champing at the bit to get back on the mat.

“I know it's really hard. It (stinks),” he said. “I have big dreams for the year, and I'm not going to let them go over something like this. I still have eyes on being a state champ.”

Before the diagnosis Reid, a Lock Haven recruit, was working out twice a day and now can't do that at all. He said he plans to do workouts in the pool and on the stationary bike and work on his wrestling technique, but he can't do any sparring.

“It is early in the game and still much to learn,” said Darrin Reid, Isaac's father. “It's been very emotional and his biggest wrestling match yet. He is holding onto his faith in God. There are many unknowns this early in the process. I know many may not understand this, but he has been turning to God for the answers. His first priority is his health. When he is up to par, he plans to do whatever the doctor allows him to do.”

A starter since his freshman season, Reid holds a career record of 106-24 with a pair of WPIAL runner-up finishes and two state medals, including a second-place finish last season. He went 43-6 last season and helped Kiski Area win a WPIAL team title and finish third in the state.

Although he doesn't have a set timetable to return, Reid strongly believes he'll get back on the mat before his high school career is over.

“I'm going to make something happen here. It's just a matter of time,” he said. “I definitely know in my heart I'm going to have a great story to tell.

“In my mind, (the clot is) going to be gone real soon, or it's already gone. And once it is, I'm going to get right back into it full tilt.”

Doug Gulasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer.

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