Friday, October 28, 2016

Column: Stedman Bailey shows heart of a Mountaineer

One of the best gifts that Mountaineer Nation could have asked for this Christmas was for one of its own to return home from the hospital. Well, Santa Claus must be a Mountaineer fan, because Stedman Bailey, who had been shot twice in the head, made it home for the holidays a month ahead of schedule.

Throughout the entire process of getting back to stable health, Bailey showed the world that he truly has the heart of a Mountaineer.

Mountaineers, or West Virginians as a whole, are known as tough, rugged men and women who have never had anything handed to them. West Virginians have been known as hardworking folk who earn what they have and take great pride in that.

Coming out of high school, many said that Bailey was just part of the package to get Geno Smith to WVU. Throughout his time with the Mountaineers, Bailey proved to be more than just part of the package as he went on to become one of the top wide receivers in school history as well as the nation.

That led him to be drafted by the St. Louis Rams, where, again, things didn’t come easy for him. Buried on the depth chart, Bailey worked and worked to become a relevant member of the receiving corps despite being hit with two separate suspensions.

Following that second suspension, though, things would get worse for Bailey.

As he was serving his time away from the game with his family, Bailey was shot in the head twice and put through countless hours of surgery. The recovery wasn’t meant to be an easy one for the standout pass catcher was just lucky to be alive.

But Bailey took everything in stride as Mountaineer Nation and the Rams fanbase rallied behind him. He fought through surgery, he fought through the realization that he would likely never compete on the football field again, and he fought through any rumors of a long hospital stay.

Bailey vowed to keep his followers updated with his progress and he delivered. Numerous times, Bailey tweeted photos of himself going through certain tasks. None of those postsΒ resonated with Mountaineer Nation as much as one on Instagram that featured a video of him jogging through the halls of the hospital.

Along with the video, Bailey posted:

“Started out walking, now we take light jogs through the hospital! But look @ GOD πŸ˜‡πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ™πŸ½πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡! & he’s still working on me !Β #BaileyStrongΒ #staytuned#determinedtosucceedΒ πŸƒπŸ½πŸ˜‡ video cred: mommy”

Since, Bailey has posted some inspirational Tweets:

Oh, remember when he said that he might not be able to return to the field? Yeah. he’s gotten past that, too, just as any Mountaineer would.



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