COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO – On February 28, 2014, Chris Parks of Harker Heights, Texas was feeling a little under the weather when he went to bed. When Parks next woke up, six weeks had passed, and he was lying in a hospital bed without his right leg. Parks had no idea what had happened or how he got where he was.
Parks was infected with a rare, flesh eating bacteria called Necrotizing Fasciitis. The bacteria spread and compromised his right leg, which led to amputation in March of 2014. Parks also had suffered a brain jury, memory loss and other cognitive issues due to excessive bleeding while in the coma.
Parks served in the United States Army for 23 years. His years of service were from October 1991 to August 2014. Parks started as combat medic and eventually went to school to be a physician’s assistant. Parks served two deployments in the Middle East and earned numerous accolades throughout his military career. Parks was commissioned from the U.S. Army in May 2011.
“With everything that happened, I am truly grateful to be alive. Eighty-seven percent of those infected with the same disease that I had, die. So I feel blessed,” said Parks.
Parks has been playing wheelchair basketball for about two years. Team Army selected him twice to play for Warrior Games, earning gold the previous year. Park currently plays for the Harker Heights Hustlers of Harker Heights, Texas. He began playing with the Harker Heights Hustlers a few months before he retired.
Parks lives with his loving wife of 24 years, Heather, and spends his free time with their children, Rebecca and Ryan.
The National Wheelchair Basketball Association is excited to celebrate “Veteran’s Week”. Veteran’s Week highlights the United States Armed Forces within the NWBA. The United States Armed Forces consist of Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard. The United States has recognized this observed holiday since 1918, though under the name Veteran’s Day since 1954. The NWBA’s Veteran’s Week will conclude on 99th university of Veteran’s Day on Saturday, November 11.