Man paralyzed for 16 years stands to throw first pitch at Bees game


SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) - There was a special moment Tuesday night at the Bees baseball game in Salt Lake City. A man who has been paralyzed for 16 years stood up and threw out the first pitch. 

For most people, it's an honor to stand up and throw out the first a pitch at a baseball game, but for Utahn Shawn Wickard it means even more. For the past 16 years Wickard has been paralyzed by both lupus and a spinal disease. But nine and half years ago he was the first person at the National Institute of Health to receive a stem cell transplant, and that helped him in his physical therapy to learn to stand and walk again. He's grateful the Bees are honoring him and his struggle to get back on his feet. 

"I want more people to understand that modern medicine is curing and helping people and I'm just one of the examples of how well that medicine is working," said Shawn Wickard, threw out the first pitch.

"We worry about a guy having a tough game, and some hard at-bats or you got thrown out or he didn't pitch well or whatever, but that's pretty simple compared to what he had to deal with," said Marc Amicone, Bees General Manager. 

If you want to check out the Bees final home game this season, you need to head to the ballpark Wednesday night. 


Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv

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