Husker wrestler recovering from life-threatening infection
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A Husker athlete is back on his feet after an unexpected and life-threatening infection ended his run in the post-season a couple months ago.
At the March 2023 National Wrestling Championships, Peyton Robb noticed a strange bruise-like patch on his left leg. That patch started to grow and it forced him to medically forfeit his final match. In fact, it was so serious, it would require trips to multiple hospitals.
On the mat, Robb is an almost unstoppable force.
“He’s a warrior, and a guy who never complained,” said Mark Manning, the Husker wrestling coach.
But that came to a screeching halt this year at Nationals when a patch started to spread across his left shin. Robb said he felt something was seriously wrong.
“My whole body was pretty much shutting down at that point,” Robb said. “Like I was throwing up. Couldn’t warm myself up even after I had just wrestled a match that went into over-time.”
Slowly but surely, an infection known as necrotizing fasciitis was eating away at his body. It’s rare and kills one in five people who get it.
Robb was rushed to the hospital in Tulsa where Nationals was happening. He got some medicine and then took an excruciating trip back to Nebraska, where he spent a total of thirteen days in the hospital facing multiple ailments.
“Acute heart failure, kidney failure, and I was hypotensive, which is really low blood pressure, and my resting heart rate was really high,” Robb said.
After six surgeries on his le —carving out infected tissue in the skin and muscle and a skin graft—a near-death situation turned around. Through constant hospital visits, his family, team and outside community members showed up for him.
“He knows what Husker Nation is all about, but to really be in a situation where you need help and you need support, the support was just overwhelming,” Manning said.
Just this week on Tuesday, Peyton took his first steps in about two months without the aid of crutches. He still has to go to the hospital for treatments regularly, but he’s well on the road to recovery.
“My body is pretty resilient, so I feel like it will be quicker than the hospital would have expected at least,” Robb said.
Peyton plans to wrestle his final season of eligibility next year, and his coach has high expectations.
“It will not only drive him to be better, but it’s going to make him stronger person and a more grateful person because he knows the opportunity is so precious,” Manning said.
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