MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – It is a parent’s nightmare, a child severely injured.
West Virginia baseball coach Randy Mazey and his wife Amanda faced that terrifying circumstance recently, but they are attempting to bring something good from the horror that accompanied a severe injury suffered by their son.
“On March 9, 2021, Weston “Wammer” Mazey suffered several broken bones in his face, a fractured skull and a traumatic brain injury after a collision on the baseball field,” reads the post at TeamWammer.com “It was a moment that changed his life forever. But every setback can have an even greater comeback.”
Indeed Wammer is making a comeback. After spending over 10 weeks combined at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown and the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia, he returned home earlier this week.
“He’s doing good,” said Randy Mazey recently. “He actually got to go to school the other day, which he hadn’t done in about three months. That was pretty exciting for him. I think he’s the only kid in Mon County who really wanted to go to school. That was a great moment.”
The trip home Morgantown from the Shepherd Center took a detour, as first Wammer, accompanied by his mother and sister, Sierra, made a stop last Friday in Austin, Texas. They surprised Dad’s Mountaineer baseball team, which was on the field preparing for a showdown with the Longhorns, who were ranked No. 2 in the country at the time.
“Wammer was super excited to get a chance to see the team for the last couple of months, and he got a nice reception when he walked into the huddle,” smiled Randy, recalling the moment during an appearance this week on the “MetroNews Statewide Sportsline.”
“Texas was great,” added WVU’s veteran coach. “They left him a nice care package of stuff, and the University of Texas baseball program made a very generous donation to Team Wammer. They were really good about it.
“Their coach (David Pierce), when I told him Wammer was going to surprise the team, he said, ‘Oh boy, how are we going to win this game?’ And he was right.”
Indeed, the Mountaineers pulled out a 5-4 victory over No. 2 Texas, marking the highest-rated team West Virginia has ever defeated in the baseball program’s 125-year history.
Wammer even went out on UFCU Disch-Falk Field during pregame warm-ups.
“I was a little worried about how he would do mentally when he got back on the field, but that joker grabbed his glove and ran out to second base and began taking ground balls as soon as he got with us,” smiled a proud and relieved dad. “I think he pretty much checked that box for me and momma.”
— WVU Baseball (@WVUBaseball) May 21, 2021
As Wammer was going through rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center, which specializes in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions, the Mazey family was developing a plan to support those who had supported them.
They came up with Team Wammer to help other families facing similar horrible issues as the Mazeys.
“Weston is not alone,” was the message at TeamWammer.com. “There are thousands of children who suffer terrible injuries just like his. The stories are heartbreaking of what these kids are going through, and also what the families are going through. The emotional and financial strain put on the family is too much to put into words. People’s lives have changed in an instant. Their lives now have become extended hospital stays, having to quit jobs, pick up and leave their homes, leave other siblings to be cared for, and finding ways for their injured children to make up for lost schooling.
“Can you help? YES, YOU ABSOLUTELY CAN!!! You can help these families get through these difficult times by joining ‘Team Wammer,’ our fundraising effort to help provide resources for these families in need of financial and emotional assistance.
“You can join Team Wammer,’ by clicking here. No amount is too much or too little. We are trying to raise $100,000 in the next 100 days. We have partnered with Jeff Hostetler and the Hoss Foundation to make all of your donations tax-deductible.
“You can also join Team Wammer by attending my free father/son camp on Saturday, June 19. All that is required is a minimum donation to Team Wammer. All proceeds of the camp will go toward the fundraising effort.”
Money raised through Team Wammer will go to WVU Medicine Children’s and the Shepherd Center as well as Canine Companions, which provides trained assistance dogs free of charge to those with disabilities.
“We went into it after a little bit of debate between my wife and myself as to where to set the goal,” explained Randy. “We settled on $100,000 in 100 days to give an opportunity to spread the word. We passed the $100,000 mark in about 10 days, I think (donations have now exceeded $106,000). We’ve achieved one goal, but it’s time to reset our sights and shoot for more.
“Unless you have seen what I’ve seen the past few months or what Amanda has seen in these facilities we go to and the people meet who have children who have suffered brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, you don’t have any idea what they are going through. It was Wammer’s idea. He said, ‘How can I help these people?’”
In fact, Wammer penned his own message for TeamWammer.com. “Thank you for donating,” wrote 14-year-old on the donation website. “It means a lot. You’re helping a lot of people out that are struggling in life. You have no idea the conditions that some of these people are in, and it makes me realize I want to help them. Thank you for all of your prayers. They’re working. Please pray for the people who have had injuries like mine.”
“Just because we reached our goal doesn’t mean we can stop at this point,” added Randy. “Every dollar is going to help someone who needs it.”
A nightmare for the Mazeys that was filled with days of tears appears on its way to a happy ending. Now they are trying to help others who are facing similar life-altering circumstances by raising money through TeamWammer.com
“It’s amazing,” said Randy. “If you look at the list of people – and I probably don’t know 80 percent of them – when you start to lose your faith in humanity and the goodness of people, you look at all those who are making great gestures to others they want to help. Kudos to humanity.”