Mountlake Terrace High School senior Michael Hunt isn’t quite finished with his recovery from a severe broken leg suffered in the Hawks’ first football of the season last September.
But he’s well on his way as everyone could see last Thursday night at the Mountlake Terrace High School Theater.
Hunt and his family were the beneficiaries of Laugh Out Loud, a comedy benefit show organized by family friend and Mountlake Terrace comedian Kermet Apio. Also performing in the show, which was supported by Red Onion Burgers and Sorelli Pizza, were Apio’s comedian friends Mike Coletta and Robert Pidde. Sound Live Sports announcer Steve Willits helped warm up the crowd with a brief introduction.
“It means a lot to me,” Hunt said of the show. “Honestly, I didn’t know that many people knew who I was and wanted to support me. … I’ve had a lot of support through everyone.”
Hunt knew Apio because he coached Hunt’s younger brother and sister in T-ball. Hunt also actually coached alongside Apio.
For Hunt’s mother, Kristin Garza, Thursday’s comedy benefit show was both surprising and heartwarming.
“The generosity that he (Apio) would have in coming out and doing something like this for us is pretty amazing,” she said. “The whole community has been pretty amazing.”
The excitement of the first football game back in September eventually turned to shock and concern when Hunt went down with a broken leg. Hunt was tackling an opponent when a teammate came in and inadvertently hit his leg.
“After that I can remember screaming and just lying there,” Hunt said.
Initially, Garza couldn’t tell who was injured.
“I saw two of his really good friends come off the field and their faces were just white,” Garza said.
One of them told Garza that Michael was the injured player. Garza went down to the field to see her son.
“That was pretty traumatic, getting out there and seeing a bone out of your kid’s leg,” Garza said. “I was just hoping I could calm him down.”
Hunt’s leg was broken in four places and he spent four days in the hospital. Once he was able to learn how to walk on crutches Hunt came home but because he was not allowed to put any weight on the leg, he was unable to go to school for eight weeks. Eventually, Hunt returned to school part-time with two classes a day and he’s now full time.
Only recently Hunt received the OK to start jogging. Hunt will continue to have therapy for at least four or five months, Garza said.
Hunt is working hard to get healthy for spring.
“That’s the main goal, to play baseball this spring and it’s looking good so far,” Hunt said.
Baseball is providing plenty of motivation.
“That’s kind of the bright light at the end of the tunnel,” Garza said. “That’s what he lives for, baseball.”
– By David Pan