Hart Out for Season Once Again


As sophomore Clayton Hart limped up a hill towards his lake house at Greers Ferry, he glanced down at his shoe, only to find blood gushing out of it. An ATV had fallen on his foot, and what he thought to be a minor bruise ended up being much more severe. He was not looking forward to his sixth injury in four years.647x1152.png (1)

Hart’s recurring injuries, including a broken left wrist and dislocated left pinky in seventh grade, a broken right wrist and dislocated right pinky in eighth grade, a ruptured spleen in ninth grade, and a crushed left foot in tenth grade, have handicapped him from participating in close to every football game since 2012. “I want to at least play one full season,” said Hart. Most of his injuries have been related to sports. Sophomore Blake Burney said, “ It seemed like after each injury, he had a new one within a week of healing.”

Hart has had to adjust tremendously to his injuries. His most recent injury, his crushed foot, restricts him from full recovery. “My surgery showed that all the top tendons were gone,” said Hart. After the ATV landed on his foot, his parents rushed him to the nearest hospital, which was in Conway. For some reason, the hospital in Conway could not perform the surgery, so he had to go all the way to Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

Hart’s foot needed immediate attention. He had severed the skin below his first three toes, which continued around his big toe, leaving it hanging off of his foot. Sophomore Clark Betts, who was with Hart when Hart crushed his foot, said, “The doctors said that his big toe was only being held on to the rest of his foot by the skin on the side of his toe.”

Hart dislocated his right pinky in seventh grade while he was playing basketball, and his left pinky in eighth grade during a game of kickball. “I’ve had to go the doctor a lot. I have a feeling I’m going to do something to my right leg next year to keep it symmetrical,” said Hart. Every time he gets injured, he has a “great, not again” reaction.

Hart’s adventurous and daring personality causes him to push the envelope sometimes. “The last [injury] was by far the worst,” said Mr. Paul Hart. “Clayton bounces back and stays positive.”

In a way, Hart has become less surprised by his injuries. “It stinks at first, but eventually it gets fine,” said Hart. He has a high tolerance for pain. “He understates problems, which is not always good,” said Mr. Hart. Most of Hart’s injuries were caused by normal physical activities like basketball, kickball, or football. Burney said, “When he got hurt he wouldn’t look hurt. He would even make jokes about it.” Hart had a lot of fun messing with his pinkies as they were dislocated sideways.

“It has been hard because his injuries have changed his daily routine. It is helpful that he is very independent,” said Mr. Hart. Hart spent most of his Thanksgiving break making up the massive amount of schoolwork that he missed during his absence from school for multiple weeks.

Hart has realized that he should be more careful to prevent further injury to his body. Although he has been knocked down many times, he has stayed strong and persevered. He doesn’t know what makes him so prone to injury, but he wants it to stop. Hart said, “ I would just sit around all day. It stinks being hurt all the time. I’m ready to be healthy again and do the stuff I normally do.”

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