McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

July 6, 2013

Jessica Hood plays through the pain

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — Jessica Hood picked up with a Wilburton-based recreational softball team Wednesday at the Pittsburg County Softball Complex in McAlester. It wasn’t anything new for Hood — she’d pitched for the Lady Diggers in high school, leading them to a regional final at Henryetta during her junior year in 2007, and played for this same rec. team much of last season.

But as she came to the plate Wednesday, she did so with a long white bandage running up her left arm, and an even longer running beyond the bandage’s edge.

Hood had just come from the dialysis treatments she needs three times a week. And with temperatures not quite so hot last week, Wednesday was a perfect chance to do something she loved but hadn’t been able to do in quite some time.

Hood’s story starts in 2008. She’d just had her kid, Wyatt Ward, when she started getting sick.

First there was what seemed like a sinus infection, but then it spread to her bladder and kidney. Even still, she didn’t think anything was wrong.

“I went a week without telling anybody I’d stopped going to the bathroom because I was 19 and invincible,” Hood said. “I was so sick, I was coughing up blood.”

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