Casey Martin, the Oregon Ducks’ golf team head coach and former PGA Tour pro, is fighting to save his leg after fracturing his right tibia in October when he was walking on a road under construction.
Martin, 47, has suffered his entire life with Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome. The disease is a condition that affects blood vessels, soft tissue and bone development, according to the National Institute of Health. At least 1 in 100,000 worldwide suffer from the syndrome.
He told the Eugene Register-Guard on Saturday he always feared he would eventually have to fight to save one of his limbs. When he golfed on the PGA Tour, he successfully sued the organization in order for him to ride in a golf cart while playing because of his disability.
“This was the reason,” Martin told the newspaper. “I remember when I was in my 20s talking to doctors that had looked at my leg, they were like, ‘Look, you need to really guard against this happening.’
“I was grateful that I was able to hold it off for a long time. I thought it would happen at 27 not 47. But it has happened. I’m just going to do everything in my power to save my leg.”
With the disorder preventing the leg from healing properly, Martin said he still needs to use crutches to get around. He said he’s thought about a prosthetic but wasn’t sure about going through an amputation.
“If I lose my leg, it would be an above-the-knee deal, and it’s pretty risky for my situation anyway,” Martin told the Eugene Register-Guard. “It’s something that I’ve recognized could happen, but I would really rather not, if I could save it, because of the risks.”
The Ducks’ season was thrown into disarray due to the coronavirus pandemic. Oregon was supposed to host a tournament to start the spring season but it was canceled.