News Article Details

All-State Athlete Taylor Davis Succeeds Despite Physical Handicap

Madison County Record - 8/25/2017

Harvest- This is Taylor Davis' life story of struggle to success.

The All-State softball player at Sparkman High lives each and every moment of her life with Erb's palsy, a condition where she has nerve damage restricting the use and strength of her right arm. The severity of her condition causes her to catch and throw the softball with her left hand. Her magnificent athleticism has led her to be a standout softball player giving her an opportunity to obtain a college education through her being awarded an athletic scholarship to Western Kentucky University upon her graduation from Sparkman in the class of 2018.

"My mother had a difficult time during my birth and doctor's struggled to keep me alive and I was delivered in an awkward position causing the injury to my right shoulder," said Davis.

Erb's palsy typically affects one of every 1,000 births and is caused by shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth. The nerve damage is near the baby's neck and affects the spinal cord's ability to send messages to many parts of the body, especially the arm. Many times the physical abnormality looks as though the arm is paralyzed.

"For me, many people say they don't even notice my condition until I go out on the softball field," added Davis, a senior outfielder for the Lady Senators who just returned from the Perfect Girls Fastpitch National Tournament in Huntington Beach, Cal., as a member of the Birmingham Thunderbolts summer league team. "I had others tease me when I was young as fellow-students would pick on me and made fun of my condition. It was a very difficult time in my life as the experience always left me upset."

Since her birth, Davis had two surgeries to try and help her with her condition. She underwent a surgeon's care at age six months and another at five years. She remembers being in a cast for several weeks after the surgery designed to help give her some relief from a solid deformity. "My mother helped me tremendously telling me and teaching me not to listen to others who were tormenting me," said Davis.

The daughter of Scottie and Renecer Davis, the 5-foot-6, 150-pound athlete grew up with a brother who played baseball and a sister who was a competitive cheerleader. At the urging of her father, Davis tried out for softball. "I'm extremely glad I did," said Davis of her move to play softball and unsuspecting success at the sport.

She was chosen as second-team All-State in both her freshman and sophomore seasons and was picked First Team All-State and Super All-State in her junior season. At the plate she bats left. In the field she catches the ball in her left hand, takes her glove off with her right hand, grabs the ball and throws the ball with her left. Her remarkable ability to achieve such a high level of talent with her condition is eye-opening to everyone who is lucky enough to witness such an astonishing display of ability.

She looks to the physical/athletic trainer at Sparkman to help her in special physical workout routines she endures and has done so since first playing softball.

But there's more to this extraordinary teen.

"I also have scoliosis affecting my upper body in the shoulder area," said Davis.

She carries a 3.8 GPA into her senior year at Sparkman and is also expected to earn some type of academic scholarship to coincide with her athletic scholarship to Western Kentucky, located in Bowling Green, Ky. She has plans to study pre-med and one day complete her education and be a pediatrician.

Asked how she's made the transition in life from struggle to success, Davis answered in a very positive way. She said, "My faith in God brought me through my struggles and I think God gave me this condition so he could show people who he is through me. I don't know where I'd be if it wasn't for my faith."


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