Charleston Squirrels manager defies the odds

For the love of the game

CHARLESTON, Mo. (KFVS) - Izaac Pursley was born with dwarfism. Pursley battled complications of that diagnosis his whole life.

He grew up on a ventilator and doctors gave him zero odds of survival, but Izaac and his family never lost hope.

Izaac discovered he had a passion for baseball after visiting a Charleston Fighting Squirrels game.

A couple of the players met Issac at a baseball game. They asked him if would want to be apart of their team and he accepted. Now he is the team manager.

He has been with the squirrels for many years.

He’s the loudest at the ballpark.

“People look up to him even though he’s only four feet,” Izaac’s father said.

Izaac wears the number zero on his jersey, the same odds of survival doctors gave him.

“I thought that was it, I thought I was going to die,” Izaac said.

The dwarfism he was born with affect not only his growth but also threatened his life.

“He was on oxygen 24/7 and he had a ventilator that helped him breath,” said Izaac’s dad.

The first year of his life was spent in a hospital.

Izaac was able to go home and lived the first ten years of his life with a ventilator.

“You just survive and battle and your life is better,” Izaac said.

Just two years ago Issac had his ventilator removed and he is breathing on his own, but still facing struggles.

“I thought I was going to be a normal person. But you can’t help it and some people, they just don’t know the full story,” Izaac said.

One group that never looked at Izaac different and took the time to get to know him were the Charleston Fighting Squirrels.

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