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Chiles head football coach has toe amputated after contracting MRSA

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jul 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-30 18:17:30-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A positive outlook despite a big health scare.

Chiles head football coach Kevin Pettis says he is lucky to be alive after losing his toe to MRSA.

Entering his third year as the Chiles head football coach, Pettis is still the same coach.

"I mean I love the game more than I love practice," said Pettis.

But this year is going to be a little different.

"I'm still going to be on the sidelines. You know I'm still coaching and running the day to day," said Pettis. "It's just a little different right now."

Earlier this month, Pettis had the second toe on his right foot amputated after contracting MRSA during a trip to Saint Teresa.

"MRSA is a bacterium that is resistant to certain antibiotics which makes it a very pernicious disease," said Chris Tittel, Public Information Officer for Leon County Health Department. "If it's not taken care of right away, if it's left on the skin then you can have some damage. You can have sepsis, you can have an infection of your skin, you could have your toe amputated."

For Pettis, he wanted to get back to the game he loves.

"We could have drawn this out over 16, 18, 20 weeks and tried to save the toe but I'm back quicker by amputating it," said Pettis. "So I was like just cut it off let's get back to work, it's time to go."

And to teach his team a life long lesson in the process.

"It's all for the team, the team comes first and you know if I didn't live it why would they live it," said Pettis. "So I'm putting the team first and above myself which we will preach that you always got to put others before yourself."

But also knowing that everyday is a blessing.

"Without question it could have been a lot worse had we not have caught it, it could have been life threatening. Absolutely I feel blessed," said Pettis.

Coach Pettis and Chiles are currently in the middle of fall football camp. They kick off their Fall football season on August 17.