Life after death for Landon Powell - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Life after death for Landon Powell

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NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) – He's actually a former athlete now, but the triumphs and trials of Gamecocks great Landon Powell are well documented.

He blew out his knee three times, has a genetic disorder that will require a liver transplant, and last year he lost a 4-month-old daughter to a hereditary immune disease.

But Powell has pressed on.

On a stage in the student cafeteria at Charleston Southern University, he recounted the toughest moments of his life and talked about where he draws his strength.

"After losing a daughter and going through heartbreak with my family, you realize why some things are done. For me to share that testimony and story, God wanted me to go and speak about this and be in other people's lives. I'm going to use it to better kids and adults, let them know even though there is heartbreak and loss there is a better day on the other side," he said.

Powell's story isn't a cautionary tale or a story of a celebrity living to excess only to climb back from his mistakes. Instead his is a story of a man who was given so much talent on the field on to have much more taken from him off the field.

All of it was out of his control.

"I know that's part of the story. I have to tell people about my faith and how it carried me through a very tough time," Powell said.

But times are different now for Powell. He gave professional baseball another try after his daughter passed away, catching on with the New York Mets. But that was short-lived.

"I knew I was going to retire when I wasn't having fun playing anymore. My body hurt too much. I wasn't having success. I knew it was time to take the cleats off," he said.

He lived the highest of highs on the field, making history catching for Dallas Braden's perfect game for the A's in 2010. And in the Palmetto State he will be revered forever as a Gamecock legend.

"I accomplished a lot of great things in my life: being a ball player and having a lot of success, making it to the majors, the College World Series, but being a dad is on top of that list. Nothing gives me more joy than being a father to my two kids," he said.

He sees Izzy every day in the eyes of her healthy twin Ellie. He shares baseball with his son Holden. He wants more with what he has rather than dwells on what he's lost.

Now Powell's picked a new path as a stay-at-home dad in the mornings and a volunteer assistant at Furman University in the afternoons.

"I've had a new beginning now, it's great; it's exhilarating seeing kids improve. I love helping them learn from failures and reap benefits from their hard work," Powell said.

He's positive now about his purpose and knows that it's coming full circle back to the game he loves alongside the family he needs.

"To live that life, live that journey. Sometimes it's hard, sometimes it's frustrating. I've known baseball will always be part of my life, whether playing, coaching or as a father," Powell said.

Powell believes his path happened for a reason and now it's giving him lessons to teach and the strength to press on.

  • Scott Eisberg

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