Carlos Arias.

Back in May, sportswriter Carlos Arias (known for more than 25 years of work at The Orange County Register, Extra Innings Softball, and more) suffered a severe stroke, was taken to hospital, and was set to be removed from life support almost a week later so his organs could be donated. But then, on the day he was set to be taken off life support, his eyes opened, and he was able to communicate by blinking. He indicated that he wanted to stay on life support, and he managed to start making small movements, and progressed to a point where he was able to go home in August. Arias has now resumed writing for Extra Innings Softball, and while he still has challenges (his right foot isn’t yet functional, so he uses a walker, and he can’t drive yet), he’s pulled off a remarkable comeback, as his former Register colleague Mark Whicker details:

Someone told Carlos last week that he was the easy winner of the Comeback Player of the Year Award in 2021. He laughed and wanted to know if there was a plaque.

“It was crazy,” he said. “I was pretty foggy through it all. Then I found out they were going to take out my organs without me knowing it. I’m glad they waited a couple of hours.

“I’ve had so many people say nice things. I hear people say Twitter is evil, but to me, it’s all good. And the physical therapy has really been crazy. I go in twice a week. This woman, Janelle, has taught me how to fall down properly, how to go to the shower, little tricks on doing anything. You never know what somebody can teach you until you’re sitting there, helpless.”

Many of Arias’ past colleagues, from the Register and beyond, lit up Twitter with tributes to him around Whicker’s piece Wednesday:

That’s an amazing story about Arias, and it’s great that he’s been able to physically recover as far as he has. Hopefully he’ll be able to keep building on that. And it’s also cool that he’s back to covering sports regularly, less than six months after this stroke. Here’s sending him and his family all the best this Thanksgiving.

[The Orange County Register; top image from Carlos Arias on Twitter]


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz is a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. He previously worked at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.