Steve Scalise grateful to be back in the game

(WVUE) - House Majority Whip Steve Scalise opened up about returning to the Congressional baseball game, what he calls miracles after he was shot and why Sunday will be so special.

On June 14, 2017, Scalise's life nearly slipped away.

"Oh my gosh, there were a lot of miracles that happened to get me here today, I mean just to get me through the day of the shooting, you know, my trauma surgeon told me that by the night of the shooting there were at least two times where he wasn't sure that I was going to make it. And then of course after and the days later I was getting infections and in and out of surgeries," Scalise said.

But a year later, Scalise got to return to one of his passions, the Congressional Baseball game in Washington. Twelve months earlier he had been gravely wounded by a gunman during a team practice in suburban Washington.

For Scalise, family and his faith are  pillars of his life.

"My gosh, ah, the prayers  from people here and all around just truly lifted me and my family up and God took care of me," said Scalise.

He was asked if he doubted that he would survive his injuries, or whether he doubted he would walk again.

"Well, I knew after the first few days that I thought I was going to make it and then I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to walk again and at the time I couldn't move for really the first four weeks," answered Scalise.

Nine surgeries and lots of rehab later, Scalise was back in the game.

"There were days where I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to put on a uniform and go back out on a baseball field again, I surely wondered about that, I dreamed about those things," he said.

At Nationals Park, there was evidence dreams do come true.

"I was thinking I'm just lucky to be able to be around my teammates again on the major league ball field a year after the shooting, to actually be able to, you know use crutches, but to be able to walk onto the ballfield in a uniform and the day before the coach said that I was going to start at second base again and that's what he told me a year before and I wasn't able to do that and so it really came full circle," said Scalise.

Scalise was accompanied to the interview by security, including U.S. Capitol Police Officer David Bailey, one of two law enforcement officers credited with saving Scalise and other members of the Congress by taking down the gunman that day.

"David Bailey and Crystal Griner, the two capitol police officers who protected me and everybody else that day carried me out, kind of my human crutches, carried me out to second base because I didn't want to go out there with crutches," Scalise said Friday of the game.

He made a catch and more during the event.

"And then I said I have to make the throw and I see him coming up the first base line and I made a throw to first, throw him out, make the first out and just the the place goes wild," said Scalise.

He said his presence at the event was a must.

"I would not have missed it, in a lot of ways just to prove that the bad guy is not going to win," said Scalise.

And what will this Father's Day mean to Scalise?

"Wow, last Father's Day, you know I spent it in the hospital, I was a mess, I mean I had tubes coming out of me and you know, at least I had my kids around me, but boy it was a dicey scene, and so this Sunday we're going to be out grilling and just taking it easy and spending really good time with my family, it's going to be special," said Scalise.

He added that there are no more planned surgery related to his gunshot wound. He underwent surgery six weeks ago and Scalise said he feels great.

His goal is to get rid of the crutches in the next few months.

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