High School Football

He had open-heart surgery 7 days ago. On Friday, Columbia-area QB was back with his team

Richland Northeast quarterback Josh Boyd: I appreciate life more now

Richland Northeast quarterback Josh Boyd and his mom Joyce talk publically for first time since Boyd suffered a heart attack Oct. 10.
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Richland Northeast quarterback Josh Boyd and his mom Joyce talk publically for first time since Boyd suffered a heart attack Oct. 10.

A week after undergoing open-heart surgery, Josh Boyd was back at a familiar place – football field.

The Richland Northeast quarterback was with his teammates at Harry Parone Stadium on Friday for their game against York.

“I just cherish life more now that I have been closer to death. I take things more differently now,” said Boyd who was wearing a sling on his left arm as a precautionary measure.

Boyd suffered a heart attack while playing a pick-up basketball game Oct. 10 at Sonny’s SportsPlex in Columbia. He had open-heart surgery two days later at MUSC in Charleston.

Boyd said he doesn’t remember much about that day, only waking up around a lot of people with tubes in his mouth. Joyce Boyd, Josh’s mom and a nurse, remembers getting the call and arriving at the hospital where she saw members of the RNE crying thinking that her son might have passed away.

Boyd was fortunate to be playing basketball that day with members of the Columbia Fire Department. Those members sprung immediately into action and were able to get him and to the hospital.

Members of the Columbia Fire Department joined Boyd on the field and were honored before Friday’s game.

“They saved my life,” Josh Boyd said of the firemen. “I can’t thank them enough.”

Boyd had open heart surgery and had a defibrillator put in Oct. 12. He came home earlier this week.

Boyd said he has been mainly resting in between visits from friends and family. Boyd’s mother said the doctors said her son recovery has been quicker than expecting.

“Doctors said the type of surgery said he never seen a person recover that fast, less than seven days. It is a miracle,” Joyce Boyd said. Josh is the type of kid he never lets anyone down. He is motivated and humble and jumped back up real quick.”

The junior will have to make about three trips a week to Charleston during the rehab process. As of now Joyce Boyd said doctors have ruled out her son playing competitive sports.

Boyd can’t go back to school but will have a teacher from RNE assigned to come to the house and home school him.

“We have a long way to go to make sure that this doesn’t happen again because it was unexpected,” said Joyce Boyd who said her son has never had any health problems until now.

There has been an outpouring of support for Boyd in the Midlands and beyond. Members of the York football team, Friday’s opponent, raised more than $4,000 in to go toward Boyd’s medical bills. The team presented RNE with a check before Friday’s game.

Fellow Richland Two School Ridge View also presented the Boyd family with a monetary gift.

Josh has gotten countless texts and calls from other high school and college coaches. Clemson assistant coach Kyle Richardson sent Boyd a handwritten letter.

“I am so grateful and thankful for everyone that has been involved raising money to help me and my family,” Josh Boyd said.

“The community, the family and the school have been amazing really taking care of Josh,” Joyce Boyd said.