Cary Vs. Wildlife


By: Connor Lenahan

I have had a lot, which is to say a lot, of weird injuries in my day. Everything from running over my own toe in my wheelchair, to breaking a femur while sitting down, to a black eye after hitting my head off a couch. Betting odds in my family have me as the odds on favorite to have something bad happen simply because I’m a human lightning rod, more or less.

However, this is not my story for once. No, instead I ended up with ringside seats to potentially the funniest thing that has happened in my family all summer. My entire extended family on my mom’s side of the family and I are staying near the beach on Kiawah Island, a small golf oriented island in South Carolina. This has been an oddly enjoyable experience as I haven’t been on a proper beach in close to a decade with my wheelchair.

While my cousins, brothers, and I were out enjoying the ocean today the rest of the kids waded out deep into the waves while I sat on the edge of the water after being in the ocean for close to an hour. My brother Cary was walking back to check in on me when he started hopping and limping off of his foot out of nowhere. Mumbles of a number of obscenities could be heard while he made his way ashore. My parents and I asked Cary what in the world was wrong. He said something clipped his foot.

“What a pansy,” I thought. “Oh, that’s blood.” Yeah that wasn’t a joking matter. Cary was, hilariously, in belief that a crab had nipped him in the side of the foot and drew blood.

A bit of context: A day earlier on the beach I was sitting as the water would rush up and meet me at my chest. Waves regularly knocking me off balance. Since I cannot stand and walk safely in shallow, moving water I was quite literally sitting and waiting for whatever the ocean had for me. Thanks to my brother Chase, who semi-impossibly spotted my potential doom, I was able to crab walk quickly away from a jellyfish in an oncoming wave. I’ve never moved faster without my wheelchair.

Swear to god within 24 hours Cary has actually been attacked by something, potentially Mr. Krabs, and is heading back to take a shower and clean his wound. Immediately after finishing the shower Cary complained about increasing pain in his foot. Potentially thinking that the owner and proprietor of the best restaurant Bikini Bottom has to offer might not be the culprit of said foot slicing, Cary headed down the road to a doctor.

Maybe twenty minutes the honorable burger shop owner is absolved of any wrongdoing. Why?

Cary was stung by a stingray.

That’s not a joke, he legitimately was stung in the side of his foot by a stingray. Seeing as the beach made it hard to see one’s feet when submerged in water it was genuinely impossible for Cary to avoid the beast. Frankly I’m shocked he took it as well as he did. More shocking is the fact I wasn’t the one being stung.

We have a knack for someone falling ill on vacation – a fever here, an allergy flare up for Chase there – but getting stung by a stingray is about as new as possible for the Lenahans.

The icing on the cake for all of this? When researching the photo above I discovered that we are really close to a semi-pro hockey team know as, you guessed it, the South Carolina Stingrays.