The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


July 4, 2013

Shawn Wood's Inside Track column: A boy named Phil


"You think you have all of these problems that are insurmountable and then something like this happens and it makes all those things insignificant," Walter said.

Thankfully, the doctors found no major damage to Phil's heart.

"The doctor said that it was amazing that with the type of heart attack Phil had, that there was no damage," Walter said. "He said that they don't see people Phil's age come in with problems like that."

The doctor told him right after surgery that his life is going to change forever.

"It's going to be hard to keep that boy down, but we are going to have to for a little bit," Walter added.

Walter II works at Conestoga Wood factory where he sorts, separates and stacks lumber. He had worked on the railroad for three years before that fixing railroad ties.

"Right now, they didn't say about work or activities," Walter noted. "Phil has to go back in a week for some more tests."

Phil and Lori experienced a great outpouring of support from the racing family on Sunday.

"We struggled on Sunday," he said. "It was very hard to see your kid lay, all hooked up to machines, and not to be able to do anything. It's a humbling experience. I would trade places with him in a minute.

"You hear talk about the racing family and until you go through something like this, you don't fully understand it. At times like this, I don't know what we would do without them. We race against people, we're competitors, but when push comes to shove, in times like this, they come together. It's a different kind of bond than just a friend."

Walter noted that he was blown away by the number of people Phil has touched when he saw the large amount off get-well wishes on his Facebook page.

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