By Mike Max

PRIOR LAKE, Minn. (WCCO) — Alex Feine was holding a gas can near a fire with his mother in their backyard a year ago.

The can caught fire, and Alex was rushed to the hospital.

A year later, he looks back, and ahead, to a life with perspective.

Alex’s body had been badly burned.

“The equation that scared me the most is, you take the person’s age – which was 15 – and percent burn – which was 25 — and add those together, and he had a 40 percent chance of dying that night,” said Sue, Alex’s mother.

It would mean days of therapy and uncertainty.

So, to see him this fall in a uniform, with his team, is a sight that represents so much to those who knew of Alex’s love for the game. In fact, football helped get him here.

“As a football player, you have to be strong and I had to hit the weight room every day,” Alex said. “Going to the weight room helped with my skin moving, and I could stretch the scars and everything.”

He’s still working his way back to where he wants to be, where he thinks he should be.

“He’s getting back to where he was a year ago,” coach Matt Gegenheimer said.

But, for a mother who was with him that night and watched the painful process, this is a victory by itself.

“To see him back on the field, and fully recovered form this accident, physically, is just amazing,” Sue said.

And for a son that has seen life through a different lens, there are reminders and there are lessons.

“I became a better person,” Alex said. “People say the scars look bad but they’re me now.”

Alex’s Prior Lake team is 2-1 and takes on Rosemount tonight.


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