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Long Snapper Battling Eye-Eating Amoeba Played In Alabama Spring Game

Walk-ons don't usually make headlines after two snaps in a spring game, but Alabama long snapper Ryan Parris' story definitely sets him apart. Parris suffers from Acanthamoeba keratitis, an amoeba that is eating his left eye, and he is now legally blind. Parris may not be able to play for Alabama this fall, so his brief stint on the field Saturday could wind up being the entirety of his Alabama career. Luckily, Nick Saban seems to appreciate what he's done as a member of the team. From

Why did an Alabama walk-on football player participate in Saturday's A-Day game when there is an amoeba attacking his eye? Three reasons. One, he loves football. Two, he loves Alabama. Three, he's really, really tough.

He also follows all of Nick Saban's rules.

Parris has avoided a transplant of the cornea, but the treatment he has undergone to battle the amoeba is extensive.

For one thing, the eye drops needed to beat back the amoeba have been a hassle. When Ryan first started his treatment, he had to give himself one drop every hour. Naturally, the drops needed to be refrigerated at all times.


Parris walked around campus all winter with a Yeti tumbler. It never carried a drink.

"He has been using it to carry his medicine," Butch Parris said.


The eye drops are nothing, really, when compared to one of Ryan's other medical interventions. The transplantation of "amniotic membrane discs" is an interesting thing. We'll let Ryan's father explain: "They take shavings from the placenta after the birth of a woman who has had a C-section."

And they drop it on the eye like a blanket.

"This is where medicine loses me," Butch Parris said. "I'm not a dumb guy, but this is unbelievable what they do."

We hope that Parris can continue his Alabama career, but if not, very few people can say that they've played at Bryant-Denny Stadium, even if it was only a scrimmage.