Thomas Praytor. (Rich Corbett Photo)

Praytor Diagnosed With Rhabdomyolysis

ARCA Menards Series driver Thomas Praytor has been diagnosed with Rhabdomyolysis.

After suffering through several days of flu-like symptoms, Thomas Praytor loss the use of his left arm and left leg on lap five of the General Tire 200 at Talladega (Ala.) Super Speedway.

Driving with his right hand only, the ARCA Menards Series driver continued to compete until a red flag allowed for a driver change with Sean Corr with 10 laps to go.

The medical team at Talladega Superspeedway removed the ailing Praytor from his AIDB Chevy and began treatment in the infield care center. A heavy dose of IV Fluids and oxygen helped Praytor enough that he was released. 

Back at home, the doctors began a regimen of testing producing a diagnosis of rare Rhabdomyolysis or commonly called “Rhabdo” (Less than 26,000 cases in US). Rhabdo occurs when damaged muscle tissue releases its proteins and electrolytes into the blood. These substances then damage the heart and kidneys, reeking havoc with the body’s ability to use its muscles and kidneys.

Rhabdo normally happens during extreme exertion with endurance runners, firefighters working in hot environments and members of the military involved in heavy duty exercises in a hot environment.

“I really appreciate my Doctors in Talladega and Mobile (Ala.) working hard on getting this deal figured out,” said Praytor. “I’ve raced with concussions, broken bones, flu, kidney stones, you name it but nothing like this. I’m glad we know what it is and what we have to do to get me back 100%. Since I stopped competing full time and I’m not the Ironman of the Series anymore, my Dad and I have had a lot of conversations about some things I maybe shouldn’t have done to stay in the race car. I think Dale (Earnhardt) Jr talking about his issues with concussions and other stuff have made that conversation possible. In hind sight I pushed it too far at Talladega but at the end of the day was able to get out of the car knowing I had made the right decision.”

While rare, Rhabdo is treatable and can be kept in check which will allow Praytor to completely recover and compete again.

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