Knocking down pins – and obstacles, this high school bowler is a team's inspiration

By Kainoa Carlson
HNN Staff

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – Hawaii Baptist Academy senior Cody Sugai, grew up playing sports. He currently is in his fourth season as a member of the Eagles varsity bowling team, but how he got to that point is a true result of his resiliency and love for the sport.

In February of 2010, Cody was in the fourth grade. One day at school, he realized something didn't feel right.

"I began to get a headache," Sugai said. "I went up to the health room, eventually that headache got so bad to the point that I was throwing up and screaming for my mom in the health room."

Cody was suffering a stroke.

He was rushed to Kapiolani Medical center where he was diagnosed with Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) which caused blood vessels in his head to burst. He was in a coma for two and a half weeks and spent the next couple months recovering.

"I had to eventually relearn how to do everything," said Sugai. "Such things as just sitting up in bed or even drinking water was hard because my throat wouldn't react fast enough and I would choke."

Then in December, it happened again.

Cody suffered another stroke that severely weakened the left side of his body.

Despite the physical limitations, he was determined to get back to playing sports.

"Had all this not happen I probably would not be in bowling," said Sugai.

After treating the AVM, Cody discovered a new passion in bowling.

His fourth season has him serving as an inspiration to his teammates and coaches.

Eagles bowling team Head Coach Greg Hayashi has seen first hand the impact Cody has on his teammates and classmates.

"Cody is just an amazing individual," said Hayashi. "What he has gone through individually with his stroke,what hes gone through to come back from that, he's a tremendous role model to his teammates and fellow classmates."

When he's not bowling, Cody can be found volunteering at Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children. He's also a ministry intern with Hawaii Baptist Academy, among other community programs.

"Giving of myself to help others is one of the things I find most enjoyable," Sugai said.

He's set to graduate from Hawaii Baptist Academy next year. He hopes to attend Seattle Pacific University for college and aspires to one day become a pastor.

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