A baseball umpire fighting a rare disease returned to the ballfield in Westbrook on Monday night after a long absence.
Jaimie Erskine was diagnosed in 2015 with polyarteritis nodosa. The disease affects blood flow to major organs and robbed him of the ability to walk.
“For the past four years, I’ve been struggling to just get a sense of life back,” Erskine said. “I mean literally overnight my life changed forever.”
A piece of Erskine was brought back to life in April, when District 6 reached out to Little League International to get approval for him to umpire again. He was allowed to umpire at first base and is the first to do so in Little League from a wheelchair.
“Being out there on first base, being able to call safe, out, fair, foul. It’s a feeling I can’t really explain but it’s like Christmas every day,” Erskine said.
Since the diagnosis, Erskine has had to rely on others for transportation.
“I was physically picking him up and putting him in the car,” his wife, Belinda Erskine, said. “That’s the hard part. He misses everything. He was one that always took them everywhere. Picked them up took them to sports. Did all that stuff, it’s tough.”
Loved ones say they admire Erskine’s dedication to the league, and are just as committed to making his life better.