Beyond the Game: Russellville runner survives setbacks, bound for Paralympic Championships

Kaitlin Bounds (KATV Photo)

Russellville runner Kaitlin Bounds will be one of only 50 athletes representing the United States at the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships, July 14-23 in London.

Bounds, a Russellville High School and 2014 Arkansas Tech alumnus, received an emergency heart and lung bypass the day she was born. She does not have a right carotid artery. Further, when she was four, she was diagnosed with autism.

"She almost died, and so I said to my husband, there must be a reason that she was spared," said Kathy Bounds, Kaitlin's mom.

"Maybe she's supposed to be an Olympic athlete for real."

"There are days I still want to cry," Kaitlin said. "I've been dreaming about this. Is this really happening right now?"

She will compete in the 800 meter and 1,500 meter runs. Kaitlin qualified based on her times at the 2017 U.S. Paralympics Track and Field National Championships in Los Angeles.

This will be the first international track and field competition since the Paralympic Games in Rio last summer.

Kaitlin's first event will take place Saturday, July 15. You can help support her family's trip here.

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