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Heartwarming: Paralyzed Teen Led Into End Zone by Teammates To Score Touchdown During Game

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On Oct. 12, 2017, teen Brady Sprik from Platte, South Dakota, was involved in a serious car wreck. His back was broken and he had only three teeth left that weren’t smashed or cracked.

He was facing spinal fusion and years of reconstructive surgeries and rehab — a tough pill to swallow for the young man who’d been into sports all his life.

In the beginning, Sprik was paralyzed from the waist down, so when he wiggled a toe one day, it was cause for celebration. Then he wiggled his ankle. And with therapy, he moved his leg.

He’s been a fighter, keeping up with his therapy and trying to raise funds for expensive treatment in Minnesota, according to his GoFundMe.

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The high school senior’s parents, Troy and Kristina Sprik, are already proud of their son — but what he did with the help of his teammates on Oct. 9 made them even more proud.

“It’s been a journey to say the least,” Kristina told the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. “His high school career is supposed to be about doing the things you enjoy and he’s been spending it at the hospital and in therapy and in hospitals.”

“But he’s had the best attitude a kid could possibly have through it all. Troy and I couldn’t be any more proud of him.”

Oct. 9, which also happened to be Troy’s 50th birthday, was the date of the football game between Platte-Geddes (the school Brady attends) and Gregory. Platte-Geddes football coach Bruce Hanson had planned an extra-special surprise for the fourth quarter.

Without his dad noticing, Brady changed into his uniform and headed out onto the field. His fellow seniors assisted him in taking the handoff and walking the ball into the end zone to the cheers of the crowd.

“It was extremely emotional, to say the least,” Kristina said, adding that, for her husband, “It was one of the best birthday presents he could have gotten.”

The moment — which was caught on video and shared online — has warmed many people’s hearts, and was a much-needed sign to let the senior know that he was still important.

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“It’s what [Brady] needed to reassure him that people still care and haven’t forgotten about him and what he’s going through,” Kristina said. “It was the boost that he needed.”

“Cannot thank Bruce Hanson & all of the Platte coaches, the team and the Gregory team and coaches for allowing this to happen tonight!” Kristina posted on Facebook. “And to the referees too. We will never be able to express how much it meant to our family and most importantly Brady.”

And for the young man, it was a dream come true. As his mother related, “Brady’s had it in the back of his mind and in his heart that he might get to put the uniform on one more time” — and that’s exactly what he got to do.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking