(WSVN) - A high school football player is being released from the hospital after a devastating injury, and he’s being helped by a man who already lived this teenager’s nightmare. Karen Hensel has today’s 7Spotlight.
Love, prayers and support. That is what has surrounded 15-year-old Frederick Clemson since Sept. 13. The day his life changed forever.
Camille Harrison, Frederick’s mother: “It’s been hard, but my faith has kept me together.”
It was Frederick’s first game on the junior varsity football team, and in the third quarter, he took a hit that paralyzed him.
Camille Harrison: “I’ve been by his side from the beginning. I haven’t left this side. I’ve tried to stay strong for him.”
Teammates and loved ones have all shown overwhelming support.
But an unexpected visitor might have been one of the people who helped Frederick the most.
Felton Brown knows Frederick’s pain.
Felton Brown, helping Frederick: “So back in October of 1998, I was an outstanding athlete, and I took a hit, and I hit the ground, and instantly I lost sensation throughout my entire body.”
Doctors told Felton he would never be able to move from the neck down, but with the help of therapy, he now has movement in parts of his upper body.
Felton Brown: “It’s a mirror story, right? It’s a reflection of my own self. He’s 15, I was 15. He was a star athlete, I was a star athlete.”
Frederick has gone through two successful surgeries. As he now starts physical therapy, his mom says Felton’s inspiration has been a turning point.
Camille Harrison: “Frederick was, like, a little down, but when [Felton] came, his mood started to change, and he started to do a little better in rehab.”
Felton Brown: “I wanted to show him and give him something to look forward to, because I knew in that moment that he had lost it all.”
Frederick has a long and difficult road ahead of him, but with his mom, Felton and the community beside him, he says he is never giving up.
Frederick Climpson: “I want to let them know I’m alright. My family, everything’s been straight. No problems, no nothing like that. You see I’m getting better, I’m smiling. I didn’t think i was going to smile, but I’m smiling.”
And that smile has a lot to do with those who continue to cheer him on.
He was visited by his favorite football players, Miami Dolphins’ players Xavien Howard and Jaylen Waddle.
They both gave him a signed helmet, and Xavien has kept in touch.
The widespread show of solidarity has meant everything to this family.
Camille Harrison: “I just want to say thank you to everybody who’s been there, who supported us.”
Felton says the support of South Florida was also what helped him overcome his injury. Now it is his turn to pay it forward.
Felton Brown: “I would love to see our community come together like none other for Frederick, to cheer him on the same way they cheered me on.”
Frederick Climpson: “Yeah, I’m gonna keep fighting.”
Family and friends will be right there fighting with him.
Karen Hensel, 7News.
Frederick’s family has created a GoFundMe to help cover medical bills.
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