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.
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.
Two years ago, Brady Spirk was injured as a freshman in a car accident.
The two teams came together and allowed him to score the last TD of tonight’s game.
It’s a moment he will never forget.🙏👏
— MaxPreps (@MaxPreps) October 10, 2020
“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.
“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.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.