Deon Fletcher, left, is trying to help his son, Myron Wright
, recover from a fractured vertebra in his neck by performing daily physical therapy exercises.
, a former Thibodaux High School football player, was injured on a two-point conversion in the team's season finale against H.L. Bourgeois High School
on Nov. 9. (Staff photo by Abby Tabor)
In Thibodaux High School's season finale against H.L. Bourgeois
on Nov. 9, Wright
was sent into the game on a two-point conversion attempt.
...Wright, 16, a reserve wide receiver, attempted to make a routine block on the play when he was hit from behind and then thrown backward on another hit.
"I didn't feel a hard hit," he
said."I just went backwards.It was a freak injury." Wright
was motionless on the ground for 20 minutes while paramedics stabilized his
back and neck.
, below, gets some help with his physical therapy from his mother, Beverly Fletvher.
An examination resulted in devastating news - Wright
suffered a fractured vertebra in his
neck that was dangerously close to his
spinal cord.The injury also caused him to lose mobility in his
arms and legs.
"I didn't realize at first how severe the injury was," Wright
said."However, as the days went by, I started to realize that it was a serious injury."
Battling the OddsSoon after the injury, Wright
began the long road to recovery. Wright
had neck surgery at Thibodaux Regional Medical Center
to repair the fractured vertebrae.It was followed by countless hours of physical therapy.
Nearly seven months later, Wright
has made some progress.He
regained feeling in his
arms and legs and started to move his
shoulders and neck.
still has one goal in mind - to walk again.
"I keep saying that I will beat this," he
said."I'm letting my life continue despite this injury." Wright
realizes that walking again will be a challenge, but he
is determined to do it.The progress he
has made since the surgery is giving him a glimmer of hope.
Beverly Fletcher, Wright's
mother, said to see her son walk again would be the answer to her prayers.
...Former Thibodaux coach Shawn Preston said Wright has always been someone determined to excel on and off the football field.
saw significant playing time as a sophomore and was diligent in the classroom.
Deon Fletcher, Myron's
father, said seeing his son injured in a football game was one of the toughest moments of his life.
said it makes him feel good knowing that he
is an inspiration for many people, but that is not what he
is trying to accomplish.He
wants to regain his
ability and live a normal life.
"My family, friends and former teammates are telling me to keep fighting because everything will be alright," he
said."Those words of encouragement are helping me through this."
will not be on the field for the 2003 season, Davis said the Tigers are not forgetting their fallen teammate.
Thibodaux linebacker Brandon Jones added that the 2003 season is for Wright
Throughout this ordeal, Wright
said one thing has kept him going - prayer. Wright
said people believing and praying for him has helped keep his
spirits up.It also makes him more determined to overcome the injury and walk again.
"People are telling me that they are pulling for me and praying for me," he
Bland said Wright
has remained positive throughout the ordeal and believes something good will come of it.Bland is associated with Thibodaux High's
football team through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"What we constantly try to encourage Myron
with is the fact that he
has not suffered this injury at the hands of God, but God is good and is willing to deliver him from the present condition he
is in to his
destination in life," Bland said.
Deon Fletcher said Wright
has received hundreds of get well cards expressing their concern and offering encouragement.
We are thinking about Myron
is our No. 1 priority."
The support has extended beyond Thibodaux
.Two of Wright's most prized possessions are an ESPN banner signed by the on-air personalities and several letters from actor Christopher Reeve, who suffered a paralyzing neck injury in a horse-riding accident in 1995.
said one thing that keeps him going is a message from Reeve.
I don't want to let him down," Wright
Determined to WinWright
said the injury has forced him to re-evaluate certain things in his
Instead of participating in athletics, which he
considered one of his
loves in life, Wright
plans to use that energy to work hard and thrive in the classroom.
Wright plans to return to Thibodaux High
in 2005 and will rejoin his
classmates for his
recently passed an exit exam completing his
sophomore year. Ultimately, Wright said he wants to go to college and get a degree.
does that, though, he
wants to surprise his
family when he
graduates in 2005.
"My goal is to walk across the stage for graduation," he