H.S. football player recovers after breaking neck during game - WKRN News 2

High school football player recovers after breaking neck during game

Posted: Updated: Oct 20, 2013 11:28 PM
Seth Haynes Seth Haynes
Seth Haynes Seth Haynes
Seth Haynes Seth Haynes
Tammie Haynes, mother Tammie Haynes, mother
KINGSTON, Tenn. -

The Roane County High School football player who broke his neck during a Friday night game is getting good news from his doctors, as they say he is already progressing on his road to recovery.

Fifteen-year-old Seth Haynes, a sophomore at Roane County High School, broke his neck on the very first play of the school's game against Sequoyah.

He underwent a four hour surgery Saturday night at the University of Tennessee Medical Center.

Seth's mom, Tammie, said despite his devastating injury, they're just thankful for the progress he's already made.

She added it's a sight no parent wants to see, their child lying motionless on the football field as her son did Friday night after making the first tackle of the game.

"It's the worst feeling in the world. There's nothing to describe that feeling because you feel like as a parent you're helpless because you want to be there and help them," Tammie explained.

Doctors at UT Medical Center worked to repair Seth's shattered third vertebrae.

"It's like you took a hatchet to the C3 and just chopped it," Tammie said.

They said the surgery couldn't have gone any better.

"He did great through the whole surgery. His vitals stayed good," added Tammie.

She said Seth is talking now and is in good spirits, even after being delivered the news by doctors that he can never play football again.

"He told me, he says, 'Mom, I just thank Jesus that I can walk,'" his mother said.

That's tough news for a kid who has lived and breathed football since the age of four.

"He loves football. When he first learned how to tackle, you couldn't walk through the house," his mom stated. "He would try to tackle everybody as they tried to walk through the house. He just loves football. He doesn't miss a game."

She said Seth knows he's very lucky to be alive, and is thankful for the outpouring of support from his teammates, classmates and the Roane County community.

"I couldn't ask for better people. We're really lucky people," she added.

That support is pushing Seth to get better as quickly as he can.

He doesn't want to miss a single football game, even if that means he has to watch it from the stands.

Doctors will meet with Seth Sunday night to discuss his recovery process from here on out, including physical therapy.

His mother said the doctors have already told her that Seth is going to fully recover, but will have less range of motion in his neck.

She noted Seth has already stated he'll do anything to still be a part of the team, even if it means simply being the waterboy.

*WATE-TV contributed to this report.

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