NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Last August, Caden Herron was at the height of his basketball career.

The 6-4 guard was coming off a big summer with EAB Gold, a local travel basketball club and caught the attention of a few college scouts.

He was preparing for an explosive senior season at Hillsboro when a tragic incdient changed his life forever.

Caden Herron. (Courtesy: Angela Herron)

“First thing I’m thinking, I’m never going to be able to play basketball again.”

On Aug. 18, 2022, a friend was taking Caden home after a high school football game. They crashed just a few miles from Herron’s home on Blue Hole Road.

Caden was thrown from the car and wasn’t initially found by officers on the scene.

“I just had a feeling that he had collapsed somewhere and he just needed to be found,” said Caden’s mother, Angela Herron. “I just had that gut feeling and I remember saying it over and over again, ‘he’s out there, he is out there somewhere. We just have to find him.’ And, so I just couldn’t sit here and not look for him because no one else was looking for him.”

Metro Nashville police officers told Caden’s family they went out a second time and still didn’t find him. That’s when his family went out to search for him on their own.

“I remember saying, ‘God, if you just allow him to just to keep fighting, give him that will to fight and that, you know, just to, just to know that we’re looking for you, just keep fighting,'” Angela said.

Caden’s family and friends immediately found him less than 50 feet from the scene.

“My sister called his name ‘Caden’ and he responded, ‘I’m over here.'”

But, by that point, Caden had been laying out there for nearly 12 hours, alone and unable to move.

Caden Herron after being found near the scene of the crash nearly 12 hours later. (Courtesy: Angela Herron)

“All I remember was I woke up and I seen the blue sky, and I know where I was. And then my friend, she was just waving in my face like ‘Are you OK? What happened?’ And I’m like, I don’t even know what happened. I’m like, I’m asking her what happened. I don’t know what happened.”

Caden spent 20 days at Vanderbilt University Medical Center recovering from a T12 spinal fracture before being transported to Shepherd Center in Atlanta. He was discharged on Nov. 12, 2022.

Today, he’s relearning how to walk and adjusting to life without being able to play the game he loves.

“It is hard to watch them play, and I’m not out there,” Caden said.” It’s pretty hard to watch.”

But, he couldn’t stay away from the game. Caden’s there each game supporting his teammates near the bench.

“When I just saw my team still doing great without me, so there’s no point of being sad, down on myself when they’re doing good. So, you know no point in being sad. Just keep going day by day, wake up and be happy.”

“It was very hard,” said Angela. “But I do recall having a conversation with my husband when he told me that he’s more than basketball and so we keep telling ourselves that.”

And he’s living by the scripture, ‘walk by faith, not by sight,’ words that he tattooed on his leg.

“Walk by faith, every step you take you just got to, either way could be your last step, so you just got to walk by faith.”

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Caden and his family are also pushing the TSSAA to extend his eligibility to next season, of course with the hopes that he will be able to play.

He’s already making great strides and his parents plan to send him back to Shepherd Center for their Beyond Therapy program. Unfortunately, that extra treatment for Caden isn’t covered by insurance. Caden’s family set up a GoFundMe to help with medical costs.