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JT’s Story - By His loving older sister Peyton Brooks
Isn't it funny how, most of the time, the days that change everything and flip your whole world upside down start so normal that it's almost eerie? Isn't it funny how priorities, thoughts, plans, and dreams change in a blink of an eye?
I woke up on that Monday and didn't want get out of my dorm bed. I got ready and went to class. I met for a group project. I went to the pool with a friend. I sat on my bed and watched Netflix while I checked emails.
Then, I received a phone call at around 5:45 p.m. from my mom. I knew when her name popped up on my screen that something was wrong. She never calls me at this time of day.
My mom, through tears, told me that my 16-year-old brother was tackled in a scrimmage and was hurt. She wanted me to know before it got to social media.
I didn't even know that he had a game that day.
So many emotions immediately hit me. I knew, deep down, that this was no ordinary injury.
I went straight to my shower and just sat under steaming hot water for what felt like hours.
A couple of hours later, it was confirmed that his spine was broken in two places and that he would go into surgery. I raced home to get to the hospital.
You always think that the awful things that you see on the news will never happen to you or anyone you who know. Then, you're watching yourself on the TV.
What has happened in the three weeks since that ordinary Monday has turned into a nightmare that I would never wish on my worst enemy.
First, every negative and scary thought that I had went through my head. Then, I became angry. I became really angry.
I am naturally a hothead, but now I was enraged.
"Why did this have to happen to him? Why wasn't this prevented? Why not someone else? Why me? Why us? Why, God?"
However, the question now really is, "Why not?" I know that I was, and I still am, selfish in my thinking at times. When I started to think these nasty thoughts, I put myself in my brother's place and thought of how he must feel. This wasn't about me, it's about him. If it's not about him, it's about my family as a whole.
If anyone can overcome this, or turn these bad circumstances and this accident into something beautiful, something that can change people's lives, it's this kid. I've always been my brother's biggest fan. There's nothing that I loved more than watching him do what he's always loved: playing ball. Literally, that's what he's always loved. His first word was "ball." He's trained his whole life to be the athlete that he is. However, now, it's clear to me that God was having him train for something else, for this.
It's going to be long, hard, emotional, and stressful, but it is very possible, especially with God on our side. I have all of the faith in my little brother that he can beat the odds.
What I have seen him do in the past three weeks has inspired me and made me so proud to be his sister. He is, and will always be, my hero.
I love you, Fiver. Let's put in work.
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