My favorite GSU sport is cheerleading; this may be biased because I am a former GSU cheerleader. Although many don’t feel that it’s a sport because in prior years cheerleading was based on looks, popularity, and sometimes clout. I have several reasons to argue why it is one. To be a cheerleader you must be in the utmost physical shape, you must be disciplined and you must be competitive. These are all qualities of a good athlete. Some schools will let you slide by not being in good physical shape, but in order to cheer for Georgia Southern, you must be able to tumble, have outstanding jumps, tight motions, and good coordination. Tumbling isn’t just forward rolls, cartwheels and handstands. In order to tumble, you must run to gain speed just to perform a somersault. Cheerleading doesn’t require an object such as a ball, so it isn’t called “cheerleading ball.” There aren’t any games, but there are competitions. The biggest collegiate national championship is held in Daytona, Florida. Judges score the squads on stunts, tumbling, jumps, dance, and motions. The squad with the highest score wins the national championship in their division. I was on the squad in Spring 2010; we placed second at Nationals. This Spring 2011, GSU won Nationals making them the reigning national champions. Cheerleading also has trainers to ensure that an injury undergoes correct rehabilitation because just like in any other sport cheerleaders (the players) get hurt.
On September 26, 2010, I was involved in a severe accident on my way back to school. I was T-boned by a pick-up truck immediately after getting off exit 116. I was air-lifted to the trauma hospital in Savannah at Memorial University Hospital. I sustained several injuries in which my pelvis was broken, my upper vertebrae was cracked, and I had trauma to the head. I remained in a coma for at least three months, classified as a quadriplegic for six months,and in a wheelchair for seven months. I just got back on my feet two months ago. I’m now using a cane.
The part of my brain that was hit the hardest, the left hemisphere, is responsible for speech and memory. I couldn’t talk for three months, and the doctors said I probably would never speak again. If for some reason I did, I wouldn’t be able to recognize anyone including my own family. However, I started talking on New Year’s day. My mom started praising God, and yelled and told my dad. When he came downstairs, the very first thing he asked me was, “Who am I?” I whispered, “Daddy.”
My brain stem was also separated 14mm from my spinal cord. The limit before decapitation takes place, is 2-3 mm. Because of this, the medical professionals said that I would never walk again. They performed another X-ray, and God had brought my vertebrae and brain stem back together. They said there was no medical explanation for this, and that they must have looked wrong. No, they looked right. There may be no medical explanation, but there is a spiritual explanation. I’ve gone from wheelchair to walker, from walker to quad cane, from quad cane to single cane, and the next step is to walk without a helping device.
While I was in the hospital, the doctors performed two surgeries on me in which they said there was a chance they could lose me on the operating table. In one of the surgeries, they almost did lose me because my heart rate and blood pressure started dropping. They told my parents that they didn’t know what happen, but all of a sudden everything started getting back normal.
I know what happened. It was God. They also said they could tell the patients that have a will to live from those that just give up and die. I have a will to live, and even though I was unconscious, the holy spirit intervened for me since I wasn’t able to fight for my life myself.
It hasn’t even been a year yet, and I’m already back in school. Although I may not be physically ready yet, I’m mentally ready. That’s amazing when I’m supposed to have a so-called “brain injury”. Mrs. Groover along with Dr. Debonis, an advertising professor, have arranged their class online for me. This makes it possible to be back in school, and recover at the same time. God just keeps performing miracle after miracle in my life.