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Injured player may return home soon
Mom: Support 'unbelievable'
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Forsyth County News
The North Forsyth High School football player who suffered a head injury during practice last month is expected to make a full recovery, his mother said Friday.

“The neurologist stopped in, and he just kind of put his hands up in the air and said his recovery has blown all of our time frames out of the water,” Natalie Haddock said from the hospital.

Josh Haddock underwent brain surgery at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, where he was taken after going into distress during the Aug. 25 football practice.

Natalie Haddock was not expecting her son to survive the surgery to relive bleeding on the brain.

But less than two weeks later, the 17-year-old senior lineman has been moved out of the intensive care unit and has made such rapid progress she said he may not need much rehabilitation.

“They expect him to be out of here Tuesday,” she said. “Every day it’s getting better.”

Because of the injury, his left leg is weaker than his right one and likely will be the last function to heal, she said. Given how quickly he’s recovered so far, however, she doesn’t expect it to take long.

In fact, Josh Haddock is thinking about sports again.

The swelling will take at least six weeks to ease, his mother said, which means this football season is likely over. But he’s looking forward to the lacrosse season, which starts in February.

“I would have a hard time letting him strap on a helmet again, but he’s not one of those kids who’s had seven concussions and if he gets one more he could be brain dead,” she said. "This was a freak accident and a freak injury."

Her son is an athlete and "would not be fulfilled if he wasn’t doing something.”

“I would be worried, I would be cautious, but I don’t think I would forbid it because it makes him happy,” she said.

Haddock still has some recovering to do, his mother said. But the support from friends, family and the community has been inspirational.

Friends have brought video games, MP3 players and other things to keep him occupied. And when they come, they come in packs, she said.

“The support from this community has been -- I just don’t have any words for it. 'Overwhelming' kind of seems so small,” she said. “It’s just been unbelievable. I never would have thought people loved him so much.

“I haven’t had to ask for anything. People have just been on it ... they have been so proactive about helping us.”

Natalie Haddock said she was touched by the support during the school’s home opener Aug. 27 and a fund that’s been set up at Regions Bank to help with the unexpected medical bills.

Her husband, Greg Haddock, has been the official family runner, she joked. He’s done laundry, cared for the dogs and shopped for groceries. Now he's working to prepare his son’s room for the return home.

The family, including Josh Haddock’s older sister, aunt and grandmother, have been surrounded by community support, Natalie Haddock said.

“I’m just really grateful thinking about what could have been,” she said.