The Haddock family of north Forsyth is particularly grateful this Thanksgiving.
It was three months ago today that Josh Haddock, 17, underwent brain surgery after collapsing during football practice at North Forsyth High School.
His mother, Natalie Roth, said the family’s Thanksgiving meal will have special significance.
“Every year we go to my mom’s house and hang out as a family, but we’ll definitely have more to be thankful for this year,” Roth said.
On Nov. 19, Haddock had what the family hopes will be the last surgery related to the bleeding on the brain that caused him to collapse Aug. 25.
A prosthetic placed on the high school senior’s skull replaces the piece removed during surgery.
Haddock was back on his feet and released the next night.
While her son is grateful and relieved, Roth said he’s also had some sad moments in his otherwise optimistic outlook.
“He was a little bit depressed on Saturday,” she said. “He’s pretty much done with pain. He’s over hospitals. He’s done with being swollen and being cut open. He’s about tired of it.
“But he’s in really good spirits now. He’s embraced it and he’s doing really well.”
Haddock hasn’t played football since that fateful practice. But he got to participate in the coin toss as team captain before the Raiders’ state playoff game Nov. 12.
Roth said support from the team and community has been instrumental in his recovery. And now the family is focused on the future.
“He doesn’t want to be the kid who had brain surgery,” she said. “He just wants to be Josh and go to college and do things normal kids do. He’s a positive kid and he doesn’t want to dwell on things.”
Haddock still hopes to play for the school’s lacrosse team this winter.
In the meantime Thanksgiving for Roth will be a time to think about how far her son has come.
“There was such a high probability that our family wouldn’t have been together this year and it just wouldn’t have been the same without him,” she said. “I don’t know that our family would have ever recovered.”