by Jessica Cervantez
It was December 2005 when 18 year old Chad Cooper was involved in a traffic accident. At the time, he was well known for his skills as a cross country runner for Lufkin High School. Getting back on the track after the accidetn has been a long process.
He just feel asleep and I was ejected from the vehicle and I basically just woke up in the hospital and didn;t know really what happened," recalls Chad, now a Lufkin Senior.
What happened next is that he would spend three months in the hospital and doctors would tell him that it would be a year before he could even think about running again because of the brain damage he suffered...Boy were they wrong.
"I just kept telling my Mom, Mom we've got to talk to the doctors and she did and they finally after about a month they said, "Go do a mile job." Well, I did three miles."
Chad injured two nerves in his vertebrae in his collar that would control the movement in your arms and legs and also suffered neurological problems, but stop running? No way!
"That's not an option for me. I wasn't going to let that happen. I love running and I love what I do and I knew I was going to be back."
It wook a month and a half to get back on the track.
"It's been somewhat of a slow comeback initially it was. He's definitely picked up. I'm anxious to see him in the mile and two mile and hoping he can set some PR's this year," said Coach Rusty Stover.
It's called hard work and dedication. Coaches say he adds spirit to the team and a leader on the track and in the classroom. He ranks in the top five percent of his class.