St. Johns County, Fla. -- As Bartram Trail High School battled Choctawatchee High on the football field during the regional final game Friday night, their teammate continued his fight from a hospital bed.
In mid October along Longleaf Pine Parkway, not far from Bartram High, Aubrey Thompson and another 16-year-old student, Dylan Shaw got into a serious crash. A St. Johns County Sheriff's Office investigation showed that speed was a factor. The driver had serious injuries and Thompson's was critical.
"We knew we had a tight group of guys," said Head Football Coach Darrell Sutherland.
He found out just how close his team had become when one of their own, found himself in a life-threatening situation. Thompson, a wide receiver who wore the number 17 remains in the hospital more than a month after his accident.
"They want to keep playing to a point where maybe he can come join us on the sideline," said Sutherland. "We've been praying for a miracle. And there have been miracles after miracles with him already."
On social media you'll see #PrayForAubrey, there's also a Facebook group where friends, family and community members share encouraging words.
Thompson's mother posted this a message of thanks, the day after Thanksgiving:
"Happy day after Thanksgiving family and friends. We have much to be thankful and rejoice about. Last night was the first night Jim and I returned home and left Aubrey alone in the hospital. This morning he was doing better than ever. He is getting excellent care, and perhaps being spoiled a bit in surgical ICU. We appreciate the diligent medical staff. He is healing well from surgical procedures. When we walked in this morning, his heavy beard was gone.
"He was clean shaven and looked like a teenager again. Drs have begun weening him off the ventilator again and the nutritionist has changed his diet to give him ultimate calories to help him gain weight. Like I said.... God is good and we are thankful. As soon as Aubrey is dismissed from the hospital we will go to Shepherds Rehab. in Atlanta for his rehabilitation. It is an excellent facility that we are excited about.
"We are reminded daily that Aubrey is here because you have prayed for him and God has answered according to His will. THANK YOU and we still ask that you continue to pray."
While Thompson continues on his road to recovery, his teammates have experienced a recent turn around on the field, winning tough games back-to-back.
"Motivation is Aubrey he's fighting for his life and he's fighting just to get back on the field with us so we're just fighting for him," said teammate Romello Bentley.
The final score of the game Bartram Trail High School 17, Choctaw High School 14. Bartram Trail moves onto the State Semi-Final game.
First Coast News