Two strokes, two surgeries for a brain tumor, 52 days in the hospital later.
Now, 15-year-old Marcus Edwards looks only at what tomorrow presents.
Walking without help.
Getting back on Gilbert Higley High’s campus, then maybe — hoping, praying — that he can put on a helmet and play football again.
“I want to try to come back this season, but it depends on how long recovery is,” he said. “I want to get back to running and getting back into shape.”
Nobody has told him no. Nobody has told him yes.
But this is Edwards’ heart talking.
“When I first got to the hospital and they were examining me, I asked if I would be able to play football again,” he said. “They said they didn’t know.”
Edwards still can’t believe what happened since November.
The 5-foot-9, 135-pound cornerback, who was an up-and-coming sophomore with a bright future in football track ahead of him, was promoted from JV to the varsity football team for the playoffs.
Friday night lights. Warming up with the big boys. An up-close look at pushing perennial 4A power Scottsdale Saguaro into overtime in the state semifinals.
Then, Edwards got blind-sided by life.
Recurring headaches became so excruciating, he couldn’t get out of bed.
“When the season ended, I told my mom that the headaches were getting worse,” he said. “I missed two days of school because of it.”
In January, he was diagnosed with a tumor on his brain stem.
He was admitted to a Mesa hospital, where he was scheduled for surgery. But the first surgery was closed down.