After a traumatic car crash, S.C football player is back on the field

Photo: Ken Ruinard/Independent Mail

After a traumatic car crash, S.C football player is back on the field

Football

After a traumatic car crash, S.C football player is back on the field

For Belton-Honea Path junior R.J. Ellis, the past few months have been a test of perseverance. To get back onto the football field, Ellis had to lean on his faith and family

June 29 is a night Ellis’ mother, Nicole Henderson, said she will never forget. That was the night she got a phone call “no parent wants to get.”

“I got the phone call around midnight. The nurse called me and said R.J. had been in a wreck and we needed to get up there,” she said. “The only thing that kept me halfway calm was the nurse told me he was talking and alert.

“I was still shook, but somewhat at peace.”

That evening Ellis was driving home from Seneca, where he spent time with friends, as he usually did during the summer.

“He was constantly doing something all summer. Going to football camps, hanging out with friends, going to pool parties. Just being a typical 16-year-old,” Henderson said. “He would hang out at the bowling alley, meet friends at Cook-Out, and then come home and stay up late and do it again the next day while having football practice.

“He was not getting enough rest.”

On the way home that night, Ellis dozed off behind the wheel, ran off the road and rolled his vehicle three times, Henderson said.

“The police officers said when they got to him, (R.J.) said he was just tired. That was the only words he said,” she said. “If he had not been wearing his seat belt he could have been decapitated. They were surprised he was even at the state he was in.”

Complications arose while Ellis was in the hospital. He suffered a grand mal seizure. According to the Mayo Clinic, a grand mal seizure is marked with a loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.

Henderson said doctors attributed to seizure to head trauma Ellis sustained in the accident.

“We were iffy about him having more seizures,” Henderson said. “Praise be to God, thank you, Jesus, he did not have any more. The doctors ruled the seizure was caused because of the wreck.”

After being discharged July 3 from the hospital, Ellis worked for the next three to four weeks to recover and get to the point where he could go back to practice. During this time, he was on protocol similar to a concussion, which meant no television, no talking on the phone and limited exposure to direct light.

After being discharged July 3 from the hospital, Ellis worked for the next three to four weeks to recover and get to the point where he could go back to practice. During this time, he was on protocol similar to a concussion, which meant no television, no talking on the phone and limited exposure to direct light.

After that recovery period, Henderson said the doctors cleared Ellis to attend practice, but he could only watch.

“He could not run, could not throw a ball, he could not do anything but attend,” she said.

Read the rest of the article at the Independent Mail.

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After a traumatic car crash, S.C football player is back on the field
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