Newton HS wrestler battles spinal injury - Dallas News |

Newton HS wrestler battles spinal injury

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Tyler Head Tyler Head

A Covington teenager recovering from a serious spinal cord accident is determined to walk again. Tyler Head was injured during a wrestling match for Newton High School.

It's been two months since his wrestling accident, and Head is already made big strides on his road to recovery. He even has his own catchphrase, "fight like Tyler."

"My favorite one is meet today's problems with today's strength," said Tyler.

Head says those words get him through each day, and his days are not always easy. The junior was competing in a wrestling tournament last December when his world drastically changed.

"I think I went to take him down and I slipped," Tyler said. "I don't know. I was hurt. I tried to get up by only my head and neck moved. That's when I knew something was wrong."

A wrong move on the mat left Head with injuries to his vertebrae and spinal cord. Doctors told the teen's parents the outlook was not good.

"It was literally the gut punch. He told us he had broken his neck, and he was a quadriplegic," said Tyler's mother, Deborah Head.

Two months later, the 16-year-old has already proved doctors wrong once. He can move his arm, and plans to ditch the wheelchair soon with the help of intense therapy and rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta.

"Every little movement I get back, it's big," said Tyler. "Hope is something you definitely have to have while you are here."

The outpouring of support from his team mates, friends, and people he's never met have motivated Tyler to get better, and to get stronger.

Tyler says his injury makes him realize how good he really had it, and that motivates him to get better.

Tyler's parents are ready to bring their boy back home, and they are in the process of making their Covington home wheelchair accessible.

"We don't know what the future holds. We know in our hearts that Tyler is going to walk again," said Tyler's father, Archie Head.

"If I can get back to walking around, driving my truck, going to school, that' what I really want," said Tyler.

Tyler is scheduled to go home on March 19th, and continue his therapy on an out-patient basis. What's remarkable about Tyler is that he is already using his story to encourage other teens with spinal cord injuries at the shepherd center.
Several fundraisers are planned to help the family:

March 2 at 9:00 a.m.: Lifepointe Church of the Nazarene at 5133 Jackson Highway SW in Covington will hold a yard sale/bake sale. All proceeds will go toward medical and after-hospital living expenses. They encourage donations to sell in the yard sale, and will accept them until Friday, March 1.
March 16 at noon: There will be a St. Patrick's Day parade and benefit concert featuring Thomas Tillman, Wesley Cook, and Dustin Lee Bragg in Porterdale, Georgia. The City of Porterdale will also have a live wrestling event, auction, raffle, and a fundraiser called Cow Chip Bingo. All proceeds from the raffle, auction, and Cow Chip Bingo go towards medical and after-hospital living expenses. For more information about this event you can visit, click here!

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