ATLANTA — After over a year, a Pace Academy football player is still fighting to walk again after suffering a traumatic brain injury while playing on the field. The wide receiver has now spent the last 18 months working with a team of therapists, but it's the support from another teammate that has him pushing past even more barriers.
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“If our situations were reversed, which they very well could be – he would do something similar for me," 17-year-old Marcos San Miguel said.
The Cambell High School IB student said he still remembers the phone call he got after his best friend, Jordan Sloan, was rushed to Children's Hospital.
“It was very unsettling to hear that my best friend may not survive," he told 11Alive.
Sloan's brain injury on Sept. 25 of 2020 would leave him paralyzed.
San Miguel says he's known Sloan since grade school when they met through playing basketball. The pair remained close through the years as they attended separate high schools, both excelling in their respected sports. San Miguel dominated the basketball court becoming team captain at Campbell High School, while Sloan quickly became known as a football standout at Pace Academy.
San Miguel says that while Sloan has been fighting for his mobility since 2020, he has been fighting to provide his friend some extra help.
“I just want to show Jordan that I’m supporting him and playing for him," San Miguel added.
The teen has raised just over $10,000 so far for his former teammate, giving him a manual wheelchair and reformer machine that insurance didn't cover, as well as additional treatments through the Shepherd's Center.
San Miguel recently suffered his own injury on the court this past season, breaking his elbow and tearing a ligament and tendon in his arm.
"It's given me a small glimpse into what Jordan has to go through on a daily basis," San Miguel said about having to undergo therapy and rehab for his injury.
Sloan's mom, Jasmine, explained that the support from the 17-year-old has been incredible in a time that has been unimaginable.
She tells 11Alive that her son is still using a tracheotomy which prevents him from speaking and eating, but that his doctors are working towards getting that removed. Jasmine adds that her son is now able to move all of his body parts and is working daily to gain more mobility and strength.
You can donate to San Miguel's fundraiser for Sloan here.