SEYMOUR, Ind. (Sept. 29, 2015) -- It’s been eight months since Columbus North High basketball star Josh Speidel suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car crash.
Josh is making incredible progress in his recovery. He volunteers each week at Brown Elementary School in Seymour as the kids there help him stay #JoshStrong.
“I couldn't be more thankful,” said Josh, who's up walking around eight months after his car accident. He's re-learning how to use his muscles and his brain. He also has nerve damage, forcing him to shake.
“I say I am doing great. And loving life,” he said.
Josh considers the staff and students at Brown Elementary School his “new team.”
“When Mr. Josh walks into the room the whole mode of the room changes. His smile and humor is very contagious. When he sees the kids raise his hand, he knows how much of an impact he is making on these kids,” explained fourth grade teacher Jennifer Regruth.
The fourth graders at Brown Elementary School rely on Josh to help them with their school work two days a week.
“We will give him a math paper, reading, spelling, flash cars – anything,” said student Aly East.
Josh relies on his school family to lift his spirits.
“It is fun to get to know them and help them out,” he said.
“Josh inspires me a lot because when he had the car accident he never gave up,” said student Jaret Dominguez-Ramirez,
Josh’s mother, Lisa, is the assistant principal at Brown Elementary. She's proud of the impact her son is making with the children.
“This allows him to be a part of the Brown team -- our family. I see the pride he takes in that and the encouragement he offers students. It shows me he is continuing to move forward. We don’t know where this journey will take us but I know that we are doing a journey,” she said.
In the afternoons, Josh works with the littlest team members--the kindergarteners. It’s a full day for the young man still recovering from a traumatic brain injury.
The school is committed to supporting Josh and the staff says he's showing them how to be #JoshStrong.
“The benefits that we are experiencing as adults, staff members to see a young man that refuses to give up. It is a perspective kind of thing. The world has a totally different picture than it did a few short months ago. Having Josh with us and his can't quit attitude is positive for all of us,” said Principal Tony Hack.
Added Josh, “It shows me that I really need to keep going!”
Josh does physical therapy for several hours the other three days every week. His vision is nearly back to 100%, and he’s up walking the majority of the day.