As high school basketball star recovers from brain injury, parents are grateful for support

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - A star basketball player from Columbus North High School remains in critical but stable condition at IU Methodist Hospital. Wednesday, Josh Speidel's parents spoke to FOX59 about what is going to be a long recovery.

Speidel suffered a serious brain injury after a crash on Sunday, February 1st in Bartholomew County. His parents said he's breathing both on his own and with the help of a machine in a neuro-critical care unit. They're awaiting purposeful movements though, like squeezed hands or open eyes.

"He is such a fighter," said Lisa Speidel.

Lisa and David Speidel said they have faith that Josh will triumph over tragedy.

"God has a plan for all of this," Lisa said, "Josh is going to have a great story to tell, and he's going to be able to use this for a bigger purpose."

The 18-year-old basketball star arrived at Methodist ten days ago. He was involved in a car crash last week along US 31 in Taylorsville. Josh had no broken bones and no internal injuries, Lisa said. But he did sustain a serious brain injury.

"We are focusing solely on his brain," she said.

The parents said doctors at Methodist are working on stabilizing Josh's vitals. That will be key to further progress with his condition.

"They feel like he's moving along, like he should be, not as fast as we would like sometimes." said David Speidel, "God has his timing here, and we're just kind of praying for that."

The Speidels are clinging to a timeline for recovery that is not precise, and it's changed how they approach life, Lisa said.

"We have a very different definition of time. We don't measure time in 60-second increments or 24 hours. It's now kind of associated with the unknown," she said.

Both said they are grateful for community support. Hoosiers have come together for the Speidels in miraculous fashion. Columbus North held a fundraiser at a basketball game last week. Online crowd funding's raised tens of thousands of dollars, too.

And awareness is everywhere with the #JoshStrong hashtag.

"It's what honestly is getting us through," said Lisa.

They are signs of hope the two said they will need as their family forges ahead.

"I'm thinking that Josh is in it for the long haul. And we're in it for the long haul," said Lisa.

The Speidels tell us they've also received so much support from the University of Vermont, where Josh has a scholarship to play basketball after graduation. They said they read Josh every Tweet, Facebook message, and card they receive, and his dad even sings to him.