Jackson Gannon of Honea Path, South Carolina suffered traumatic brain injuries after a head-on collision in 2017 and was never expected to ever walk or talk again.
He already beat the prediction that he’d never walk again, having taken his first steps only a few months after the crash and now he’s relearning basics like how to eat and use the bathroom on his own. Last week Jackson wowed his mom when he said the words “she” and shoe” and she recorded it on Facebook. His mom felt like he was getting close to speaking again. “I was just getting him ready for bed and decided to record just in case he did say anything. After I cut the camera off, I hugged him and told him ‘You did it!’”
Jackson’s mom,Stasea Morris, says his speaking again is the result of thousands of hours of physical, occupational, and speech therapy sessions combined with “unrelenting prayer and faith.” She says, “We were just determined because we knew he didn’t want to sit in a nursing home for the rest of his life.”
The day before the accident, Jackson was a top level high school wrestler, and met with the head coach for Ohio State, Tom Ryan, about possibly joining their team. After the accident Coach Ryan had Jackson and his mom visit Ohio States team and is now exploring ways to get Jackson to be a member of their team in some sort of managerial position. "Jackson can teach our wrestlers something I can't teach them," Ryan told ABC News in a phone interview. "And that's heart and determination. He shows more of that on an hourly basis than most people do in their entire lives. I'd never bet against this kid accomplishing anything. And that's the attitude we need our wrestlers to get in order to win a national championship". The Buckeyes finished as national runner-up at the 2019 NCAA Championships, marking the fifth consecutive top-three placement for the team during Ryan’s tenure.