Injured Cherokee H.S. quarterback JT Brooks gives update on his road to recovery

(WJHL) – A Tri-Cities region football player paralyzed more than a year ago is starting to show more signs of improvement.

The family of J.T. Brooks invited us into their Rogersville home, Wednesday.

Brooks has inspired the Tri-Cities region with his determination to regain the strength in his legs.  During a football scrimmage last May, he was injured and paralyzed from the waist down.

Since then, he’s been going back and forth from Rogersville to Atlanta for rehabilitation. He also inspired the social media movement “Fight for 5.” that was Brooks’ jersey number on the field.

After the injury, his family designed and built a room for him from their own money. His room is catered to his needs. From the closets to the bathroom, everything fits his life. He also has exercise equipment handy as he continues to build his strength by doing therapy everyday.

“I’m moving my left toes still, I’m getting more feeling in my right leg and actually all of my legs but not the feeling you’d feel when someone touches your face, just kind of a buzzy feeling,” Brooks said.

His family has been by his side every step of the way, as he tours colleges like Emory and Henry, and goes on family vacations.

The Brooks family recently visited Destin, FL, this was his first visit to the beach since the accident.

“Got in the water, hung out by the beach, tried to get a tan but as you can see it didn’t really help much…it didn’t happen,” Brooks said.

He and his family are grateful for the community for coming together and showing support since the accident.

J.T. also let us listen in on a voicemail from former University of Tennessee legendary football player, Peyton Manning.

“I’m praying for you, you’re in my thoughts and prayers,” Manning said in the voicemail last year.

J.T.’s dad Jimmy Brooks said God is leading the way for their family.

“While it has been tragic, our family has become closer. The little things mean more. We still believe that JT is going to heal and that God will be glorified no matter what happens,” Brooks said.

J.T. said his hopes and dreams have remained the same and he plans to study business in college.

“I want to walk again of course, I want to grow up, go to college, have a good family, a wife, kids, that’s the American Dream,” Brooks said.

Jimmy Brooks added that J.T. gets up every morning and goes to work and he doesn’t get upset about his situation. “I told him that my father and my grandfather were my two heroes, but now I have a third hero and that’s J.T. because his attitude has been amazing, he’s really unlimited in what his potential is,” Brooks said.

Jimmy Brooks added that they’re interested in things like stem cell research and epidural stimulation for J.T. and they’re still looking through options. J.T. is also still a captain on the Cherokee football team and he plans to be with his team during practices and all games this upcoming football season.

Organizers are hosting another golf tournament to help J.T. with his expenses. This time around, they want to use the money to modify his truck.

It’ll allow J.T. to drive to school during his upcoming senior year at Cherokee High.  The golf tournament takes place at the McDonald Hills Golf Course in Rogersville on Aug. 5. J.T tells us he will be there.

Copyright 2017 WJHL. All rights reserved.

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