COVINGTON, La. (WVUE) - The community finally saw what months of prayers and support did for one of their star athletes who doctors, at one point said, wouldn’t survive.
It was senior night at Archbishop Hannan High School, but the running back honored during their game against Albany is a graduate.
“It’s a thing that he’s earned to do it one more time,” said family member Jack Demsey. “He has a drive like most people can’t imagine.”
Brendan David was a force on the field.
“We were undefeated my senior year,” said Brendan.
“He had a lot of passion about life and enjoyed life tremendously. And football was at the heart of it,” said Brendan’s biological Aunt and adoptive Mother Yvette David Pacaccio.
Pacaccio said Brendan kept his grades up so he could play, earning himself a football scholarship to an Indiana university.
“He had a flight lined out for him. He was going to college to play football on a football scholarship. It was all planned out. God sent us a different path,” said Pacaccio.
Brendan is now wheelchair bound after an ATV accident. It happened at a graduation party just five days after he received his diploma.
“There was definitely a time right at the beginning, the first couple days of the accident, I was told, ‘you have 30 minutes to four hours to get your whole family here because he’s not gonna make it,’” Pacaccio recalled.
Brendan wasn’t wearing a helmet when he crashed into a tree. Inoperable bleeding in his brain led doctors to perform a craniotomy.
“Which is when you take off a part of your skull to allow your brain to swell,” explained Pacaccio. “And that’s really what saved his life.”
Five months later, after hours of physical and cognitive rehab, Brendan can move and speak. Pacaccio says she sees him grow stronger every day.
“He’s as much on a mission as I am to bring him back to where he was or as close to it as possible,” she said.
Convinced Brendan is still alive for a reason, Piccacio is looking forward to finding our why.
Brendan is set to have that now missing part of his skull replaced later this month.
His goal is still to attend college in Indiana.