Two weeks after near death at football practice, sixth grader is miraculously in rehab

Cameron Smith

When he collapsed at a middle school football practice just two weeks ago it was clear that Georgia native Jon Ross Snell would have a tough fight on his hands to simply survive. Unbeknownst to coaches and all others around him, Snell had somehow triggered a brain hemorrhage, falling on to the field on September 17 before being lifeflighted to a nearby hospital shortly thereafter.

Georgia Middle Schooler Jon Ross Snell, who has made an inspiring recovery from a brain hemmorhage — Caring Bridge

Even with the rapid response he received, the odds of Jon Ross surviving his health scare appeared not to be in his favor. The Monroe (Ga.) George Walton Academy sixth grader reportedly suffered a significant hemorrhage to the right side of his brain, with a "spot" also forming on his brain stem.

Still, the middle schooler fought his way through the toughest early moments, including intensive surgery within an hour of his admission at Egleston, and was then placed in the Intensive Care Unit of Children's Hospital of Egleston, where he stayed for a full two weeks.

Then, on Sunday Snell and his family finally got good news: The young football player was finally cleared to move to Scottish Rite Hospital for rehabilitation, a process which is sure to be arduous but could help Snell regain much of the normal life he had enjoyed before the fateful football practice during which he collapsed in September.

Jon Ross Snell's teammates run through a pregame sign honoring their sick teammate — Caring Bridge

"He starts at 8:45 in the morning and gets a break at lunch to rest and then goes till about 3:30 in the afternoon. I can't wait to get him going," Nan Snell, Jon Ross' mother, reported on the Caring Bridge page set up to support the sixth grader. "He has a lot to learn again, but with all the prayers we are all sending up, I just have to believe he will get there."

The first week of rehab has been arduous, but Nan Snell insisted that her son was being treated well ... and making some progress.

Even getting as far as he has lands somewhere between a major accomplishment and minor miracle for Snell, who gave little warning of the danger he was facing when he collapsed.

The pre-teen reportedly told those nearby that he wasn't feeling well during George Walton Academy's afternoon practice on Sep. 17, yet continued to compete and certainly gave no indication that his very life was at severe risk.

Now it appears that is no longer the case. With his fighting spirit, Snell may prove to be just as keen to complete his rehabilitation as he was to get healthier and move out of the hospital, too.

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