HILLIARD, Fla. (WJXT/CNN) — A high school football player is recovering from a severe brain injury after taking a hard hit during a game.
The powerful hit during the third quarter of this football game knocked Hilliard High School quarterback Nathan Dowie off his feet.
It was a hit that made his father wince from the stands.
“When I saw it, it looked pretty rough,” Nathan’s father Sean Dowie said. “He gave thumbs up, let everyone know he was fine. (He) wasn’t acting any different, energetic as usual.”
But after the game, his coach and father both said it was clear — something was wrong.
“The first news I heard was he had a concussion,” Sean said. “I called Nathan’s phone and his girlfriend answered and she was obviously upset. She said he was seizing and I knew right away this wasn’t looking good.”
Dowie’s father said CT scans revealed the teen had a brain bleed. He underwent brain surgery that Friday night. Through the night and into the morning, his family friends and community stayed with him.
“It’s hard, but we’re making it,” Sean said. “The community support has been awesome. It’s blowing me away.”
Surrounded by their community, doctors tell Dowie’s family he’s making incredible strides.
“She asked him to open his eyes and he opened his eyes a little bit,” Sean said.
Hilliard didn’t win that game on Friday night. After a long Saturday of waiting, their quarterback opening his eyes is just the win they needed.