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A young player for Roane County High School is making a big comeback off the field at Friday night's game.

Seth Haynes broke his neck during last week's game, and Friday night, his team is celebrating a big victory as Haynes heads home from the hospital.

10News had a chance to speak to Haynes on Friday for the first time since his injury.

"I remember running down the field, going in for the tackle. After I hit him, I just dropped," Haynes recalled.

In a game of inches, Roane County sophomore Seth Haynes came just millimeters away from death after breaking his neck in last week's game against Sequoyah.

"I remember passing out for a minute and waking back up and my whole body was tingling. I just had a very bad burning sensation in my neck. Whenever I got hit, I thought I was paralyzed, so I thought I wasn't going to be able to walk again. Then I finally got some feeling back," he described.

Neurosurgeons stabilized Seth's shattered vertebrae with plates and screws. And in the last week, Seth took giant steps towards recovery.

"I can walk. I've been walking up and down the hall with a walker. So I can walk perfectly fine right now. Usually after someone breaks a neck like I did, they're usually paralyzed. I got super lucky."

This week Seth and his mother, Tammie, also found out they're part of a larger team than they ever knew.

"Football teams from Knoxville, coaches have come and seen him," said Tammie.

"Sequoyah football players have been texting me and seeing how I've been," added Seth. "A bunch of my friends have been coming up to visit me."

"The people of Kingston have been absolutely wonderful," added Tammie.

"And they had a walk for me at school to raise money for hospital bills and stuff like that. It really meant a lot. I like how everybody's thinking about me and praying for me. It really meant a lot and helped me get through it,"

As he prepared to leave the hospital Friday, Seth's plan was to go to the game as a spectator, to show unwavering support for the team in a sport doctors say Seth will never play again.

"It doesn't really bother me right now. I guess until I go to the game tonight it'll all sink in," he said.

"We're just grateful to be going home today," his mom added.

Seth says he'll probably have to wear his neck brace for a couple of months, and hopefully be able to go back to school in a few weeks.

Even though his football career is over, his family says there's still plenty going on in his life. He'll be turning 16, getting his driver's licence, all the other stuff normal teenagers do.

And his family says they feel blessed to have him back home again and on the mend.

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