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He’s a whole bunch of miracles wrapped up in one

RANKLIN — Jeremy Sublett began playing football at Franklin-Simpson High School last fall. He was just looking for something to do to pass the time.

Jeremy played linebacker, wide receiver and just about anything else, mostly on the junior varsity team.

His football days may be behind him now. Jeremy, who turned 16 last summer, was one of two teenagers injured in a car accident that killed five people in early October on Gold City Road outside Franklin.

That road is known as a dangerous one. Last weekend, 17-year-old Clint Walters was injured in an accident about two miles from where Jeremy was injured. The road is hilly and there is no shoulder on either side.

Jeremy doesn’t remember much about the accident or his injuries. He was in an induced coma for two weeks and spent the next few weeks on medication and sleeping.

His older sister, Tosha Patterson, said Jeremy lost his spleen and injured his kidneys, stomach and liver. His right arm was broken in five places above the elbow and he had three hairline fractures in his back. He had a spinal cord injury and cuts, his pelvis was shattered in three or four places, scrapes and bruises all over his body.

Jeremy also had to deal with numerous infections.

“He’s a whole bunch of miracles wrapped up in one,” said his mother, Karen Sublett.

It may take at least two years for Jeremy to recover, she said.

Tosha is Karen Sublett’s most talkative child, but Jeremy wasn’t far behind before the accident. Tosha and Jeremy are in the middle of younger son, Sean Sublett, and older daughter, Shay Kuentz.

After the accident, Jeremy has more quiet moments, Karen Sublett said.

“That’s the way I am when something serious happens,” she said. “It knocks the words out of me.

“It took his mind to another place.”

Jeremy has told his mother that he wishes he could wake up from the nightmare he’s in now.

When she heard about the accident, Karen Sublett was in disbelief.

“You can’t imagine that someone’s really in danger of dying or a lot of physical trauma,” she said.

One of Jeremy’s forms of therapy is joking. Tosha and Jeremy pick on each other a lot, but share a close bond.

“It’s my job to make sure he laughs every day,” Tosha said.

Before the accident, Jeremy was a junior at Franklin-Simpson High School. His favorite classes were physics and weightlifting. He said he didn’t have a favorite subject; it changed every year.

“I guess it depends on the teacher,” he said.

One of his favorite teachers is Linda Lacy, a Spanish teacher, who also is his homebound teacher, Jeremy said.

Now, Lacy comes in twice a week to work with Jeremy, but he’d rather be in class.

He also works with a Physical Therapist and an Occupational Therapist. Jeremy is working on his arms, legs and hands to restore movement and his Motor skills. He has found a way to dial the phone and hold it, and to play his PlayStation 2.

“His hands are changing all the time so that he doesn’t notice,” Karen Sublett said. “Everything that he tries is making him more able.”

When he does Physical Therapy with others around, he winces sometimes, but mostly looks bored. His legs spasm a lot, fall off the rests on his wheelchair during the day and keep him awake at night. Karen Sublett and Tosha help him roll over at night because he can’t put weight on his right arm and leg.

Jeremy has lots of visitors. His friends come by often and he talks to them on the phone a lot. Last weekend, it was standing-room only, Tosha said.

“Friends bring him a long way,” Karen Sublett said.

By Scott Sisco

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