Teen injured in tubing accident begins senior year at Sunlake High School

Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-19 17:07:54-04

A teen seriously injured in a tubing accident started his senior year of high school this week.

Xavier Johnson suffered a traumatic brain injury last summer when he hit a dock in East Lake, while he was tubing.

This is his first week back at Sunlake High School since the accident, which happened about a year and 4 months ago.

"He has superseded everything that they said he wouldn't do," Ross Johnson, Xavier's father, said, regarding what doctors told him.

Xavier Johnson is taking 3 classes a day with the help of Patsy Little. Patsy Little is a teacher of physically impaired students for Pasco County Schools.

"The teacher does the teaching and all I'm doing is adapting the materials," Patsy Little said.

Xavier Johnson communicates using gestures. The right side of his body is stronger than his left side. His parents are encouraged by his progress.

"I think the biggest thing is he can feel for a couple (of) hours a day like he's a normal teenager again," Ross Johnson said.

Ross Johnson said he is proud of his son especially everything he has accomplished and everything he will overcome in the future. He said Xavier is fighting to get better and his family will continue to fight with him.

"This isn't the story I was writing for my son. I was writing the Tim Tebow story, you know. (I was writing) the story of the kid growing up being a great football player (and) going off to college and having a great stand for God on campus wherever that may be and so a year and 4 months ago, I was forced to put down my pen and let God write his story. And, that story has turned out to be infinitely better than the one I was writing," Ross Johnson said.

Saturday morning there is a Warrior Run in honor of Xavier Johnson at Sunlake High School located at 3023 Sunlake Blvd in Land O' Lakes.

Registration begins at 6 a.m. They are accepting walk-ups; the run begins at 8 a.m. Part of the proceeds will help Xavier Johnson's family.

Ross Johnson said his wife left her teaching job in order to take care of her son full-time and they are paying for out of pocket costs to help with Xavier's recovery. Ross Johnson said part of the proceeds will also help a teen in Pasco County, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in an ATV accident this year.