"I've got my baby back," Charlette Reddix laughs.
She does it with good reason.
The overjoyed mother and her family is at ease Tuesday, happy to have their son home after a horrific car crash three months ago.
CJ Reddix, a former Westover track star, was driving back to Tennessee Temple University from the Alabama-LSU football game in November when disaster struck.
"A man cutting us loose, and was in the middle of the highway," he remembers. "I swerved to not hit him, and then I blacked out."
The wreck caused spinal and brain injuries. It collapsed one lung.
Reddix was in a coma.
Suddenly, the athlete who once competed in the Junior Olympics was now battling for his life.
"It was tough," Charlette says.
Despite the humbling obstacles in front of him, CJ thrived in the rehab process.
"You have good days and you have bad days. That's pretty much what I told myself everyday," he says. "But you have more good days than bad."
Some of his doctors believed he would never walk again. CJ proved them wrong.
And he battled during rehab the way he fought on the track.
"Seeing him thinking he was going to have to start back from square one was tough," Charlette says. "But as I saw him constantly improve and making progress and not giving up, I was overjoyed about that."
After three months of intense care and therapy, Reddix has returned home.
"It felt good because I haven't seen my house and cars in a long time, so it's exciting to see," he says. "And I miss my dog too."
"It's a journey that we have been taken on, that has positive rewards to it," Charlette says. "We've seen God move in a mighty way, and seen him just heal CJ and strengthen our family like never before."
The journey is still long for Reddix. He still has months of therapy and recovery to go.
But the former Patriot runner and his family believe his best days are still ahead of him
"This is just the beginning for CJ and our family," Charlette says.
"I want to be able to run again and get my leg back where it was and even better than that," CJ says. "I'm not here to stay."
Reddix hopes to return to Tennessee Temple and rejoin the track team. When he gets back to school, he plans to study physical therapy.
CJ's family has set up several funds to help offset medical costs. You can help the family by donating to the Craig Reddix Fund at Bank of America, Wells Fargo, or on paypal.com. The family has also set up an account on takethemameal.com.
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