Basketball star's parents speak openly about the teenager's brain injury

"While we want things to be back to normal, we have a new definition of normal."

Josh Speidel of Indiana, America, sustained his brain injury on 1 February in a car accident. The 18-year-old standout basketball player is breathing a little on his own but remains on a ventilator most of the time. He has yet to make purposeful movements such as hand squeezing or opening eyes. "We have hope," Josh's mother, Lisa said. "We believe that he will (recover). Every brain injury is unique. There's no textbook that tells you this is what's going to happen. There's not anything laid out for us right now." His father, Dave is singing to his son every morning and is sure Josh can hear him.
Josh with his parents before the accident
"We get some movement there," Lisa Speidel said. Dad is not offended that Josh's reaction to his southern Gospel tunes appears to be negative. Josh also doesn't like to be moved in his hospital bed or have his face washed. They hope that these are signs that he'll open his eyes soon. Every day since the accident the Speidel's say they have reminders that their lives have changed forever; things that used to seem so important have lost significance. "While we want thing to be back to normal, we have a new definition of normal," Lisa Speidel said. "We don't know what it's going to be." They have taken comfort in the fact the support for Josh has been so overwhelming. High school basketball teams, from Indiana and elsewhere, have taken hold of the #JoshStrong hashtag on social media and wear t-shirts make signs in support of the 6-8 Speidel, a University of Vermont recruit. Lisa and Dave read him all of the messages and letters. "I feel very confident that he hears those and feels that love and support," Lisa said. The Speidels say their faith, which was steadfast before the accident, has only been strengthened. They believe he'll be able to tell the story of his own journey someday. "Josh is going to have a great story to tell," Lisa said. "He's going to be able to use this for a bigger purpose. We don't' know what that is yet, but we believe."
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