KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A Roane County High School football player who broke his neck during a game is on the road to recovery.
Sophomore Seth Haynes broke his neck making a tackle during the opening play of the school's game against Sequoyah.
Doctors at UT Medical Center performed a four-hour surgery to repair his shattered vertebrae, and so far his progress has been remarkable.
Seth has already started to walk and he was released from the hospital Friday.
"I'm feeling sore, but I'm feeling a whole lot better," said Haynes.
Seth says he will be in a neck brace for two months and hopes to return back to school in a month.
He does not remember much from the night he broke his neck.
"I just remember running down the field going in for the tackle and then passing out for a minute," said Haynes. "I remember waking up. I had a burning sensation in my neck."
Seth says he got the feeling back in his body only a few minutes after the hit.
He knows he will not be able to play football again.
"It doesn't really bother me right now," he said, "until I go to the game tonight that it will sink in."
Seth's release could not have come at a better time. He plans on being at the homecoming game Friday.
His mom says she appreciates the community's support.
"It's just been about overwhelming," said Tammie Haynes. "It's like everyday people are calling saying they are doing this for him, doing that for him. The people of Kingston have just been wonderful."
She is grateful her son was not paralyzed and is able to come home so soon.
"We couldn't ask for anything better," she said. "This is what we were hoping for."
Seth says he just feels lucky.
"I feel very lucky," he said. "Usually after someone breaks their neck like I did, they are paralyzed. I'm super lucky."
Seth still has a feeding tube because of his surgery. He hopes to get that removed in the next few days. He says he is craving some Taco Bell.
Seth says the doctors say that even though he won't be able to play football, he will still be able to play some sports.
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