Vols surprise boy recovering from brain surgery

Local News

A Knox County boy facing hardship got a big surprise.

Within the past week, Gage Kirby was diagnosed with a brain tumor and went under the knife to have it removed. While in the hospital, he got a visit from a couple of his Vol football idols, Jarrett Guarantano and Jauan Jennings.

Gage is number 18 quarterback for his Farragut team. He loves the game and the Vols.

“I think we could have done better against UTEP, but I think we’ll play pretty good against Florida,” he said.

Most of his childhood, he has dealt with few headaches.

“We just thought well maybe it’s glasses or it’s just being tired at the end of the day,” his dad Joe Kirby said.

The headaches worsened, and the Kirby family knew something was not right.

Gage was admitted to East Tennessee Children’s Hospital where he got terrible news. He had a brain tumor and swelling about the size of an orange.

Doctors acted fast. Gage went into surgery within days to remove it.

They were able to remove all of Gage’s brain tumor, and they sent it to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital for testing. They expect to have the results back in a couple weeks.

“You just don’t hear anything after you hear that he has a brain tumor,” Joe Kirby said.

While in recovery support from friends and loved ones poured in. Then the little Vol fan got a big surprise: another number 18 quarterback showed up.

“I was shocked,” Gage said.

Vols Jarrett Guarantano and Jauan Jennings paid Gage a visit in the hospital and gave him an autographed football.

“I didn’t think they would sign anything. I didn’t want to like tell them like sign this, sign this. And they brought me a football, so yeah that was cool,” Gage said.

A few of his idols he cheers on were right there doing the same for him.

In such a tough time it was a little thing that meant so much.

“How do we thank everybody for reaching out to us and offering so much to us? It’s just impossible,” Joe Kirby said.

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