Eye on KELOLAND: Brady’s strong spirit

Eye on KELOLAND

After an accident that broke his spine and unable to walk, high school senior Brady Sprik isn’t letting that break his spirit.

He created a Walk, Roll, Run 5k in his hometown on Platte to raise money for the nonprofit charity ‘Game Plan 4 Hope.’ It gives aid to families living with similar circumstances.

Growing up playing football in the small town of Platte, South Dakota, Brady Sprik knows what it’s like to be a part of a team.

Young Brady Sprik

“I started playing football in the fourth grade. In Mount Vernon, they had Mount Vernon Area Football Program,” Sprik said.

As he grew, so did his love for the game. Eventually, he earned a spot on the Platte/Geddes High School Varsity Football team.

“I’m generally just a sports fan. I like sports in general. My favorite sports are baseball and football,” Sprik said.

Then, one night in October of 2017, he was driving back from watching a volleyball game in Chamberlain, when he got in a severe car accident.

“I ended up rolling my vehicle, then I was ejected and I broke by back,” Sprik said.

Brady a few days after the crash

He says that he couldn’t remember much of the accident, but it’s something his parents Troy and Kristina will never forget.

“I was pretty much out until… a good two days later,” Sprik said.

“The next phone call we got was hearing our oldest son in the entryway just… screaming,” Kristina said.

They got word from a resident recognizing Sprik’s vehicle on the side of the road. His parents didn’t hesitate to find him.

“We backed out of our driveway to find him and the cop car was pulling into our driveway as we were leaving,” Kristina said.

“The cop pulled up and he said, ‘Obviously, you guys know what’s going on,’ and we said, ‘Yep,’ and he said, ‘Well, just get there,’ and I said, ‘How fast can I go?’ and he said, “A fast as you can and get there safely,'” Troy said.

He was quickly rushed to the closest hospital in Chamberlain where, after a couple of days, he found out he suffered a T-5 spinal cord injury. He couldn’t move from his chest-line down.

“I used to say it was the worst night of our lives, but it’s not because we still have him. And we know families that don’t have their loved ones, so it’s just a different life and we’re just thankful that it wasn’t more severe than it was,” Kristina said.

Brady’s strong support system

The family attended the Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado for physical therapy.

“His right leg didn’t move at all until January 1st; there was no movement for two and a half months in his right leg,” Kristina said.

It was there he found plenty of support whether it was physical or emotional.

“There was countless people who – I can’t even remember how many people that, everyday, there was somebody coming in to say hello, drop stuff off, or help out,” Sprik said.

“There were a lot of families, honestly, we’ve met so many amazing families. If there was a blessing from all this, it’d be the number of people that we’ve met through it,” Kristina said.

Even though Brady was knocked down, he refused to stay out. After about two and a half months, he was able to return to school on January 2nd. Today, he’s a senior.

Brady’s Senior Photos

“I’m up and walking with crutches. I have forearm crutches that I get up and walk with,” Sprik said.

Brady is unable to play football, but he’s formed a different team. For his senior project, he created a fundraiser to benefit families that have gone through similar circumstances. He created a walk, roll, run 5K to raise funds for Game Plan 4 Hope.

“We had – what, roughly 130, 140-,” Sprink said.

“No. There was 300 t-shirts ordered and 180 people there,” Kristina said.

‘You Are Enough’ Run, Roll, Walk 5k

The event was also created to raise awareness about suicide.

“We felt that we needed to do something to give back to other people just because of how much has been given to us,” Sprik said.

Today, Brady still needs the wheelchair, but he can walk roughly 500 feet using crutches, getting him one step closer to walking down the aisle for his senior graduation.

“He’s going to graduate on time with his class and we couldn’t be more proud of him pushing himself to still be where he’s at,” Kristina said.

And despite not being able to play sports, he’s still very much a part of the team.

“Thursday nights we do team suppers. We just – the entire team goes over to one of the churches in the town and the parents have a meal prepared and we all eat together,” Sprik said.

Brady says that while he’s let go of the past, he’ll always have a firm grip on his faith.

“You find that new niche in life that God has for you. I mean, he… it might not sound like the right thing to say, but he’s putting you through this for a reason. He wants to prove to you that you can do anything that’s put in front of you,” Troy said.

“Just keep going. It gets easier. It might not be for a while, but it gets easier. Just keep going. You’ll find new things to do. You’ll find new people… it’ll get better,” Sprik said.

The Sprik’s Family visit the Craig Hospital every three months to continue Brady’s physical therapy. Recently, he scored a once in a lifetime touchdown in the Panthers’ 42-6 win over Gregory. Sprik entered the game following a timeout where he lined up as the running back. He took the ball and with the help of a couple of his teammates, walked across the goal line for a touchdown. Players from both teams applauded. Brady kept the game ball.

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