On August 20th, four Peach County football players were in a car accident, hours after a pool party hours after a pool party hosted by their head football coach.
Passengers Eric Robinson and Ejuan McKellar avoided major injuries, but driver Raekwon Smith lost his life in the crash ,and passenger Randy Williams endured severe spinal injuries causing partial paralysis in his lower body, changing his life forever.
"Speechless. I couldn't believe it. It was like I was living a dream. Couldn't believe it," says Randy's sister, Sarita Williams.
Sarita Williams says that since the August accident, Randy has been recovering at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta. The Shepherd Center is one of the best hospitals in the country which specializes in spinal cord and brain rehabilitation, teaching the 17-year-old how to live his new normal.
Sarita says Randy is adjusting to therapy, "He's OK. Sometimes he doesn't want to do it because it hurts because of his injury, but other than that, he's pretty positive. It's hard for him to relearn how to do things without his lower body, but he's getting it."
Randy says he's learned several skills while at hospital, "Slide board transfer, how I should get up out the bed and how to control my feet, stuff like that."
Besides the rigorous physical therapy, Randy is also receiving an overwhelming amount of emotional support. Dozens of "get well soon" cards decorate his room from family, friends, and a surrounding community, for the most part, the Williams family has never even met.
Randolph Williams Sr., is along the journey with his son and says his family remains encouraged in spite of. "He's come a long ways.. Long ways .. Long ways.."
Randy's father reflecting on the accident, saying "I can't explain it. Like a ship in the ocean rocking from side to side, and if it wasn't for the people in Fort Valley, we'd be lost."
The family says they are happy to know the smile and personality of Randy hasn't changed and his positive attitude during his recovery inspires them all.
Randy offers this inspiration for his teammates, "play like its your last time playing...that's it, because you never know when it's your last time."