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'I know it's going to take time, but it will get better' | JJ Hodge returns home to Greensboro after spinal cord injury

The 17-year-old spent months at an Atlanta hospital, after a hood-surfing accident in September 2019.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — After spending months in the hospital, JJ Hodge is finally home.

"I'm very excited. It was a long time coming, honestly," Hodge said.

The 17-year-old suffered a serious spinal cord injury in September, when he fell off a car while hood-surfing, and was run over. 

He moved from Brenner Children's Hospital in Winston-Salem, down to the Sheperd Center in Atlanta, to undergo treatment and rehab for his injuries. 

Last week, he got the green light to head back to Greensboro, where he will continue physical therapy, and regain strength before returning for outpatient therapies at the Shepherd Center later this year. 

"The whole time that I was in the car, I didn't even sleep. I was just picturing how good it was going to be [to be home]," he said. 

In September, officers responded to an accident on Hartsfield Court. In the accident report, police stated that two people were riding on the hood of a car traveling up the road and that one of them fell off and was run over. 

"I do remember the injury. I remember when it happened," Hodge said, "I remember bits and pieces mainly. Like, I just remember falling off the car and getting run over and I remember my friend Cole helping me out from under the car.

"Then, I don’t remember anything after getting in the ambulance for probably like, two weeks."

Hodge said recovery has been difficult, but his family hasn't left his side. 

"My family was there, so that's really all that mattered," he said, "They helped me through it. Especially my mom. She was there for literally five months straight, staying in the same room as me."

With limited use of his body, Hodge and his family are celebrating the little milestones as feeling starts to come back to fingers and toes. 

Hodge says he's hoping to get back the use of his hands. 

"That's the biggest thing for me," he said, "I can feel some of my feet, like my left toes I can feel. The back of my leg I can feel, so it's definitely coming back."

He says, reflecting on the accident won't do him any good. 

"It is what it is. I can't do anything, I can't take anything back," he said.

Instead, he's moving forward, backed by the unwavering support of those who love him. 

"When you have support, it helps a lot. And I mean, it’s coming slow but things are coming back."

Currently, the family is installing an elevator to help Hodge move more easily around the house. 


Greensboro teenager keeps making progress after hood-surfing accident

'A Chick-fil-A sandwich! That's the first thing he wanted' | Mom thankful for son's recovery after accident

'They Think Nothing's Going To Happen To Them' | Teen Seriously Injured In 'Hood Surfing' Accident, Greensboro Mom Says

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