FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - A 17-year-old high school teen who was injured in a car accident in November is defying the odds through what family and doctors are calling a miraculous recovery.
It's been a tough three months for Parker Minier. Still the junior at Hamilton High School went through speech therapy Friday with a positive attitude.
The outlook for Parker wasn't positive November 3. Police said he was turning east on State Road 4 near Hudson, Indiana and crossed into the path of an oncoming SUV. His father Chad rushed to the scene as soon as he could.
"I jumped up in the car and headed over there and when I got over there, Parker was laying on a backboard," Chad said. "I didn't get a clear picture of how bad it really was until I saw the faces of the firemen."
Hudson Volunteer Fire Chief Bill Ebert was one of the first on the crash scene. Ebert, a friend of the Minier family, immediately recognized the car.
"A million thoughts went through my head. Wow, that was Parker. So then once I got up to the vehicle and saw the condition he was in, I knew this was not good," Ebert said. "He was just down out the house a day before throwing a football around with my son."
Parker was flown to a Fort Wayne hospital and went straight into surgery. After three and a half hours of surgery, the doctor met with family.
"The doctor comes out and says that it's some of the worst [brain] swelling that he's ever seen and he didn't expect parker to make it 15 minutes," Chad said. "I collapsed. I actually passed out and they whisked me away to the emergency room."
But when Chad gained back consciousness, he insisted on seeing his son.
"I said no, I need to get upstairs. I want to see my son. If it's the last time I get to see my son, I want to see him."
Parker made it past the first surgery, but his condition soon became even worse. Doctors told Chad the swelling had moved to Parker's spine.
"The only possible thing they could try was to take him off the sedation medication, and the pain medication. Basically a Hail Mary," Chad said. "[The nurse] said in 20 years of doing this, it's never worked, but it's all we have."
Miraculously, the last attempt worked. In 15 minutes Parker's vitals took a positive turn. Medical personnel were just as shocked as family and friends.
"[The doctor] said, ‘There's something much stronger than my medicine keeping your son alive,'" Chad explained. "He said, ‘Everything that I've done should not have worked. But for whatever reason it has.'"
The teenager went into a coma for the next few days and didn't open his eyes until the day the Indianapolis Colts played the Green Bay Packers.
"We're watching that game and he's sitting in a chair and all of a sudden his eyes opened for the first time," Chad said. "He saw that big comeback."
With prayers and support from his small-town community, the Hamilton High School basketball and soccer player is also hoping to make a comeback. Friday, Parker was wheelchair-bound and still had trouble functioning with his right side. But doctors said there's a possibility he'll have a full recovery.
It's all part of the unexplainable, for the young athlete being called a miracle.
"It's been an outpouring from the community. All the thoughts and prayers and just knowing there's lots of support out there from them," Chad said. "Until something like this happens, you may not realize what impact you have every day. But we've been blessed to find that out."
There will be benefit for Parker Minier Saturday, February 16 at Helmer United Methodist Church . It's located at:
7530 SR 327
Helmer, IN 46747
There will be a hog roast from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. An auction will immediately follow. The Minier family said participating in the benefit is the best way to help them during Parker's time of recovery. The proceeds will go toward the family's medical costs, as Parker will soon be heading to a hospital in Indianapolis for more intensive physical and brain rehab.
You can keep up with Parker Minier's recovery. Click here to visit their Caring Bridge support page.
Chad said insurance companies are still trying to determine who was at fault in the November accident.
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