Drew Jenks: A Survivor's Story - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Drew Jenks: A Survivor's Story

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CONNELL, Wash. -- The Connell Eagles have battled all year to a perfect record and are now getting ready for a state championship game with Cascade Christian.

It has been quite a journey but one Connell player is just thankful to be playing on the field with his friends.

In the city of Connell, people are connected to Eagles football. But what is more important to them are their neighbors, friends, and family --  their community.

"They are a big time help, aways pushed me to get better," said Connell Cornerback Drew Jenks.

But on Mother's Day of 2006 that community took a major hit. Drew Jenks was doing farm wark on a four-wheeler when he crashed and suffered a traumatic brain injury.

"I can't remember how fast it was going but the first thing I knew I was in the hospital," said Jenks.

"As a mother, it's every mother's nightmare, every parent's nightmare," said Drew's Mom Rhonda. "The doctors at first gave him about a 30% chance that he would even wake up ... He couldn't talk, read, or walk."

Jenks was in for the fight of his life. He was unconscious for 12 days and then came the weeks of rehab.

"I got frustrated a lot because I wasn't able to do what I did before that," said Jenks. "I just wanted to get out of there."

Jenks not only wanted to go home, he wanted to play sports again. But, doctors told him no contact sports for a year. But, he pushed on.

His sophomore year he got back on the field and as a senior he wants a state championship like nothing else.

"It would be awesome, a dream come true," said Jenks.

But, don't think Jenks and his family have forgotten the Connell community who supported them when they needed it the most.

"How do you say thanks for having your son back?" said Rhonda. "I don't know how you say thanks."

"Sometimes I forget what I went through and what others did for me and I shouldn't be doing that. I need to remember always what others have done for me," said Jenks.

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