GRESHAM, Ore. (KOIN) — Bobby Asa is beating the odds. In early March, the 17-year-old started attending classes again at Sam Barlow High School.
“I’ve got to say it’s pretty great, like, just seeing everybody,” he told KOIN 6 News. “Being back in that social kind of aspect of it because the amount of support I have at the school is amazing.”
The high school junior has come a long way since June 27, 2017. Just after midnight that night, Bobby was driving home from a friend’s house when he turned to back into his driveway. A friend driving behind him didn’t see Bobby’s car and the impact of the crash threw Bobby back, leaving him with brain damage, a fractured skull and spinal cord damage.
Doctors told the family he would likely be paralyzed. He spent 6 weeks in a coma.
But Bobby is a determined young man.
He was released from Randall Children’s Hospital in October and resumed his studies with a tutor. Now, twice a week, Bobby goes to Sam Barlow for half-days unless he feels strong enough for the whole day. Three days a week he has physical therapy.
“If I’m at my house or something, where I’m familiar with the landscape, I’m able to walk all by myself. Then when I go outdoors I need to go with a cane,” he said.
His friends keep him going, too. “I’ll be, like, ‘Hey, am I, like, the same guy that you remember?’ and they say, ‘Dude, you’re exactly the same.”
He does have a few challenges. At school the former JV football player uses a walker, which makes opening doors a little more difficult. “But I make do with it.”
One of his goals is to walk normally again. “I am walking to places. Like, I get tired every now and then but I think it’s great. I think it’s awesome.”
He also has his sights set on driving again and getting on his jet skis.
“I have 2 standup jet skis that I love riding. It might be a little bit harder, but I feel like I can do it because I just have that motivation to do it again. And I’m not going to let anything stop me.”
Bobby, who turns 18 at the end of April, gives his parents a lot of credit.
“My mom and my dad, they just push, push, push. Like, when I want to stop, they’re like, ‘Nah, you’re not going to stop. You’re going to keep going,'” he said. “I’m like, ‘I guess I am.'”
Doctors told him he’s way ahead of schedule in his recovery, “but I really think I’m kind of like right where I’m supposed to be. Knowing my personality, how I push and I push and I push.”
His right hand is partially paralyzed, so he’s learning to use his left hand to do things, including drawing, which he loves.
“I’m sort of a perfectionist, so when the line’s not straight I get really mad and I erase it and do it twice until it’s straight,” he said.
His recovery has been called miraculous and he said he agrees.
“I do think it’s a miracle,” he said. “From all the help and support I’ve gotten from the website, from everyone just asking at school to everywhere. It’s been crazy.”