At one point, Todd McNamee thought his son, 16-year-old Sean, wouldn't see another day. He and his family were thinking about their last goodbyes.
"These are by far the worst days of my life no doubt," McNamee said. "I asked God, and I asked the community to pray and my prayers were answered. Actually, I feel guilty asking for more; all I wanted was for him to live."
The Wharton High junior suffered a traumatic brain injury, accidentally hitting his head on a paint machine before football practice 12 days ago.
Friday, he woke up from a medically-induced coma. Today, Sean is conscious and can see and hear, but can't speak yet. He did manage a way to send out one important message, however.
"He sent a message to one of his friends: 'I love you,' so he actually made a text message, which I thought was a great show of strength," McNamee said.
Sean's accident is under investigation both by the school district and his family attorney, Steve Yerrid, who is gathering video evidence of what happened.
Yerrid says teammates who were eyewitnesses have been reluctant to come forward, fearing retaliation.
"We have interviewed a number of Sean's teammates, many of them eye witnesses to critically important events of that day. Unfortunately, some of these young men and their families have expressed a reluctance to come forward because they fear recrimination, loss of playing time, or other concerns that are making them hesitant to tell us what occurred," Yerrid said in a statement Friday.
The Hillsborough County School District denies the claim, putting out this statement Monday.
"None of Sean's teammates have any reason to fear recrimination for anything they say. Several have been speaking to the media. The district has been heartened to see the outpouring of concern and support from Sean's teammates."
Meanwhile, Sean's dad is focusing on recovery. He calls his son a fighter. Sean loved football, a game of inches, similarly his healing is also an inch-by-inch process.
"I keep telling him we got this, we got this we got this. He's going to push through this," McNamee said.
Yerrid is encouraging anyone who saw what happened to Sean to come forward.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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