Trevor Toups a walking miracle

Terrebonne election results
October 26, 2015
Little brother sparks success
October 27, 2015
Terrebonne election results
October 26, 2015
Little brother sparks success
October 27, 2015

Remember the story about Trevor Toups? The South Lafourche freshman football player who got hit in the head, suffered a severe brain injury, needed immediate surgery and was in a coma in the ICU at a hospital in New Orleans?

Most of our readers do remember. The Times’ initial breaking news report on Trevor was one of the most read and shared stories in the history of our website. Even after it was published, we’ve received numerous emails and social media comments asking about Trevor’s condition, wondering if his recovery is still going well.

We’re here to tell you that it is going well. We’re here to tell you that the entire situation is one of the most outstanding turnarounds that we’ve ever seen.

Trevor’s teammates saw that first-hand last Wednesday night.

See, the South Lafourche football team held its Freshman Bowl on that night – an intrasquad game that coaches hope to make an annual event to end the season.

I agree with the coaches. This should be an annual event. It was awesome, high-scoring and intense from start to finish. The Tarpons White Team beat the Blue Team in a shootout, a 38-36 game that was competitive from start to finish.

But for all of the touchdowns, long runs and great offensive plays made in the 36-minute scrimmage, the biggest story in my eyes was who was on the sidelines helping lend his teammates and brothers moral support.

For the first time since being injured, Toups attended a South Lafourche football game. Just more than three weeks removed from brain surgery, he walked out onto the field with his teammates in his jersey – the same No. 23 that he’d worn all season.

Yes, you read that right. He walked onto the field under his own power. He didn’t need anyone’s help or assistance. He walked – albeit a little gingerly – with his team for the coin toss to start the game. Coaches made Toups an honorary captain for the game – even before knowing that he’d be in attendance.

Of course, Toups was the good luck charm and the White Team won that initial coin flip. They elected to play defense to start the game.

Throughout the game, Trevor stayed on the sidelines with his teammates and friends. He rooted them on every, single step of the way.

When the White Team scored, he joined in their celebrations. When they didn’t, he offered encouragements. He was engaged in the game, was 100 percent aware of his surroundings and was even jogging around the field at times in exciting moments – even though that would immediately be met by opposition from his father, Toby Toups.

The son and father shared a playful back-and-forth throughout the game on each occasion that Trevor decided to test his boundaries.

“Walk, Trevor,” Toby said to his son after an early White Team touchdown. “No running.”

“I’m not running. I’m jogging,” Trevor said back with a smile. “Jogging and walking is the same thing.”

All the father could do was smile and shrug his shoulders at his son’s comment. Who could blame him? To see Trevor on his feet at all this closely removed from brain surgery is a marvel to everyone in the South Lafourche community. His presence uplifted the entire team and made the spirit in Memorial Stadium increase 10-fold on Wednesday night.

The reason why Trevor isn’t able to run or move around quickly is because he’s still got such a long way to go in his recovery.

In his initial surgery, doctors needed to remove a segment of Trevor’s skull as a way to let his brain be at ease after the surgery. When the young man was hit, his brain bled and also swelled up. When that happens, the brain expands against the skull, which causes extreme pain. To alleviate that problem, doctors took out the segment of the skull where the brain was swelling the most.

That bone is still not back in Trevor’s body. The swelling is all gone. But without the skull to protect the brain, Trevor’s head isn’t perfectly circular like everyone else’s. It has a dent where the bone should be. Any blow to that unprotected area of the brain can cause big problems.

The balancing act that the Toups family has to constantly battle is that Trevor feels like his old self, so he wants to always be on the move and doing everything that a normal freshman would do. But until he gets that last surgery, he has to move gingerly and be at ease – even if it drives Trevor nuts to stay still.

That last surgery will take place in mid-November, and Trevor’s mom Tessie Toups said that if all goes well, Trevor should be able to return to school in December.

That would put him back into relatively normal life at about two and a half to three months removed from the hit and injury.

When one considers that doctors initially estimated that Toups would be in the hospital for three-to-four months at the time of his injury, we think that’s a pretty remarkable recovery and a story worth publishing and telling.

Keep praying for Trevor, folks. Until that last surgery, the young man is not out of the woods in terms of his recovery.

But I saw him with my own eyes last Wednesday night, and what I saw amazed me. There it was – a miracle right before my own eyes. •

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