Blair Holliday reached another significant milestone in his recovery from a jet ski injury: he spoke to head coach David Cutcliffe on the phone.
“We had him on speakerphone, and it was just great to hear his voice – a sound that absolutely filled the room with exuberance,” Cutcliffe said in a statement released by the school. “We talked about the rehabilitation process and how important it is, and when I asked him if he understood how much we loved him, he responded with a confident ‘yes’.”
Holliday relocated to the Shepherd Center, an Atlanta rehabilitation hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injuries, on Monday. He was airlifted to the UNC Trauma Center July 4 after colliding with teammate Jamison Crowder on a jet ski at Lake Tillery.
Holliday also spoke to his parents Tuesday.
“Hearing Blair’s voice was so special,” said Leslie Holliday, Blair’s mother. “He is fighting through this just like we knew he would, and to have the support of so many family members and friends is just amazing. I told him that I loved him, and to hear the response of ‘I love you too, Mom’, was truly an inspiration.”
Several Blue Devils, including Cutcliffe, visited with Holliday on Sunday before he left UNC hospitals. Holliday’s progression over the past month has been “pretty amazing and uplifting,” Cutcliffe said, adding that he was alert, responsive and gave out fist bumps.
“He’s ready to work hard,” Cutcliffe said of Holliday. “I have had personal experiences with friends that have had gotten great rehab consequences out of the people at the Shepard Center, so I know he is in good hands. “