Blair Holliday, seen here last season against Tulane, continues to make progress after his jet ski accident. Credit: CHUCK LIDDYfirstname.lastname@example.org
When Blair Holliday was critically injured in a July 4 jet ski accident, no one knew what to expect as far as his recovery.
So far, he has exceeded even his doctors' expectations, and Wednesday, he walked without assistance for the first time.
“They took is wheelchair away from him today,” Blue Devils' head coach David Cutcliffe said. “How great is that? And the reason they did it is because he is so tough.”
Holliday has set goals for himself, Cutcliffe said, and still has an uphill battle ahead of him. Holliday’s mom, Leslie, sends the team pictures every day.
“It’s definitely heartwarming to see the progress he is making,” Conner Vernon said. “I know he is going to make it, and we see what kind of fighter he really is. It goes both ways for us. It shows that if he can come through something like this, than we can deal with anything that takes place on a football field.”
Holliday collided with teammate Jamison Crowder at Lake Tillery, and Holliday was airlifted by medical personnel to the UNC Trauma Center (Crowder refused treatment at the scene and is expected to start for Duke). Holliday was transferred to the Shepard Center, an Atlanta rehabilitation hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and brain injuries, on August 6.
"Just to see a smile on his face is pretty incredible," Cutcliffe said. "I need it."