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Herrin, IL

Football Player Beats Odds



Football Player Beats Odds
By: Susan Stiegman

The Herrin f ootball team is scheduled to play Benton next Friday, and each of the players hope they'll get to hit the field. Herrin football player Jordan Johnson doesn't want to miss a game, because he has overcome some amazing obstacles to become part of the team.

Jordan is a Junior with quite a bit of seniority on the Herrin football team. When he was nine years old, some blood vessels ruptured in his brain. At the time, doctors said Jordan had a five-percent chance of survival..and no chance of playing sports again. He tackled those odds. "I'm out there to prove that anything can be done if you set your mind to it," says Jordan.

Quite a mentality for a young man who has only partial use of his left leg and arm. "I can't catch with two hands," says Jordan. "I can't run swinging both arms. That effects my speed. And I have a bit of a limp."

When Jordan was in the third grade, he was diagnosed with Arteriovenus Malformation -- a condition that causes blood vessels to rupture in the brain. "I had a pain in my eye," recalls Jordan. "As I walked up the stairs, I realized I couldn't feel my left foot." The nine year old's life was in jeopardy. He underwent surgery to repair the ruptured vessels. His life -- forever changed.

"They told me I wouldn't get out of the hospital for five months and that I'd never play sports again," says Jordan. But just one year after doctor's said he would never play sports again, Jordan was back on the playing field..a victory much greater than any numbers on the scoreboard. "He's a wide receiver and a defensive back," says Herrin Football Coach John Helmick. "We throw the ball to him anytime we can. He's an inspiration to all of us."

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