Miraculous recovery: Sunrise Mountain H.S. student defies the odds

A valley teen is beating the odds following a dirt bike accident that nearly claimed his life. FOX 10's Liz Kotalik reports.

- A valley teen is beating the odds following a dirt bike accident that nearly claimed his life.

The teen ended up in a coma for two weeks.  One year later, Tommy Robertson is working to regain the skills he lost and he's doing it step by step.

These small, calculated steps are big strides in what's been a long journey to recovery.

"I mean, I've done a lot of therapy," said Robertson, a junior at Sunrise Mountain High School. "Well, it's paid off."

Robertson's progress has been nothing short of miraculous. Doctors, his parents -- no one was sure he'd survive after the accident on July 29, 2015.

His brother recorded it all on his phone.

What you don't see is Robertson's bike flipping. He may have been wearing a helmet, but the impact knocked him out cold, forcing paramedics to airlift him to Phoenix Children's Hospital.  There, doctors determined he had a traumatic brain injury. Unsure if he'd ever come out of a coma and even if he did, there was no gurantee that he'd ever be the same.

But two and a half weeks of waiting led to this: a touching moment that proved although he still had a long way to go -- learning to eat, speak and move again -- Robertson was coming back.

Two brain surgeries and months of therapy later came the steps he worked so hard to perfect. But the hardest part of his recovery is something you wouldn't expect.

"That my parents won't let me go to Ben Avery," he said.  "Well, they won't let me shoot!"

Some day, he hopes in a new life, he'll take on with a new perspective.

"At first, I was like.. I'm still getting on the bike because there's nothing else that's as fun to live for," he said.  "And I came back and.. well.. there are things to live for."

Robertson was treated at PCH's pediatric trauma center -- the only one of its kind in Arizona. The hospital treats nearly 1,000 trauma and concussion patients each year.


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