Full send … a term that means “give 100 percent”.
Franklin High School’s Devyn Blackburn was “full of channels” on the football field and made a name for himself as a wide receiver. “Complete shipment” on track. And “full send” to life until May 19th, 2020.
“I was driving down the highway in the inner lane and someone came off the exit and went straight into my lane, the inner lane, and hit me right in the back,” Blackburn said. “I overcorrected myself and went over the median and got a half t-boned.”
Devyn spent a month in a coma with facial fractures, broken ribs, and a brain injury known as a diffuse axonal injury – which usually leaves someone in a vegetative state.
Devyn woke up a month later.
“Every 30 minutes they said, ‘Do you know why you’re here?’ And I forgot every 30 minutes,” he said.
After another month of care, the recovery came: physiotherapy and speech therapy.
“My speech was awful because I couldn’t speak,” said Blackburn. “I’m still fighting, but I couldn’t get any words out at all.”
The Franklin Ward stood behind him – they took up the slogan “Devyn Strong” and raised money for their classmate.
Devyn missed his 2020 junior fall semester and his days playing soccer or contact sports are over.
“A punch in the head, how hard, I can’t tell what that does to me,” he said.
But what he found out was lifting weights and going to the gym 5 days a week to rebuild his mobility and strength.
He found his calling and now wanted to become a child physiotherapy doctor.
“I want to heal as many children as possible, I think that would be great,” said Devyn. “If they’re down or in any way discouraged, I could show them where I’m from.”
He also found power in a being greater than himself.
“I wasn’t close to God before my wreck,” said Blackburn. “But after my wreck I understood God and learned about him.”
Devyn is a miracle; shows that when you get a second chance in life, you do what you can to help others … the Devyn Blackburn way.
“Send in full.”
Devyn Blackburn is one of five finalists for the Stuart Scott Courage Award presented by PBS North Carolina. Watch all five Courage Award stories from July 14th to 20th and find out who is the winner of the Stuart Scott Courage Award during the HighSchoolOT Honors Streaming Awards show on July 22nd at 7:30 pm. You can watch it exclusively on the HighSchoolOT app, HighSchoolOT.com, or anywhere you stream WRAL.